It used to be a dilemma whether or not to use bought vegetable plants or stick to the purist approach of growing everything from seed. I used to stick to the latter as it was more satisfying to control the whole cycle from scratch: from sowing tiny seeds to cooking the harvested vegetables months later.
But when you see the prolific crops and big, healthy fruits on professionally-grown plants it smacks you in the face that you’re not necessarily enjoying the best outputs with certain crops. Tomatoes are a prime example in my own case. They’re an important grow for me as I love eating them, so want as many as possible.
Grown from seed the results have usually been OK, sometimes good, other times poor. But I now always buy half a dozen grafted plants from one of the big suppliers (usually Suttons or Marshalls). Started off in optimal conditions, they don’t get leggy from hunting for light, don’t miss out on water occasionally when something interrupts and, by grafting a high quality variety onto a vigorous stem they’re almost guaranteed to be great.
Certainly it’s a more expensive approach: three Crimson Plum and three Crimson Cherry cost a total of £18 for the six plants. But that has bought (a) great crops and (b) not having to struggle to bring on any weak seed-started plants. They happen to be blight-resistant varieties too.
So today I’ve potted them on and placed them in one of the plastic greenhouses. Just a few months of drooling now before they hit the plate 🙂