Grafting Manual


Introduction to the Vegetable Grafting Manual

Grafted vegetable plants are ‘physical hybrids’ resulting from combining at least two varieties, a rootstock and at least one scion; the first used to provide important traits and the second used to produce fruit. The process is analogous to organ transplantation in that rootstock and scion varieties and seedlings must be compatible, the operating room and patients clean and disease-free, the grafter using appropriate methods, and the newly-grafted plants allowed to recover under specific conditions. This collaboratively developed manual describes major aspects of making grafted vegetable plants, emphasizing research-based information and approaches proven by experience to be reliable. Still, despite much progress in grafting methodology, there are few absolute truths in vegetable grafting and ongoing research and trial and error continue to improve locally-relevant techniques, tools, and knowledge. Therefore, the manual is structured and offered as a “living document” that will be updated as new information and improvements become available. Readers are encouraged to return to this page periodically to check for new manual components.


Continue to the Grafting Manual

Editors: Chieri Kubota(1), Carol Miles(2), and Xin Zhao(3)

Contributors: Chieri Kubota(1),Xin Zhao(3), Carol Miles(2), Matthew D. Kleinhenz(1), Suzette P. Galinato(2), R. Karina Gallardo(2), Erin Rosskopf(4), Cristina Pisani(4),
Francesco Di Gioia(3), Pinki Devi(2), Wenjing Guan(5), Danielle Crow(2),Wuu-Yang Chen(6), Li-Ju Lin(6), and Gregory C. Luther(6)

(1) The Ohio State University, (2) Washington State University, (3) University of Florida, (4) USDA-ARS, Ft. Pierce, FL, (5) Purdue University, (6) World Vegetable Center

Table of Contents

Grafting of vegetable seedlings is a unique horticultural technology that is used worldwide to overcome soil-borne diseases and pests, and/or to increase plant vigor under various environmental stress conditions such as salinity, drought, flooding and low temperature.

Chapter 1. History of Vegetable Grafting
1.1 History of Vegetable Grafting, Synopsis: Grafting is an old and new technology to enhance the sustainability of vegetable crop production. The history of introducing this practice is summarized.

Chapter 2. Principles of Grafting
2.1 Why Graft? Synopsis: Vegetable grafting creates a new plant by combining two plants with different genetic background, with one (scion) providing the shoots and the other the roots (rootstock), combining the desirable traits of both.
2.2 Preparing Seedlings and Rootstocks to Graft, Synopsis: Producing seedlings specifically to prepare grafted plants requires particular attention to procuring space and supplies, timing sowings, disease management, and modulating growth through irrigation, lighting, and temperature regimens.
2.3 GAP and Pathogen Control during Propagation
2.4 Healing and Acclimatization Methods and Design Principles, Synopsis: Healing is the most critical process of vegetable grafting propagation. Close attention to principles of successful healing is needed for good results.
2.5 Transplanting Grafted Plants, Synopsis: After healing, grafted vegetable plants need to be prepared for transplanting to the growing area. This is especially important when planting in open fields. Best practices will vary with conditions.

Chapter 3. Crop Specific Grafting Methods, Rootstocks and Scheduling
3.1 Tomato, Synopsis: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is one of the most important and widely cultivated vegetable crops in the world. Grafting gained popularity as a method to manage soil-borne plant diseases, and to ameliorate certain abiotic stressors affecting tomato.
3.2 Watermelon & Melon, Synopsis: Watermelon grafting became a standard practice to manage disease as early as the 1930s. In addition, grafted plants are also used to manage salinity in soil and irrigation water.
3.3 Eggplant, Synopsis: Grafting eggplant (Solanum melongena) to disease resistant rootstocks is commonly used for disease and abiotic stress management in commercial production. Grafting methods can be adapted to various systems of plant production.
3.4 Pepper, Synopsis: Peppers are annual or perennial vegetable crops in the Solanaceae family, indigenous to Central and South America. Capsicum annuum is the most widely cultivated and economically important species.

Chapter 4. Automation and Controlled Environment Technologies
4.1 Automation in Vegetable Grafting Nurseries, Synopsis: Technologies for nursery automation have been developed to address high labor cost issues in commercial operations. Types of automation in-clude machines to handle most aspects of plant production.

Chapter 5. Designing Logistics/Workflow of Grafting Nurseries
5.1 Designing Logistics/Workflow of Grafting Nurseries, Synopsis: As grafting is primarily an assembly operation, logistics and workflow in the context of labor management are critical considerations for commercial grafting nurseries. These operations need to be optimized to reduce time spent on each step while assuring quality of the end product.

Chapter 6. Cost Analysis
6.1 Cost Analysis for Vegetable Grafting, Synopsis: An overview and some examples of the costs that need to be considered when evaluating the economic feasibility of grafting plants. Regardless of the scale of production, producers face the same major cost categories

Chapter 1. History of Grafting

1.1 History of Vegetable Grafting
Author: Chieri Kubota, The Ohio State University

Chapter 2. Principles of Grafting

2.1 Why Graft?
Authors: Xin Zhao (University of Florida), Carol Miles (Washington State University), and
Chieri Kubota (The Ohio State University)

2.2 Preparing Seedlings & Rootstocks to Graft
Author: Matthew D. Kleinhenz (The Ohio State University)

Other resources

*Young, M.L. and M.D. Kleinhenz. 2010. Seed-to-Grafted-Plant Calculator. The Ohio State University, Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory
*Grafting: Galleries, Publications, Recordings, Tools. The Ohio State University, Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory
*Ivey-Lewis, M.L. 2015. Bacterial disease management of vegetable transplants.
*UMass Amherst. 2015. Vegetable bedding plant production and pest management.
*McGrath, M.T. 2005. Treatments for managing bacterial pathogens in vegetable seed.
*Miller, S.A. and M.L. Lewis-Ivey. 2005. Hot water treatment of vegetable seed to eradicate bacterial plant pathogens in organic production systems. The Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, HYG-3086-05.


2.3 GAP and Pathogen Control during Propagation
Author:

Other resources

*“Quality of planting materials” Chieri Kubota, Astrit Balliu, and Silvana Nicola. In: Good Agricultural Practices for Greenhouse Vegetable Crops. 2013. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 217 (book Chapter)


2.4 Healing and Acclimatization Methods and Design Principles
Authors: Chieri Kubota (The Ohio State University) and Carol Miles (Washington State University)

Other resources

*Vegetable Grafting: The Healing Chamber. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS051E. 3 pages. Published October 2011.
*Grafting Healing Chamber. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. How to construct and manage a healing chamber for grafted vegetables. 2011.
*VIDEO: Build a grafting chamber (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-ghBWKulI4)


2.5 Transplanting Grafted Plants
Authors: Carol Miles (Washington State University) and Xin Zhao (University of Florida)

Other resources

*Transplanting Grafted Plants to the Field. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles,Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Reviews procedures and considerations for transplanting grafted vegetables into the field. 2011.

Chapter 3. Crop Specific Grafting Methods, Rootstocks and Scheduling

3.1 Tomato
Authors: Erin Rosskopf and Cristina Pisani (USDA-ARS, Fort Pierce, Florida) and
Francesco Di Gioia (University of Florida)


3.2.1 Watermelon Grafting Methods
Authors: Carol Miles and Pink Devi (Washington State University), Xin Zhao (University of Florida), and
Wenjing Guan (Purdue University)

Other resources

*“Grafting with vegetable plants” Chieri Kubota. 2014. In: Plant propagation concepts and laboratory exercises 2nd ed. (bookChapter)
*Injertos Hortícolas: SandÍa, Hoja de datos de la Extensión, Universidad Estatal de Washington FS100ES. 7 páginas. Publicado enero 2014.
*“Techniques for melon grafting” Wenjing Guan and Xin Zhao. 2014. UF/IFAS Extension HS1257 (PDF file,http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/
*“Vegetable grafting – hole insertion grafting method” YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0GwgMb0M3Q&nohtml5=False
*“Vegetable grafting – single-cotyledon grafting method” YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxTvFcVYhBI&nohtml5=False
*Vegetable Grafting: Watermelon. WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS100E 7 pages. Published January 2013.
*VIDEO: How to graft cucurbits (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVVM-bUj574)


3.2.2 Rootstock Selection and Other Considerations for Melon and Watermelon
Authors: Xin Zhao (University of Florida) and Wenjing Guan (Purdue University)

3.3 Eggplant
Authors: Carol Miles and Danielle Crow (Washington State University)

Other resources 

*Injerto de Verduras: Berenjenas y Tomates. Hoja informativa de la Universided Estatal de Washington FS052ES. 4 páginas. Publicado agosto 2013.
*Vegetable Grafting: Eggplant and Tomato. WSU Extension Fact Sheet F052E. 4 pages. Published October 2011.
*How to Graft Tomatoes and Eggplant. Sacha Johnson, Carol Miles, Patti Kreider, Jonathan Roozen, Jacky King and Gale Sterrett, Washington State University. Highlights splice grafting for tomato and eggplant, and how to manage newly grafted plants. 2011.

3.4 Pepper
Authors: Wuu-Yang Chen, Li-Ju Lin and Gregory C. Luther (World Vegetable Center, Shanhua, Tainan,
Taiwan)

Other resources

*“Grafting sweet peppers for production in the hot-wet season” Manuel Palada and Dang-Lin Wu. AVRDC Publication number 09-722-e (PDF file: http://203.64.245.61/web_docs/manuals/IntlCoopGuides/grafting%20sweet%20pepper_web.pdf)
style=”text-align: left;”>⚫ VIDEO: How to graft pepper https://youtu.be/cpHYepxLKwQ
*VIDEO: How to graft pepper (French) (https://youtu.be/ryX0dkSQnWY)
*VIDEO: How to graft pepper (Indonesian)(https://youtu.be/8b0v-queWO0)


Chapter 4. Automation in Vegetable Grafting Nurseries

4.1 Automation in Vegetable Grafting Nurseries
Author: Chieri Kubota (The Ohio State University)

Chapter 5. Designing Logistics/Workflow of Grafting Nurseries

5.1 Designing Logistics/Workflow of Grafting Nurseries
Author: Chieri Kubota (The Ohio State University)

Chapter 6. Cost Analysis of Vegetable Grafting

6.1 Cost Analysis for Vegetable Grafting
Authors: Suzette P. Galinato and R. Karina Gallardo (Washington State University)

Other resources

*“Tomato grafting for disease resistance and increased productivity.” Cary Rivard and Frank Louws. 2011 (PDF file;(https://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Fact-Sheets/Tomato-Grafting-for-Disease-Resistance-and-Increased-Productivity)


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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, under award number 2016-51181-25404. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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