My personal tomato tester
I’m playing experimental gardener for Susan, who had no room in her own garden for a newfangled grafted tomato plant and its non-grafted cousin.
One of the plants is a hybrid Big Beef tomato; the other is a Big Beef that has been grafted onto another, unidentified tomato variety that is said to be extremely vigorous.
Marketed under the name Mighty ‘Mato, the grafted plants are said to combine the best of heirloom and hybrid taste with better resistance to diseases, pests, drought and other environmental stresses.
The makers of the Mighty ’Mato have asked gardening writers (or their brown-thumbed surrogates, if need be) to try out the grafted and non-grafted tomato plants in side-by-side tests.
I’m afraid the plants I received were wilting by the time they got out of their shipping box and into my home. The Mighty ’Mato was the limper of the two, so I had to trim quite a few leaves. I got the plants in the ground just in time for a week of torrid weather. The good news: They’re still alive.
The grafted plant is supposed to have two to three times the yield of the regular Big Beef.
As the plants grow, I’ll report back here on their progress. Stay tuned.