Grafted Heirloom Tomato Plant Sale

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Extension Master Gardener Chatham County Logo

The Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Chatham County are again offering an online grafted tomato sale while supplies last. Plants are $6 each and are available to order now. Plants can be picked up by appointment at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center on May 3rd and 4th, 2024.

Many gardeners prefer the flavors of open-pollinated or heirloom varieties. However, often these cultivars lack the disease-resistance common in modern hybrid varieties developed with traditional breeding methods. Fungal diseases, bacterial diseases, and nematodes can make growing heirloom varieties challenging. But what if you could have the disease resistance of hybrid varieties with the flavor profiles of heirlooms? Enter grafted heirloom tomatoes!

Grafting involves joining a disease-resistant rootstock to a tasty scion, resulting in two genetically distinct individuals becoming one physiological individual.

Among the more pernicious soil-borne diseases of tomatoes is southern bacterial wilt. Somewhat  common in our soils, there is no treatment except by planting resistant cultivated varieties (cultivars).

The varieties selected are grafted onto ‘Shin Cheong Gang’ rootstock, which is resistant to bacterial wilt, Fusarium wilt, Fusarium crown rot, Fusarium root rot, Rhizoctonia, tomato mosaic virus, and nematodes.

Scion Cultivars Available (all indeterminate):

‘Black Cherry’ –The only truly black cherry tomato. Vigorous plants yield huge clusters of one-inch round deep mahogany-brown fruits. They are delicious with sweet, rich, complex full tomato flavor. This five-foot plant produces consistently throughout the summer. Cherry tomatoes are easier to grow than larger cultivars. 

‘Chocolate Stripe’ – Juicy and well balanced, these maroon colored tomatoes feature attractive green stripes. They are a taste-test winning variety, having a complex flavor and are great for slicing.

‘San Marzano’  – A high-quality strain of this classic heirloom tomato, it is considered one of the best paste tomatoes of all time, with an old-world look and taste. Whole 4–6 oz. tomatoes peel easily and cook down quickly. The strain originates from Parma, Italy, and has a very traditional San Marzano shape and appearance and vibrant red color.

‘Cherokee Purple’  – A beloved heirloom as valuable for its flavor as it is for its unusual look. When ripe, the Cherokee Purple tomato has a dark, dusty rose color with green-tinged shoulders. They are very sweet and have a rich, almost smoky flavor. The fruit is large and refreshingly acidic, thick-skinned with an earthy, lingering flavor. Cherokee Purple is indeterminate, so it is growing and setting new fruit all summer long. You will find it very easy to grow.

To Order

Please read carefully before clicking on the order form below.

Complete the order form.

  • Plants are $6 each. This project helps raise funds for horticultural education programs for adults and children.
  • Payment is due at pick-up. Bring exact change or make checks payable to Chatham County, with N.C. Cooperative Extension in the memo.
  • Pick-up times will be scheduled by appointment on May 3rd and 4th. We will send an email to you by mid April with a link to sign-up for a time slot on one of those dates.
  • Plants that are not claimed will be re-sold.