[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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