How to grow Grafted Plants

How to grow Grafted Plants

When they arrive
Your plants have been quality checked and carefully packed to ensure they reach you in perfect condition. Please unpack the plants as soon as you receive them, and give them a gentle water if they have dried out in transit. Pot your young plants into 9cm/3.5in pots using good quality compost. Grow on in a greenhouse or a warm, bright place at a minimum temperature of 17.5C/60F and keep moist.
Outdoor varieties must be gradually hardened off and only planted out when danger of frost has passed.

Before planting
Prepare the planting area in advance by digging over and removing any perennial weeds and old plant debris. Dig in plenty of organic material, such as well-rotted manure, garden compost or Organic Extra - this will help improve the soil's moisture-retaining ability and fertility. Use a pre-planting fertiliser if necessary, see our full range online. Carefully remove the plants from their cell trays - plant each individual cell don't disturb the root ball or separate the individual seedlings.

Grafted varieties of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers etc are extra vigorous and high yielding plants, grow them in exactly the same way as non-grafted varieties. Do not plants above the graft. There is no need to remove the graft clips.

Plant tomatoes deeply with their bottom leaves just above the soil. This helps to anchor the plants firmly. Once the flowers on the first truss have formed, transplant into large pots, grow bags or the greenhouse border. Tomatoes need plenty of regular watering to fruit well. Once the first truss has formed feed with a high potash Tomato feed every 7-10 days.

Chillies will need the growing tip pinched out when they are about 20cm/8in tall to encourage bushiness.

Peppers and Aubergines
Transplant into large pots, grow bags or directly into greenhouse soil before the first flowers open. They will branch naturally but the growing tip can be pinched out when the plants are 30cm/12in tall to produce a bushy plant. Stake and tie in plants if necessary. They can also be planted outside in a warm, sheltered area from June onwards.

Cucumbers and Melons need higher humidity than tomatoes to crop well. They cn also be planted outside in a warm sheltered position from June onwards.

Water regularly to make sure the compost remains moist. Irregular watering can be a common cause of failure with tomatoes. Feed greenhouse plants with a liquid feed. Use a high potassium food every 7-10 days to encourage flowers and fruit. Temperature must be kept constant. Avoid extremes of temperature by keeping the greenhouse closed at night and ventilated by day. In hot sunlight consider shading the greenhouse to avoid tomatoes scorching. Greenhouses need to be well ventilated when weather is warm. Watering the greenhouse floor can create a cooler, moister atmosphere for the plants.

Tip - To ripen tomatoes place a ripe banana at the base of tomato plants; the gas it releases helps to ripen green fruit.