This is a test. This is only a test. This is a test of the emergency germination system.

For a description of my tomato grafting experiment, click on <About> at the top of the page. If you don’t read that you will be quite sure I am nuts. You may decide that anyway.

OK, so what I am really doing here is both a germination test and a growth test. There are four kinds of tomatoes here, and I planted six seeds of each. (Which any grad student will tell you is too small a sample for a meaningful germination test. I know, I know.) The ones on the left are Beaufort, a rootstock tomato. The other three are heirloom varieties that will get grafted onto the Beauforts. It’s surprising that the poorest germination is Green Zebra, which last year gave me 98% germination.

The other thing I’m doing is figuring out, which is even more important, how fast each variety grows. Successful tomato grafting, which is done when the seedlings get their second set of true leaves, requires stems that are very close to the same diameter. So far it looks as though Beaufort needs to be sown several days — perhaps even a week — earlier than the heirlooms so its stems will match. The seed breeder, De Ruiter (Netherlands) said this might be the case, but I wanted to check it out for myself.

It’ll be interesting to see if Beaufort catches up. It is famous for putting out a huge root system, which might allow it to put on a growth spurt before second true leaf stage. We’ll see.