Rootstock Selection for Short Season Tomatoes: What to Consider and Recommended Varieties
Rootstock selection is an important part of successful tomato production, especially in short seasons. The RST series, Estamino, and Fortamino are all good choices for shorter growing seasons. Last year, I grew Fortamino but the seeds didn’t do well at all. In Northern California, side grafting wasn’t very successful either. Carbon on Estamino was late to mature. However, RST 106 on large potato leaved types did well when grown in grow bags.
This year, I am considering a few varieties for grafting: Bear Creek, Rebel Yell, Indian Stripe, Spudakee, Dana Dusky Rose, Terhune, Goose Creek, Big Cheef, Cherokee Carbon, Pervaya Lyubov, Bloody Butcher and Brandywine Red (Landis Valley) and Box Car Willie. All will be grown in bags under a plastic covered cattle panel tunnel. Spudakee and Terhune have done well this year with good taste. I haven’t tried most of these varieties before except Rebel Yell and Bear Creek which were both successful in California without grafting.
When selecting rootstock for short season tomatoes it is important to consider early vigor and earliness as well as soil disease prevention. Bill has mentioned that the RST series works better than Estamino in warm long seasons so it may work better for my short Pacific Northwest season too. It also seems larger plants do better with RST while moderate size plants do better with Estamino.
For those looking to start their own tomato production in a short season climate, careful consideration of rootstock is essential for success. Each variety has its own characteristics that should be taken into account when making your decision. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, understanding the differences between each rootstock can help you find the best option for your specific needs.When selecting rootstock for short season tomatoes, it is important to consider the vigor of the variety and its ability to resist soil-borne diseases. Additionally, you should also take into account how early or late each variety matures as well as its size. Finally, if you are side grafting your plants then make sure that the scion and rootstock varieties have compatible sizes so they can be successfully grafted together.
In conclusion, when growing tomatoes in a short season climate careful consideration must be given to which root stock will work best for your specific needs. The RST series may work better than Estamino in warm long seasons but larger plants do better with RST while moderate size plants do better with Estamino. Consideration should also be given to early vigor and earliness as well as soil disease prevention when making your decision on which tomato variety is right for you!
Which rootstock of the RST series is best for shorter seasons?
Estamino and Fortamino are both suitable for shorter seasons. However, Fortamino claims to be better for this purpose.
What varieties worked better depending on rootstock?
It seemed that larger plants did better with RST and Estamino with moderate size but sometimes was same. Bill has mentioned that the RST series was better at short season compared to Estamino.
Are there any differences in the PNW?
Yes, due to the warm long season in the PNW, it may have an effect on the performance of the rootstocks.
What varieties are suitable for growing in bags?
Indian Stripe, Spudakee, Dana Dusky Rose, Rebel Yell, Bear Creek, Goose Creek, Big Cheef, Cherokee Carbon, Pervaya Lyubov, Bloody Butcher, Brandywine Red (Landis Valley), Box Car Willie and Rose De Berne are all suitable for growing in bags.
What varieties have been grown successfully in the PNW?
Spudakee and Terhune have been grown successfully in the PNW and tasted ok. Rebel Yell and Bear Creek have also been grown in California without grafting and were very good.
How should I start grafting these varieties?
To start with you could try grafting Bear Creek and Rebel Yell onto Indian Stripe.
What type of tunnel should I use?
You should use a plastic covered cattle panel tunnel when growing these varieties in bags.