A growing body of evidence indicates that grafted vegetable plants can tolerate or resist certain soil-borne diseases and pests and certain types of abiotic stress (e.g., salinity, low/high temperature, low fertility, and drought/flood) more effectively than their ungrafted counterparts. Other evidence suggests that grafted plants can additionally be more vigorous. However, the evidence also indicates that the benefits of grafting are not guaranteed, that various factors influence the returns on investments from preparing and/or using grafted plants.
For example, data suggest that crop management protocols used to produce fruit with grafted plants may need to differ from protocols used in standard, ungrafted systems in order to maximize the return on investment in grafted plants. Fertility, irrigation, pruning and trellising, crop protection and harvest regimens, and plant populations may need to be altered.
Regardless, data in hand make clear that growers who use grafted plants properly may be able to retain the ability to produce abundant, high-quality crops under a range of challenging conditions.
Resources at this site explain and demonstrate the preparation, use, and performance of grafted plants. Many of these resources are designed with end-users in mind and most represent a distillation of insights gained in numerous experiments.
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