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In the refinement, two different plants are put together to form a new one. As a propagation method, it is used, for example, in many ornamental shrubs that do not reliably form roots as cuttings.
Many fruit trees and some types of vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers, however, are mainly refined to optimize their growth characteristics. Apple trees, for example, are often refined on special, weakly growing rootstocks, so that they do not grow so large and bear fruit at an early age. In the case of vegetables, on the other hand, particularly vigorous and disease-resistant plants are required as processing materials: tomatoes are usually used for the variety 'Vigomax' and for cucumbers the fig leaf pumpkin. Refined tomatoes are not only significantly more productive, but also less prone to root problems such as nematodes and cork root disease.
Incidentally, there are special propagation sets for tomatoes in the specialist trade: they contain the seed of the processing base and thin ceramic sticks to stabilize the processing station. In the following we will show you how to proceed with the refining of tomatoes.
Step by step: How to refine your tomatoes
Cut off the root pad above the cotyledons (left) and carefully push the rod about half way into the stem (right)
Sow the desired tomato variety about a week before the vigorous rootstock variety 'Vigomax', so that both plants are about equally strong at the time of refining. Refinement is when both plants have three to four well-developed leaves. First, cut the rootstock with a clean, very sharp knife or a razor blade above the cotyledons horizontally. The ceramic sticks are included in the finishing set - they are inserted about halfway into the remaining drive piece.
Now the desired type of tomato is placed on the ceramic stick (left). Put a bell jar or plastic hood over the freshly processed tomatoes until it grows (right)
Cut the stem of the noble variety also with a knife or a razor blade and push the shoot straight on the stick, so that the two cut surfaces are as congruent as possible and have a large contact surface. The treatments are moistened with a nebulizer and then kept in a light, warm place under foil or under a glass dome. If the plant expels vigorously, the refinement has grown. You can now remove the evaporation protection and look forward to a rich tomato harvest!