- Fruits: melons
- Vegetables: cucurbits, tomatoes
- Crop Production: grafting, greenhouses, high tunnels or hoop houses
Vegetable grafting has been successfully practiced in many Asian and European countries for production of high value vegetable crops in greenhouse and various plastic-houses including high tunnels. Some farmers in Missouri and Kansas have tried planting grafted heirloom tomatoes that had greatly promoted yield and quality. Grafted tomatoes/vegetables are resistant to some critical soil-borne diseases, cold resistant, and vigorous. This technique, however, is new to most agricultural professionals in the United States. There is a need to train educators in this area, especially for vegetable production in high tunnels and solar greenhouses, which offer seasonal extension and save energies. Forty educators from extension, government and other agency personnel will participate in a one-day hands on workshop and a one-day field tour in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The first year workshop and tour will focus on tomato grafting, and the second year workshop and tour will focus on watermelon, cucumber and other vegetable grafting. Participant educators will learn the history and physiology of vegetable grafting; grafting techniques including rootstock and scion selection, various grafting methods, acclimation of grafts, and management of grafted transplants; grafting Robots; the economics of vegetable grafting; and the tour and demonstration of vegetable production with grafted transplants. Educators will be required to organize and present at least one vegetable grafting program in their service region.
Project objectives from proposal:
To train extension educators (horticulture and agronomy) on the emerging vegetable grafting technology and the relevant physiological bases.
The project will be an In-Service Education targeting on training 40 educators from Missouri and Kansas. Participating educators will organize at least one vegetable grafting program in their service region(s).