As a result of continuous cropping on the same fields, soil-borne pathogens attack crops and cause damage. Since it is expensive to clear new fields, farmers need to reuse the same soil structures, so they rotate their crops. However, with crops such as watermelons normally requiring several years before it is possible to plant them on the same soil structure again, farming costs increase. To this end, commercially farming crops such as melons from grafted seedlings provides several advantages.
Watermelon is popular for its juicy, sweet flesh. It is a long-season crop grown during the summer months and although commercial farming from grafted watermelon seedlings is relatively new to South African farmers, the cultivation of the fruit dates back a very long time.
Most commercial farmers grow broccoli from seedlings, as propagation from seed is more risky and challenging. Broccoli can be eaten raw, cooked, boiled, or stir-fried. It is an exceptionally nutritious plant, packed with folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin A and C, and magnesium. The vegetable is also a good source of fibre. With it being a relatively challenging crop to propagate on a large scale, it fetches a good market price.
More and more commercial farmers in South Africa propagate watermelons from grafted watermelon seedlings as available from nurseries that specialise in the bulk supply of such seedlings. However, appreciating the significance of this trend starts with gaining insight about the advantages of grafting.
Large-scale commercial farming with leeks is still limited in South Africa. It is challenging to propagate the vegetable from seed and it is thus recommended to order pest- and disease-free leek seedlings from commercial crop nurseries.