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

Successful persimmon grafting

Persimmon graft success

Young American persimmonAbout a month ago, I grafted named varieties onto our seedling American persimmons. I used two different techniques, whip grafting the hard-to-get-to plants up in the powerline pasture and bark grafting the more accessible plants where our pullets and cockerels are currently grazing. Since I'm a lazy farmer whenever possible, I'd only been watching the accessible plants, and was disappointed to see that one piece of scionwood had broken off and that the other two pieces of scionwood showed no signs of life.

But when the weeds in the powerline pasture got tall enough to make it worthwhile to tether our goats up on the hill, I brought along the camera and took a look at the whip-grafted persimmons. The result? 75% success, which is pretty awesome for this notoriously difficult-to-graft species!

Goat grazing in high weeds

Goat and roosterNow, if only I hadn't tethered Artemesia quite so close the the Yates persimmon, bringing my success rate on that hillside back down to 50%....

On the plus side, I still have hopes that some more of the grafted persimmons might sprout from the scionwood later this summer. After all, the scionwood on three trees looks good...just seemingly dormant. But if I was going to repeat my endeavor, based on this data, I'd go entirely for whip grafts in the future.

Since it looks like all of the seedling rootstock is still alive, I should get a second chance on those trees, snipping scionwood off the successful grafts and adding them to the unsuccessful trees next spring. In the meantime, I'll be babying our successful grafts and hoping for fruits as early as 2018...if Artemesia keeps her mouth to herself.

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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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