In last night’s Goodstream I talked about the many things you can do with grafting and answered questions about the practice:
It was a good stream with a lot of information. It’s grafting season. As I wrote in yesterday’s newsletter:
When I was a kid my parents gave me a copy of Florida Gardening by Stan DeFreitas. I read it from cover to cover, multiple times, soaking up all the information I could.
I loved that book, and I still have the copy they gave me.
But there was one part in it that I read and thought “okay, that’s too hard!”
It was the part on grafting.
It wasn’t until last decade that I performed my first graft. It just seemed hard to me, and weird, and like something a super expert scientist would do, rather than a practice for backyard gardeners.
Now, however, I graft whenever I want, adding peaches to plums, changing the varieties on apples and pears, popping crabapple branches onto cultivated apple trees in order to increase pollination – it’s easy! It’s fun! It’s useful!
I just had to have someone get me started. Once I started, I lost my fear.
Grafting allows you to do things you never thought you could do.
For example, if you start apple trees from seed and you aren’t sure if they’ll make good apples or not, all you need to do is graft on a twig from an apple tree you love and you’ve converted that seedling into that variety. Heck, if you have a crabapple in your yard, you can cut a little piece of wood off your neighbor’s Gala apple and graft it onto one of the branches… and that branch will produce Gala apples from then on.
You can add Bartlett, Pineapple, Shinseiki and Flordahome pear wood onto the branches of your non-productive flowering pear and grow four different types of fruit on it.
You can take that sour orange tree in your backyard and turn it into a Navel orange. Grafting makes it happen!
Five years ago I recorded a fun and simple video demonstrating three different grafting methods, step-by-easy-step – you can watch it for free on YouTube:
That video will teach you a lot in under an hour – I’m rather proud of how it turned out.
Also, my book Free Plants for Everyone has a good bit on grafting as well as a lot of other interesting plant propagation methods.
As for the Goodstream last night, that gave me a chance to answer lots of audience questions. I’m going to do more streams as I have time. Spring is in the air and gardening is hot!