How to graft

How to graft

Grafting is a vegetative plant propagation technique, quite difficult and complex for a beginner. An experienced farmer or nurseryman knows how to graft a plant in the most correct way and achieve the desired effect. In fact, it involves taking two plants, even of different species (belonging to the same genus and the same family), one of which will provide the root system (rootstock) and the other the aerial part (graft). Grafting aims to improve the plant or make it resistant to disease. How to graft? There are various types of grafting (depending on whether a bud or a portion of a branch is used as a graft to insert with appropriate cuts of the rootstock), bud, wedge, split, etc., and for each technique and for each plant there are it’s the ideal period, connected to the vegetative cycle of the plant itself. The bud grafting is widely practiced in fruit growing and is practiced on young plants. Sometimes to favor the engraftment of the graft, a healing and protective lymph, called mastic, is spread on the contact surface, which prevents the development of diseases or the attack of bacteria.

How to graft roses

The grafting of roses takes place between two rose plants, one robust and resistant, with a good root system, called rootstock, and one of the chosen variety, called nesto. With this technique, the best characteristics of the two plants are exploited. Roses can be grafted in the vegetative period, from May to June, using the scudetto technique with vegetating bud, or in September with the scudetto technique with dormant bud. During the vegetative period, the bark detaches more easily from the wood so the chances of success increase. With a very sharp cutter, a T-shaped incision is made in the rootstock and gently open the flaps of the bark, revealing the underlying wood. The branch to be grafted is chosen, healthy, free from defects and of the preferred variety. The branch is cleaned, the thorns and leaves at the petiole are removed, then, by means of an incision in the bark, the bud is isolated (making sure that in the lower part it is attached to the wood), then inserting it into the T-shaped incision of the rootstock. The two parts are tied with raffia so that they remain well adherent.

How to graft a screw

In a vineyard it is important to select the right grape variety for your needs. In this case, the chosen species can be grafted onto a wild plant, which produces poor quality grapes, but which is resistant to phylloxera attacks. The wild vine becomes the rootstock, while the selected vine becomes the graft. With the vine the grafts can be of two types, woody and herbaceous. The woody one can be totally split if the trunk is not very thick. In the rootstock a central split is made in which to insert a vine shoot between two nodes (two buds), wedge-shaped; with simple or double split if the trunk has larger dimensions, a lateral cut is made on which to insert the scion. The material to be grafted must be taken with pruning, usually in the winter months and stored well until March, best time for grafting. After joining the two parts, they must be sealed with putty and wrapped with special adhesive tape. The herbaceous grafting, in some areas, is carried out in summer, on young plants. The two parts are cut diagonally and joined by means of putty and adhesive tape.

How to graft citrus fruits

Citrus plants, very common in the hot and sunny Mediterranean area, reproduce mainly by grafting. From a seed it is possible to obtain a citrus plant, but if you want juicy fruit, of good quality, it must necessarily be grafted. Lemon or orange plants are chosen as rootstock. The best time is late winter-spring, depending on the technique chosen. The technique to be used is split, gem, crown, triangle, even if the chosen one is the crown one. With this technique, the scions, 10-15 centimeters long, are inserted between the bark and the woody part of the rootstock, and subsequently are tied with raffia. The scions, taken from one-two-year-old trees, harvested in autumn, when they are not in the vegetative phase, but in the resting phase, must have firm buds. Before grafting, the mother plant must be cleaned of all the twigs and shoots at the base, so that the sap is directed exclusively to the graft point. With the grafting technique it is possible to grow two or more varieties of citrus fruits on the same tree.

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