Starting Your Own Fruit Trees Written by Thomas Leo Ogren
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Budding Just a little here on budding. In zones 3-8 most budding is done in May,. June or early July. The easiest method is shield budding. A T cut is made on rootstock stem, cutting through outer bark and cambium, down to hardwood.. Next you cut a thin, shield-shaped slice of wood (from scion wood of cultivar you wish to bud), containing one dormant bud. This shield will be about 3/4th of an inch long. This bud is then inserted in T cut under bark of seedling rootstock. I use thin, clear plastic tie tape to wrap bud up tightly. I will sometimes cut a tiny slice in middle of tape and wrap tape over tip of bud itself, which should just peak out of sliced portion of tape. The tape serves to keep bud in close contact with rootstock and also to keep bud graft from drying out. Keep an eye on budded stem for several weeks and by then if bud and shield are still plump and green, consider it a take. Cut off rest of stem half an inch above new bud graft, and this will force new bud. Budding is not quite as easy to do as grafting, at least not at first. It has several advantages though. You can bud when weather is nice and if bud doesnít take, you can try it all over again in a different spot. Budding is easiest on thicker rootstocks. I find that for me I have best luck budding roses, apples, pears and apricots. Plums can be a little trickier. Cherries, by way, are considerably more difficult to graft and bud than are other stone fruits. If you are lucky enough to know an old gardener who knows how to graft, ask him or her to show you how to cut your scions. A little practice always helps as does a sharp knife. There are many books with drawings of cleft grafts and these too can be used as guides. It may sound a tad snobby, but once you can graft your own fruit trees, you join a rather select group. Almost all gardeners know what grafting is, but not that many actually know how to do it right. One last thought: cleft grafting is also easy to do on existing dormant fruit trees. There is no reason you canít graft some different varieties on each of your trees. I have an apple tree with about a dozen kinds of apples on it and a pear tree that has five kinds of pear, plus quince and apple growing on it. I also have almonds growing on one branch of a plum tree, four kinds of plums on another tree, and both plum and nectarine on apricot tree in my front yard. I have five kinds of roses budded on climbing rose that grows on my front porch. I guess my plants are all mixed up, but then, what can you expect from an old guava thief?
Tom Ogren is author of Allergy-Free Gardening, and, Safe Sex in Garden, both by Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California.
Tom Ogren's newest book, 2004, is, What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn, from Time Warner Books.
Insecticides & Fungicides/Spreader-stickers, Wetting Agents: Getting the most out of Your SpraysWritten by Thomas Ogren
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What was difference? Both sprays did keep deer from eating roses, for awhile. The spray with soap resulted in roses that were not eaten for six nights following spraying. Deer did not eat roses sprayed with sticker spreader mix for 15 nights. It seemed obvious to me that sticker-spreader had indeed locked smelly spray material onto roses better than had soap. Sticker spreader is sometimes used to make leaves on foliage plants shinier, and this works pretty well, too. If, for example, you are just spraying your roses with insecticidal soap (for aphids) and a little baking soda (for rust and mildew control) mixed with water and a bit of sticker-spreader, youíll immediately notice that spray does stick to leaves better and it also make them shine. Spreader-stickers can also have somewhat of a synergistic affect when used with insecticides. It not only helps insecticide adhere better to plant surfaces but it also helps insecticide penetrate bodies of insects it contacts. Perhaps most importantly, spreader-sticker also protects insecticide or fungicide from washing off in rain and from breakdown from sunlight. I think I paid less than five dollars for a pint of spreader-sticker at a local nursery. A little bit goes a long way, so it seems inexpensive enough. Some of insecticides I like most, organic botanical-based ones such as Neem are kind of pricey, and using sticker-spreader gets me more bang for my buck.
Tom Ogren is a nationally know gardener and has appeared numerous times on HGTV. His website is www.allergyfree-gardening.com