Why SA Farmers Look for Grafted Vegetable Seedlings for Sale
The agricultural sector has a dynamic nature. It adapts to environmental and food demand changes. Three decades ago, adverts for grafted seedlings for sale in South Africa were unheard of. But with advances in technology and research breakthroughs, it is now possible to offer local vegetable crop farmers a new way to reduce the use of chemicals in their farming practices.
Grafted vegetable seedlings are now for sale in bulk from respected commercial nurseries. Farmers still contemplating whether to grow from grafted seedlings should read on to discover:
Although an ancient technique for creating domestic variants of wild fruit trees, when it comes to commercial vegetable farming, the first recorded interspecific grafting was done in Japan in the 1920s. This was the first for commercial vegetable crop farming. The vegetable fruit that made headlines was the watermelon. Today, just more than one hundred years later, esteemed nurseries offer grafted watermelon seedlings for sale to South African farmers.
How Grafting Works
The technique entails the attachment of the part of one plant to that of another. In some instances, more than one plant is grafted on another. A scion, which is the stem and foliage part of one plant, is attached or grafted to the rootstock of another plant. The rootstock consists of the roots and the lower part of the stem.
The idea is to get the best characteristics of both plants. The plant used as rootstock is selected for its root strength and the scion, for instance, comes from a plant that provides superb yield or quality fruits. By having the two plants grow together, it is possible to get a plant with extremely well-developed roots for improved nutrition uptake and better resistance to certain soil-borne threats. The upper part delivers uniform fruits, higher yield, and quality. Although the plants grow as one, they retain their individual characteristics.
Why is it Beneficial?
The grafted seedlings offered for sale have the desired characteristics, such as improved tolerance for climate and soil conditions, better stand, higher yield potential, and more. With these characteristics, it is possible to grow vegetables in soil where nematodes from the previous season would be problematic without extensive chemical treatments, fertilizer applications, and pesticide applications. Now farmers can transplant the seedlings according to the bulk supply nursery guidelines and benefit from stronger plants with specific characteristics.
Benefits include, but are not limited to:
The commercial bulk-supply nursery has the experts on board to conduct research, handle the grafting processes, and ensure healthy plants are offered. The grafting process can be complex, best done in controlled environments. It is time, labour, equipment, and knowledge intensive. The agronomists perform the grafting according to their researched and standardised procedure for consistency.
After grafting has been done, the plants are kept in environmentally controlled facilities to ensure they are exposed to the right temperatures and humidity. The plants go through a healing process with close monitoring. The success of the grafting depends on this process in the right type of facility.
With extensive work done to ensure top quality seedlings can be offered for sale, the agronomists do their part to ensure the plants are also disease free. The plugs receive the first chemical treatments before delivery to the farmer. This helps the farmer to reduce costs associated with chemical applications while it also means one less chemical treatment that can affect the growth environment.
Where to Buy These Plugs?
Hishtil SA is one of the leading suppliers of quality vegetable plugs in South Africa. The nursery also offers a range of grafted seedlings for sale, including tomato, cucumber, pepper, melon, and watermelon. Plugs can be delivered throughout South Africa and farmers receive guidance, as well as technical support to help them get the most benefits from propagating vegetables from grafted plugs. Get more information on the varieties available from Hishtil SA.