The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Grafting lessons


I finished up the last of the grafting and pruning Wednesday when another round of scionwood came in the mail.  The first pear I frameworked last week has been converted to Seckel, but I frameworked the second pear with two separate varieties.  One was Comice and the other was described as follows:

"I'll also include an unknown pear that was marked as Comice and no one yet even in pear country can identify and most think it is the best they have ever tasted."
--- Darshan

(How could I turn something like that down?)

Stretching parafilm

Meanwhile, I changed two other trees into fruit cocktail trees by grafting a new variety onto one limb apiece.  Both trees were already pretty big, so I don't know how tough it'll be to make sure the newly grafted twigs have adequate growing area, especially since I added a plum limb to a peach in one case.  (I had swapped for plum scionwood thinking I'd add it to Grafting waxmy Methley plum, but she's ailing and might get yanked out, and I didn't want the scionwood to go to waste.)

Here's what I learned during my grafting afternoon:

  • Slowly but surely, I'm getting better at making the right cuts.  It is tougher to graft onto a tree in the ground than to bench graft, though.
  • Grafting knives are sharp!  See bandaid.  (Don't worry, Mom, it's only the equivalent of a paper cut.)
  • Parafilm grafting tape is easiest to use if you prestretch it before starting to bind your grafting wound.
  • Trowbridge's grafting wax is excellent around a little cleft graft and not bad on the tips of scionwood.

Now I just have to pretend to be patient until everything starts to leaf out.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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