Grafting Tree Fruits and Some Of Its Benefits
It can be difficult for farmers to earn their livelihoods from growing only grain crops. That’s why it’s good to learn new methods which increase production to farm our own land. One method is by making a nursery to grow improved fruit tree seedlings. This means you can grow tasty and nutritious fruit on your own land, and at the same time sell or trade extra production to earn cash. There are many methods of joining local wild fruit tree rootstock to high producing improved varieties. One of those methods, is called grafting. Grafting is a method of joining the cutting (scion) of an improved variety of fruit tree onto the root (rootstock) of a local compatible variety.
Many garden plants that we love and grow are actually made up of two different plants that have been skilfully joined together by the grower. This grafting has overcome many a propagation problem but it has also given us the opportunity to grow a far greater range of plants in our gardens. This is the benefit of grafted fruit trees to the nurseryman and also to the gardener.
You see, it is all very well finding a new variety as a side shoot of a plant but, if that little piece will not grow roots as a cutting, then the opportunity to propagate it and make it more widely available will be lost. You might think that the answer is to wait for that desirable piece of the plant to produce seeds. Sadly, few plants will be exactly the same when raised from seed and will have reverted to the original unimproved mother plant or will have hybridized into something quite random!
So for hundreds of years, both gardeners and nurserymen have been practicing the age old technique of taking a little piece of a plant and very skillfully attaching it to another so that it grows as one plant. The root part of the plant is called a ‘root stock’ and the little piece that is attached to it is the ‘scion’.
The kind of plants that we take for granted that are regularly grafted include flowers, virtually all fruit trees, many ornamental garden and street trees and a fair few of the most desirable garden shrubs!
- Grafted trees produce fruit quicker. A tree grown from seed may take 8-10 years to fruit, but a grafted tree will only take 2-4 years.
- A tree grown from seed may produce poor tasting fruit. Grafting is done to improve the taste and size of the fruit.
- A tree grown from seed may not produce fruit the same as the tree the seed came from (mother tree). But a grafted tree will be just as good as the tree the cutting (scion) came from.
- A grafted tree will continue to give the same quality fruit for many years.
- Grafted fruit trees can be sold to give an income to the household.
- By producing your own seedlings and fruit, you save money.
- Seedlings can be produced locally, saving time in searching for the right fruit trees to plant
- Some trees end up developing more resistance to diseases and adverse conditions than other trees. This disease resistance and hardiness is transferred from the rootstock (the plant being grafted onto) to the scion (the plant being propagated).
Below are some of the grafted fruit trees that we have. If in need, kindly contact us and we will deliver.
Oranges can be grown from as low as sea level to 200m above sea level. Areas of low humidity are most ideal. Such a climate is important for reduced disease intensity and for acquiring good orange colour. A dry hot day, cool at night climate also favours good color development. Citrus requires temperature ranges from 13oC-38oC. Optimum temperature is 25oC-35oC. Extremely high temperatures may be harmful especially during flowering or if cool temperatures are followed by a hot period. Damage occurs in the form of flower and leaf drop. Wind can also cause serious damage to orange trees and fruits. Hot dry wind will often scorch trees by drying young leaves. Winds of high speeds will scar fruits and cause fruit drop. Where winds are a problem, wind break shelters should be planted
The ideal spot for a mature pawpaw is in a sunny location protected from the wind and endowed with plenty of rich, well-drained soil. The seedling should be protected from direct sunlight for the first year or two, so filter the sun with an open-ended barrel or some netting. After that, full sun is preferred.
Tree Growing papaya trees is generally done from seed that is extracted from ripe fruit. If you are using a fruit from a grocery store, it is most likely going to be a bisexual plant. You should plant several seeds per pot to ensure germination. Under full sunlight, seedlings may emerge in about two weeks. Plants can be set out after they are a foot tall and spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. The seedlings will flower after five or six months.
Pawpaw also grow best in full sun. Papayas like well-drained soil, and because of shallow roots, growing pawpaw trees will not tolerate wet conditions. In addition to proper pawpaw growing conditions, suitable care of pawpaw fruit trees is also important. For pawpaw trees to thrive, they require some fertilizer. Provide young plants fertilizer every 14 days using ¼ pound of complete fertilizer. Fertilize older trees with 1 to 2 pounds of fertilizer once a month. Also, be sure to take a soil sample and amend as necessary.
Grape vines not only produce sweet and versatile fruits, they add an element of drama to a garden or landscape. They are vigorous growers, and with the proper pruning, they will produce fruit with ease and can last longer than 30 years.
The crop prefers warm to hot temperatures; during fruiting, the weather must be sunny and dry. Warm environmental temperatures during fruit ripening, is important in increasing the sugar content of berries while reducing their acidity. This explains why grapes grown under irrigation in hot deserts or semi deserts are sweeter than those from cold humid areas.
The crop can grow in any soil, from sandy to heavy clays but the soil should be deep and well drained. Where the rainfall is scant, supplement it with an irrigation of 500 mm of water during the cropping season. In Kenya, the cropping season is September to March.
Irrigation should be withheld after the long rains so as to force the crop to go dormant.
In August to September, fruit buds form thus it is important to keep the plant healthy and well manured.
There are plenty of health benefits in consuming grapes for they are a rich source of Vitamins- A, C, K and minerals such as iron, copper, manganese.
Soils should be well drained. Wet soils lead to poor aeration and increased incidence of crown rot in apples (Phytophthora cactorum). Generally, rooting tends to be shallow, and wet soils will restrict development, resulting in poor anchorage of the tree and a reduced area of soil from which nutrients can be extracted. Soils with high organic matter contents are normally better structured and allow good rooting.
Irrigation is necessary on dry soils, particularly when establishing and growing young orchards. Trickle irrigation and fertigation are increasingly used. In young orchards fertigation helps increase early tree growth and brings trees into bearing earlier. Sprinkler irrigation can be used to protect the tree buds and fruitlets against frost damage.
Sowing of a grass mulch between the tree rows is common practice, which together with any clippings, helps to increase water holding capacity, infiltration rate, soil aggregation and recycling of nutrients.
Apples prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH between 5.8 and 7.0). Extreme soil pH values result in nutrient tie-up or toxicity and poor tree and fruit development. It is important to amend the pH in acidic soils by incorporating lime before planting