Parafilm issues

Hi Lucky. I’ve never used “M”. And, like my original post says, I’ve had good and bad days with the Parafilm Grafting Tape.

Like you, I never depend on the parafilm to do the holding; to me it’s for sealing only. I’ll often wrap with a grafting rubber first and then overwrap with parafilm, or some similar approach.

This time I felt it was necessary to cover the parafilm with wax just to be sure it stayed stuck!

Well explained @Lucky_P. I also is a fan of parafilm M. I also do not use parafilm to secure graft unions. I prefer Temflex (or green garden tape if I run out of Temflex)

I have never had an issue with it breaking down too soon but New England sun is not that intense anyway.

@AJfromElmiraNY, my peach grafts have not pushed through too early, either.

3 Likes

One place is the best for price, 22 bucks. Well worth it.
The perforated version will last you a long time. It seems pricey but not really as you’ll use less of this and a roll can last 2-3 seasons depending on how much you graft.

I think the perforated is perfect. It makes you stretch it correctly as you get tired of grabbing a 2nd piece.

But if you prefer a solid roll, you can get that too.
It’s a lot more popular! I tried it, back to perforated for me. Which is ironic as I hated the stuff when I first tried it. Then I began to see the merit in the perforations. I tend to waste too much, the perforated prevents that from happening and reminds you to apply properly stretched. It’s hard to break the non-perforated tape. It stretches 8 times it’s length, and will if you don’t cut it… Whatever you cut it with, better be sharp.

Parafilm was never meant for grafting. This tape was designed for grafting. The scion can breath through buddy tape, yet it’s water proof. No water in, no water out. It lasts longer than parafilm and gives you a few extra days for graft to take before scion is a goner. This has been my experience. I get a hell of a lot more takes, and with peaches. And you need all the help you can get. This is where I noticed a huge difference. A lot more peach grafts took for me. I’m totally sold. Try it at least, then decide for yourself. Fruitnut also is a fan. He is a professional as far as grafting.

It’s best to buy way before the season. In spring they were out for a long time, they have more now. The two versions are Sumo Bonsai’s #1 and #2 best seller in Bonsai supplies. They sell a roll every other day. (14 rolls sold in the last 30 days).

7 Likes

As a second year grafter, I can only give you a couple of observations:

  1. “Normal” parafilm was much more difficult to work with than parafilm M. I am curious about Buddy Tape and will give it a try next year.
  2. Temflex is fabulous. Many more takes with Temflex than without. I think the key factor is the ability to get much tighter compression on the graft unions.
1 Like

I’ve only used the “grafting” type parafilm, and only partway through my first roll. I mostly like it, but there seem to be short stretches of the roll that are a lot weaker than others, which is unpredictable and frustrating. That being said, I think it performs well otherwise as a cover for the scion and initial wrap for the union, which I’ve been overwrapping with half-width strips of electrical tape (better control and compression in my limited experience).

I graft in the unheated 2nd story of our garage. I fire up a propane heater to keep warm and with the “cheap” parafilm I pass my strip over the top of the heater just before I wrap the graft. It softens up nicely for stretching and sticking. @39thparallel, Mike what do you wrap your bench grafts with? I was impressed with how waxy it was as well as the amount of oil it left on my fingers when I peeled it off in the summer.

1 Like

I use the grafting parafilm, the one inch stuff. It seems like on warm days it is great and on cold days it breaks too much. May be worth putting in a warm spot before grafting on a colder day. And keep the roll in a warm pocket outside.

5 Likes

That is likely key - and something I didn’t think of while working on my apple the other day.

I’d purchased new parafilm this year, the same pack of 1/2" & 1" as I’d had before which was fine for my purposes (pf first then rubber splicing over). But when we did some Juneberry field grafts last week I found as others mentioned - it didn’t stretch well nor stick like the old batch, which was irritating when I expected it to hold the graft somewhat while I wrapped the splicing tape. But I also hadn’t considered the temperature! Since we normally graft the end of May on a relatively warm day I hadn’t had this issue before. The only reason we were grafting now in the cold was that the Juneberry scions I’d received from NPGS were growing. I don’t expect to do this again (it really is too cold, 20 this am) but if I do I’ll keep the tape in an inside pocket. Thanks for the tip. Sue

1 Like

I use 1/2 inch parafilm to wrap scions. I use cheap 1/2 inch 4 mil vinyl budding tape to wrap tee buds and any other grafts. Cost $32.50 for 10 rolls of 300 feet. Bought 20 rolls this year and sold 18 rolls and a $3 florist knife to beginning grafters for $3 tape, $3 florist knife and $6 shipping as a service to beginners. I have a roll of 4 inch parafilm which I use to cover the stump on bark grafts. Have tried buddy tape and like vinyl tape better, cheaper too. IMHO.

Have a couple friends who graft and each one does it a little different. One uses parafilm and rubber bands. The other uses parafilm, green heavy vinyl tape and masking tape. One likes buddy tape and twists it at the end to get a tight wrap. Ed keeps asking me if I like buddy tape. One cleft grafts everything. I tee bud or chip bud everything unless the root stock is too big and then I bark graft. I cleft graft only kumquats unless absolutely necessary. I keep asking one friend why he doesn’t chip bud and he keeps cleft grafting! All are successful.

2 Likes

I use 3-4 layers of Parafilm on the benchgrafts then dip in wax (about 50% bees wax, %50 soy wax)

2 Likes

I generally use the poly grafting tape and wax from A.M Leonard company. But, one year, I couldn’t find where I’d placed my tape, and just cut strips from the topsoil bags I wwas filling pots with.
It worked, over 80% success, little difference from the grafting tape.

1 Like

Yes we all have to find what works for us. Like my hands tend to cramp in my old age. Any fine detail work is near impossible for me. So the simpler the technique the better.
All I’m saying is to try buddy tape before you write it off.

1 Like

That makes little sense to me? It sticks better than parafilm. No need at all to twist it.
I guess if using to replace vinyl tape to make tight, but I would not use buddy tape to make grafts tight. That is not it’s purpose. A waste of expensive tape.
I myself do not like vinyl tape at all. I tried your kit one year and it was fine, but I never used the vinyl tape. Way to hard to secure. Keeps unwrapping, I hated it. Again as mentioned I have problems with my hands. Buddy tape stays where it is put. Although I would never use buddy tape in place of vinyl. It’s not for securing grafts tight, it’s used just like parafilm is used. Which is to keep scion alive as long as possible. That is the reason and buddy tape will way outperform parafilm in that respect.
I like to secure my grafts with rubber electrical tape, it stretches well and holds grafts tighter than anything else I tried. Holds onto graft, never unravels. Again what works for you is great. I graft in the field only, and room around graft to properly apply tapes can be very limited. I need a product that works even if you can’t apply even pressure or keep it tight at all times. I found buddy tape and rubber electrical a combo that can’t be beat for my needs. ,

3 Likes

Buddytape manufacturers themselves recommend twisting it to make a strong rope. I just started carrying just one roll of buddy tape and one knife to the field for grafting. No rubber bands, Nothing else. Makes the process so simple. Try it!

I’ve tried it with parafilm and it doesn’t work.

That’s not too much to pay if you really like the stuff and it works as you say (and I assume it does!) But do tell me this: when you buy the perforated how long is it between perforations before stretching?

I’ll go ahead and order some. Thanks for the links.

1 Like

That’s been my experience as well. Warm it before using, perhaps just by letting it lie in the sun for a few minutes, and it works fine. When cold, it’s frustratingly brittle.

About 2.inches, maybe three?. I don’t have any right now, else I would measure it. Which should stretch to over 16 inches according to the supply place. Usually I don’t get beyond 10-12 inches, plenty for one scion. This is when i realized I was not stretching the parafilm enough either.
All gardening is local, and what works one place sometimes don’t work at others. Here everything blooms at once and it is the time to graft here. Temps don’t matter.
Heck Friday the low is 30F which really sucks. I have everything in full bloom, my grafts are busting out after 10 days.

I recently took this photo to show that plums and peaches, and even cherries all overlap bloom here. The white flowers are pluots, the pink is Indian Free peach and the nectarines Fantasia and Arctic Jay on one tree (Indian Free). Indian Free seems easier to graft on than other peaches. Nothing seems to fail!

Tart and sweet cherries are in bloom too.
Juliet

8 Likes

I make a simple knot on the vinyl tape starting at the bottom and ending with another knot at the top so water sheds like a roof. Doing whatever works for you is the best and many ways work! Sold lots of vinyl tape this year as it is $10 shipping whether you have 1 roll or 10. The same way I bought 25 florist knives at $2 each shipped. I’ve managed to get rid of the excess vinyl and knives. Found a folding budding knife for $5 each but I still like the $2 knife I’ve used for 20 years in a row.

I got used to the vinyl when I was doing hundreds of tee buds a year! The guy that taught me to graft used vinyl tape and a florist knife so that is what I am used to. One year my source sent out something different for 4 mil vinyl and it was not strong enough. I found a guy to sell me 6 mil vinyl. Didn’t like it as well but better than 4 mil that wasn’t strong enough. Found a guy now with the real 4 mil tape and I’m happy again. https://graftingsystems.com/product-category/grafting-nursery-supply/

Wow, wish it were still cool here. We are already in the 90s here near Houston,TX.