[NAFEX] tree gooseberries (and grafting)
Kieran &/or Donna
holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Oct 29 23:27:55 EDT 2009
In researching gooseberries I found that UK nurseries often sell grafted gooseberries to save space in tiny English gardens.
In doing grafts, I find that two kinds work best for me. With a bark graft I don't even have to think about matching scions, and get a very high % of takes. It takes dormant small scions in the refrigerator and larger actively growing rootstocks in the ground. I make a long tail on the scion and slit the bark on the stock, which needs to be slipping. Second best for me is a simple splice graft. I used to make long cuts, thinking the more contact I could get the better. But they seem to do pretty well with a shallower angle too. I have pretty well given up on the backcut to make the "tongue" that is so popular in illustrations, as it's a great way to slice yourself severely. I got to see some professionals in action, and they had their fingers wrapped in layers of masking tape to prevent accidents.
I used to have terrible results grafting, till T.O. Warren's wonderful article on the subject appeared in Pomona years ago. He said that a good sharp knife, healthy scions and vigorous rootstocks were all you really needed to ensure good results. I have found this to be the case. Keep in mind that a dry season can cause failures that you may blame on yourself. Water rootstocks the week before if you are concerned. Good luck! Donna
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