Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center

Vegetable Research and Extension

Photo collage of watermelon tasting, tractor, dry beans

Grafting Vegetables

Vegetable grafting is a centuries-old technique utilized in Asia to improve plant production, reduce disease susceptibility, and increase soil utilization. Vegetable grafting was introduced in the United States almost 20 years ago and growers are becoming more aware of its attributes and potential. At Washington State University, we began vegetable grafting in 2009 with three crops: tomato, eggplant and watermelon.

Grafting Information

Grafting Supplies. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Gale Sterrett, and Jacky King.

Injerto de Verduras: Berenjenas y Tomates. Hoja informativa de la Universided Estatal de Washington FS052ES. 4 páginas. Publicado Agosto 2013.

Injertos Hortícolas: SandÍa. Hoja de datos de la Extensión, Universidad Estatal de Washington FS100ES. 7 páginas. Publicado enero 2014.

Non-grafted and Grafted Seedless Watermelon Transplants: Comparative Economic Feasibility Analysis.  A guide for evaluating the physical and financial requirements and economic feasibility of growing seedless watermelon transplants, both non-grafted and grafted, in a greenhouse, as well as using grafted transplants to produce seedless watermelon in Washington.

Retail Rootstock Seed Suppliers. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Gale Sterrett and Jacky King.

Vegetable Grafting: Eggplant and Tomato. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS052E 4 pages. Published October 2011.

Vegetable Grafting: The Healing Chamber. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS051E 3 pages. Published October 2011.

Vegetable Grafting: Watermelon. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS100E 7 pages. Published January 2013.

Grafting Presentations

Grafting Healing Chamber. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. How to construct and manage a healing chamber for grafted vegetables. 2011.

History of Vegetable Grafting. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Summary of the history of vegetable grafting. Includes first known uses of vegetable grafting and current uses. 2011.

How to Graft Tomatoes and Eggplant. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Highlights splice grafting for tomato and eggplant, and how to manage newly grafted plants. 2011.

Transplanting Grafted Plants to the Field. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Reviews procedures and considerations for transplanting grafted vegetables into the field. 2011.

Grafting Research Articles

Refereed articles

Buller, S. D. Inglis and C. Miles. 2013. Plant growth, fruit yield and quality, and tolerance to Verticillium wilt of grafted watermelon and tomato in field production in the Pacific Northwest. HortSci. 48:1003-1009.

Johnson, S. and C. A. Miles. 2011. Effect of healing chamber design on the survival of grafted eggplant, watermelon, and tomato. HortTech. 21:752-758.

Johnson, S., C. Miles, and D.A. Inglis. 2013. First report of Verticillium wilt caused by V. dahliae on grafted Solanum aethiopicum in Washington. Plant Dis. 97:840.

Johnson, S., D.A. Inglis, and C. Miles. 2013. Grafting effects on eggplant growth, yield and verticillium wilt incidence. Intl. J. Veg. Sci. doi:10.1080/1915269.2012.751473.

Wimer, J., D. Inglis and C. Miles. 2015. Evaluating grafted watermelon for Verticillium wilt severity, yield and fruit quality in Washington State. HortScience 50(9):1332-1337.

Wimer, J., D. Inglis and C. Miles. 2015. Field and greenhouse evaluation of rootstocks to improve Verticillium resistance for grafted watermelon. HortScience 50(11):1625-1630.

Abstracts

Johnson, S., and C. Miles. 2011. The effect of humidity in healing chamber environments on the survival of grafted eggplant, watermelon, and tomato. HortSci. 46:S224.

Miles, C. S. Buller, and D. Inglis. 2013. Growth, yield, fruit quality, and Verticillium wilt tolerance of grafted watermelon and tomato in field production in the Pacific Northwest. HortSci. 48(9):S237.

Miles, C.A., P. Keider, K. Hasenhoerly, and D.A. Inglis. 2014. Grafting eggplant and tomato for Verticillium wilt resistance. ISHS Symposium on Vegetable Grafting, Wuhan, China, p. 53.

Wimer, J.A., C.A, Miles, and D.A. Inglis. 2014. Evaluation of watermelon rootstocks for resistance to Verticillium wilt in northwestern Washington. ISHS International Symposium on Vegetable Grafting, Wuhan, China,
p. 59.

Proceedings

Johnson, S.J., C.A. Miles, P.A. Kreider, and J. Roozen. 2010. Grafting vegetables for resistance to soil-borne diseases: an organic alternative to soil fumigants. 2010 International Plant Propagators' Society North American Western Region Annual Meeting, Sept. 9-11, Bellingham, WA.

Johnson, S.J., C.A. Miles, P.A. Kreider, and J. Roozen. 2011. Effect of healing chamber design on the survival of grafted eggplant, tomato, and watermelon. 2011 International Plant Propagators' Society North American Western Region Annual Meeting, Sept. 21-24, Sacramento, CA, Vol. 61:50.

Miles, C., S. Johnson, and D. Inglis. 2012. Managing Verticillium wilt on eggplant through grafting, and graft survival in healing chambers. Proceedings International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reduction, Nov. 8, Maitland, FL, p. 67.

Resources


Vegetable Grafting (vegetablegrafting.org). A portal designed to deliver current research-based information on the preparation, use, evaluation and purchase of grafted vegetable plants. Supported by the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) of the USDA and NIFA.

Commercial Cucurbit Rootstocks (USDA 2015). Common cucurbit rootstocks and their susceptibility to common diseases and pests. NOTE: seed of rootstocks listed may not be generally available, check seed catalogs for specific variety.

Commercial Eggplant and Pepper Rootstocks (USDA 2015). Common eggplant and pepper rootstocks and their susceptibility to common diseases and pests. NOTE: seed of rootstocks listed may not be generally available, check seed catalogs for specific variety.

Commercial Tomato Rootstocks (USDA 2015). Common tomato rootstocks and their susceptibility to common diseases and pests. NOTE: seed of rootstocks listed may not be generally available, check seed catalogs for specific variety.

Disease Resistant Vegetable Varieties. Cornell University Plant Pathology Vegetable MD.

Grafting for Disease Management in Organic Tomato Production Webinar. Frank Louws of North Carolina State University and Cary Rivard of Kansas State University provide information about rootstock selection and the grafting procedure itself. eOrganic Webinar. 2011.

Grafting for Disease Resistance in Heirloom Tomatoes. North Carolina State University. 2006.

Grafting of Vegetables to Improve Greenhouse Production. Masayuki Oda, College of Agriculture, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai Osaka 5998531. 1999.

Grafting Techniques for Greenhouse Tomatoes. UMass Amherst. 2014.

Grafting Techniques for Watermelon – University of Florida, IFAS Extension

Grafting Tomato Plants. Ohio State University. Step-by-step video of cleft and Japanese grafting techniques. 2009.

Grafting tomatoes for organic open field and high tunnel production. David Francis, Ohio State University. Overview of tomato grafting with a focus on commercial rootstock performance and current tomato rootstock breeding research at Ohio State University. eOrganic Webinar. 2010.

Grafting, Ohio State University Extension.

History and Technique of Tomato Grafting. North Carolina State Cooperative Extension. 2008.

How to graft tomato & eggplant: tube splice. AVRDC demonstrates how to graft as well as how to make grafting clips from poly tubing.

The Ruminant Podcast Episode 9: Dr. Carol Miles on grafting veggies. A conversation with WSU Vegetable Extension Specialist Carol Miles about grafting tomatoes, eggplants, and other vegetables. Covered are definitions, the reasons for doing it, and a few techniques.

Tomato Grafting for Disease Resistance and Increased Productivity – Sustainable Research & Education (SARE) Fact Sheet.

Tomato Grafting – North Carolina State University

Tomato Grafting – Ohio State University

Vegetable Grafting – The University of Arizona

Video showing graft healing. This 1-minute time lapse video shows the successful formation of a graft union in a 'Celebrity' tomato plant over a ten day period. By Kyle Craig.

Watermelon Grafting – Clemson University

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Photo of cutting tomato scion material for splice grafting

Cutting tomato scion material for splice grafting.

Photo of healing chamber

The healing chamber structure where plants are held for 7 days following grafting.

Photo of grafted watermelon transplant in field

Grafted watermelon plant immediately after being transplanted into the field.

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