What Does Grafting Mean
What is Grafting
Grafting is the process of attaching two plants together to form a stronger plant that is more productive, less susceptible to insect damage and contains a high disease resistant package.
This is not a GMO process. We are not alternating the DNA of any plants. Just taking the best of two worlds and joining them together within the same plant family.
One disease that soil can develop over time are Fusarium diseases. These diseases attack the plant, not the vegetable/fruit. However, due to the damage of the plant, the vegetable/fruit may never develop, develop correctly or may become susceptible to disease due to the poor health of the plant.
Science has developed root stocks that are resistant to these diseases.
What are Rootstocks
Rootstocks are plants that have been developed to resists diseases, insects and increase productivity. Rootstocks help improve the quality of the vegetable/fruit while allowing farmers to use less pesticides and insecticides, thus improving the health of the vegetable or fruit, thus providing a safer product for human consumption.
In practice, the rootstock is grown like any other plant but when the plant is about six inches tall and first leaves are showing, the leaves are removed, and the plant is cut and grafted to the sicon which is the plant that holds the vegetable or fruity we are desiring.
How to Graft
There are three types of grafting procedures.
However the one we will focus on is the Approach Method.
In the Approach Method, the rootstock and sicon are planted at the same time. We will want out plants to be about the same size when we do our grafting.
Follow the seeds normal planting directions. Plant both the root stock and the sicon at the same time. When the first true leaves are showing on both plants and they are about 4 inches tall, they are ready to graft. On the rootstock plant, remove leaves and cut about an inch off the end of the plant at a 45 degree angel using a very sharp blade of some sort. Take the sicon plant and cut it about 1 to 2 inches above the roots at a 45 degree angel. Discard the roots. Attach both pieces together with a grafting clip: either silicon which falls away automatically or a spring loaded clip which has to be removed manually. From this point grow them as you normally would but keep a dome on them until you remove the grafting clip.
Grafted Root SystemClick thumbnail to view full-size
In the pictures right you can see what a plant looks like that has been grafted. The root system is larger a grows deeper sucking up water and nutrients deep in he soil instead of at he surface.
In December 2014 we will start to plant some seeds so we can graft them and get better pictures.
This hub is sponsored by David's Garden Seeds and Products.