Friday, 13 February 2009

Whip & Tongue Action

I've now finished grafting some of the Dabinett scions onto four of the MM106 rootstocks. I decided there was absolutely no need to do this outside in the cold, so the task was completed in the warm comfort of the kitchen. Karen made herself scarce as sharp slivers of wood pinged off the walls, making the floor a dangerous place for bare feet. The technique I used is known as Whip & Tongue (whoever thought that one up must still be chuckling in their grave), whereby matching diagonal cuts are made on the rootstock and scion, with an additional notch to help the graft hold together. It seemed to go quite well, and as a first attempt unsupervised, I'll be more than happy if just one of my efforts comes to fruition.

The equipment I used was an Opinel No.7 Knife, my trusty Felco Secateurs, an anti-bacterial wipe, and several strips of polythene cut from a freezer bag. This last item is used to bind the graft and prevent it drying out whilst healing. For a fuller explanation of the techniques used in grafting I would recommend Stephen Hayes excellent Fruitwise Video Guides.

There's a spare rootstock which I'll be planting out, or 'Stooling' to hopefully create more rootstock for next year's grafting, more of which later...

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