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

Rooting figs and grafting mulberries

Fig cuttingI haven't been the only one having fun with grafting and rooting this year --- two of our readers emailed this week with updates on experiments of their own.  Brian wrote in to say that he ended up with accidentally-rooted fig cuttings in his Tennessee garden:

"I thought you might enjoy this.  I was working in the yard this weekend and saw some small fig leaves on the ground.  I looked closer and it appears the cuttings I took and cut into smaller pieces and threw on the ground  (per Michael Phillips in the Holistic Orchard) just behind where the trees in pots were.  The wood mulch ended up covering some of the cuttings and they formed roots and began to grow in the mulch.  I ended up digging up and potting 5 in total."

(I would have put an exclamation point at least somewhere in that paragraph, so I'll add two here for you to use as you see fit --- !!)

Brian also had quite good success with his more intentional grafting and rooting efforts, managing to salvage some very subpar cuttings I sent him.  His only real failure was trying to graft hardwood cuttings onto a peach --- my understanding is that peaches are best budded in the summer, although I've never tried it myself.

Grafted mulberryMeanwhile, you may recall Gary, who is experimenting with propagating Illinois Everbearing mulberries.  The cuttings that callused for him didn't end up rooting, but he had much better luck with grafting Illinois Everbearing onto wild red mulberries around his farm.  He wrote:

"If you recall I originally wanted to test if I could graft Illinois Everbearing onto common red mulberry rootstock.  The red mulberry volunteers grow in about all fence rows here in Ohio thanks to their popularity with the birds.  I had read online about grafting [Illinois Everbearing] onto white mulberry rootstock but not much info on grafting onto red mulberry.  From what I could read, [Illinois Everbearing] is a hybrid between white and red.  I grafted the [Illinois Everbearing] scionwood onto 2 red mulberry volunteers.  One of those two experiments has taken.  I have included a photo of the progress to date.  I even have a couple of berries on the shoots that have set, so I am looking forward to comparing the flavor difference between the [Illinois Everbearing] and the wild red mulberries."

I owe you updates on my own rooting and grafting experiments (which have been a mixed bag, but with some great successes).  That will have to wait for another post, though.  In the meantime, I hope you'll be inspired by these two success stories to give home-propagation of woody perennials a try.

Our chicken waterer makes care of your backyard flock so easy, you have time to take up another grafting.

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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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I just found this article online. Is it saying you tried grafting common backyard mulberries? Was it successful? I am guessing that part didn't work because you would suggest Mom do that here if it was. Still thought it worth asking.

Do you have a Meyer lemon? Did you know you can graft multiple kinds of oranges and limes on that tree? I am still researching for our lime.

Comment by Maggie Fri Mar 31 11:55:46 2017

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