Monday, January 16, 2012

Annual Scion Exchange at the California Rare Fruit Growers Mtg!

I was very excited to go to the Annual Scion Exchange at the California Rare Fruit Growers meeting at the Arboretum. My Mom and I learned the basics of grafting. We also got a LOT of new types of scion cuttings! For peaches, we got Pilgrim, Eva's Pride,  Stark Saturn, Red Baron and also a Goldmine Nectarine. We got a Mutsu apple scion, and for persimmon, we got the Fuyu, as our tree is a Jiro(although the tag said Fuyu!) We also got some Chaya and Dragon Fruit cuttings along with a pink Amaryllis bulb. I also got a Cuban Oregano, which I've tried growing before, but it was killed by frost. Perhaps, I'll try to keep them alive like the Basil, keep them in a vase of water until the frost is over.

Chaya and Dragon Fruit cuttings along with a pink Amaryllis.
Chaya has some beneficial properties, but it must be cooked for at least 20 min to break the glucoside which can release the cyanide.

wikipedia: "Chaya is a good source of proteinvitaminscalcium, and iron; and is also a rich source of antioxidants.[8] However, raw chaya leaves are toxic as they contain a glucoside that can release toxic cyanide. Cooking is essential prior to consumption to inactivate the toxic components; in this chaya is similar tocassava, which also contains toxic hydrocyanic glycosides and must be cooked before being eaten."
Fortunately, I had a spare peach tree we had grown from seed, sitting in the back against the house, so I took it as an opportunity to practice this new-found knowledge! I grafted 8 branches with 4 varieties, 2 scions of each: Pilgrim, Eva's Pride, Stark Saturn(white fleshed, donut type), and Goldmine Nectarine. I'll do the Red Baron tomorrow. I hope at least some of them take! The peach tree we grew from seed is a mystery tree, it hasn't borne fruit yet as it is just turning 3 years this spring. In Japanese proverbs, they say, "Peach, Chestnut 3 years, Persimmon 8 years" 「桃栗3年柿8年」 So, we're hoping to get some blossoms this year from both peaches, this one and Alauria, the front yard peach, which we didn't touch for this grafting.

They showed us by using Medical Parafilm and wrapping that on the young scion-wood first (this keeps the scion from drying out), then cutting a wedge on the end of the scion, and making a cut on the parent plant and splitting the cut and shoving the wedge in and making sure the green live parts are matching, and taping it some more with the Parafilm. Once that's done, they told us to use a rubber band the split parent wood so that the joining tissues are tight. The tip they gave us about the Parafilm: "Don't cut holes out for the new buds when the graft takes! It will dessicate the scion and kill it! The new growth will push out without any help and by then the graft will be well established. The rubber band will fall apart on it's own about the same time as when the branch growth would need more expansion."

I'd like to hear your grafting tips, what works great for you and what doesn't. :-)


Mr. H. said...

How exciting, hopefully all of your grafts will take and make for some very interesting fruit trees.

Ngo Family Farm said...

How exciting! I hope your grafted peach tree thrives and you have lots of fruit in the coming years :) I LOVE dragonfruit! Sometimes our Asian market has it here, but it doesn't compare at all to the ones I tasted in Vietnam. How wonderful that you're able to grow it.

AJK said...

Thanks for stopping by Jaime! :)
We shall see if the dragonfruit will produce any fruit later on...they bloom at night, so we'll have to go out and pollinate them, but they're not self-fertile, so I may need another cultivar. I do have a neighbor growing their own plant(no fruit yet), so perhaps I can ask for a cutting. We've never had a "good" dragonfruit EVER, since I've only had them from the Asian markets and they are not impressive in their flavor. I'm growing them more for curiosity and hoping to get a good ripe fruit someday. :-)

AJK said...

Thanks Mr. H! I do home the grafts take, it's my first try, so I'm bumbling with all the parafilm and grafting knife and other tools, I cut my finger but didn't bleed so that was good. I'd like to hear other people's methods of grafting, it's so diverse! said...

Good grafting tips are hard to come by. I cant wait to give this a try! We have two peach trees that we planted almost two years ago. The first one has not produced yet, and the second one produced immediately (very good Evas Pride) and now its all full of buds and blooms so I think its going to produce its 2nd year also! Cant wait!