Buying Grafted Tomato Seedlings from a Nursery
Why Farmers Benefit from Buying Grafted Tomato Seedlings from an Established NurseryWith the availability of information on grafting, farmers in South Africa may be tempted to perform their own grafting rather than buying already grafted tomato seedlings from well-established and trusted nurseries. However, it can be a costly mistake since grafting, although it may seem like a straightforward procedure, is a precise and complex process.
For example, the angle of grafting can influence the survival success rate of tomato seedlings, as illustrated by the results from a study published in HortScience 48 (1):34-36 and reported by Michael Bausher from the US Department of Agriculture.
According to the results of the study performed to determine the role of tensile strength in relation to grafting angle and what the impact is on the survival of the tomato seedling, the angle of grafting makes a significant difference in plant survival. The results showed that the increase in grafting angle improves plant survival.
The mentioned information is important as it illustrates the complexity of accurate grafting. For the farmer concerned about profits, the need to plant crops year after year, and having to deal with time constraints, spending time getting the grafting of tomato seedlings right is just not worth it. The cost associated with trial and error is high and the farmer does not have the time to spend on various trials.
However, a large bulk-supply nursery, such as Hishtil SA, does have the resources, time, and experts to perform trials and to work alongside other professionals in getting the best results. With a team of agronomists to perform the research and grafting, quality is assured.
For the farmer starting out with the process, it means months to years before they can get the desired results and get those consistently. Considering the cost, time, and risks of failure involved, it is best to purchase premium grafted tomato seedlings from the bulk-supply nursery.
For one, specific cultivars and plants are grafted to encourage strong rootstock for optimal nutrition uptake and improved tolerance to specific soil-borne conditions, nematodes, and environmental stresses. In addition, the scion selection for better fruit quality or yield is selected based on research to ensure the fused plants can deliver the desired results.
Grafting is also performed in highly controlled environments where the grafted plants are protected against environmental factors, pests, and diseases. The necessary water stress application is applied for strong rooting. The nursery also monitors the success of the grafts. As a result, the farmer receives tomato seedlings, which are disease and pest free, in optimal condition, at the right age for transplant, and guaranteed as successfully grafted according to set standards and procedures.
Hishtil SA is the only bulk-supply nursery in South Africa to have achieved GlobalGAP certification, speaking to the nursery’s commitment to meet market requirements and quality standards. The farmer thus has the assurance that the plants they receive have been grafted and grown according to internationally recognised standards. To achieve the same, the farmer will have to invest a lot of money, research, labour, and expertise to ensure consistency, quality stock, and best practices.
Instead of focussing energy and resources on propagating grafted plants, the farmer can purchase the plugs from the nursery and have them delivered to this farm at a specified time. In this way, the farmer’s risks are significantly reduced. Such risks include a loss of plants during the early stages just after grafting.
The farmer is able to put resources into preparation of the soil, growth area, irrigation, and chemical treatment. The time from putting the already-proven grafted plant plugs into the soil to harvesting can be determined. The plants spend less time on the field before harvesting, which also reduces the risks and costs for the farmer.
Considering that the plugs receive a chemical treatment against pests and diseases before delivery to the farm, the farmer saves on the cost of the initial chemical treatment.
Add to these benefits the advantage of ongoing technical support from the nursery team, and knowing exactly which cultivars have been grafted, the farmer also has the assurance of help available and knowledge regarding the expected outcomes, such as better fruit yield and quality.
The farmer is able to plant the tomato seedlings in soil previously used, reduce the number of chemical treatments required, and improve planning for harvesting.
For more information on the pricing and stock for grafted tomato seedlings, register at Hishtil SA as a new client.