When You know you should be grafting but you're not yet!


#1

This weather is ideal grafting for pears , apples , & plums! It’s been around 70 degrees but bounces down to 20 frequently. I’ve been adding manure around my fruiting trees which are close to blooming. Most of the pear trees have bud swell and some have even lost the brown husk enclosing the bud and the green bud is now swelling. The trees are waking up! There is not enough of me to go around this time of year. I wanted to bring these challenges up and also remind new grafters 60-70 degrees daytime temperatures is really nice weather for grafting. Anyone completely done yet? I’ve noticed an absense of grafting pictures this year on the forum and wanted to remind everyone new grafters love and need these posts! Douglas pears are always first to wake up with one of their parents duchesse d’angouleme pear following closely. The improved kieffer & Kieffer are quickly swelling up not far behind the other 2 aforementioned pears.


#2

I don’t see an advantage to rushing to graft outside, that is - other than eagerness to get started, LOL. We’ve had a colder than normal March so far (after a warmer than normal February). I like to wait until everything is favorable. Sap has been pushing (not just starting to) and weather is warm. When the temps go through wide swings 20-70, I’d expect some repeated expansion and contraction in a 24 hour period which may ill-affect the wound. Personally I wait til after the Equinox (coming up soon here) and a long warm stretch of weather (just finished with our 3rd nor-easter). I may be looking towards mid April for some trees. The Jujubes seem to be late sleepers, LOL, so later than that for them.


#3

@JustAnne4,
In our area those early grafts look nicer than the later grafts. In this area 2 weeks can make a big difference. The sap is moving which in this area means I should be grafting. I agree with you that there are times to wait also!


#4

Clark,
It goes to show you how different the same zone can be. Yours and mine are both zone 6a. One in KS, one in MA.

Your said you have had several days of 70 F. We had one 70 F day (2/21/18) for the whole winter and that was abnormal (record breaking). Our temp has mostly been cold. We have had three big snow storms in less than two weeks including one today.

I won’t do any grafting until April. I usually graft in mid April. Peaches/nects could be as late as early May.

People need to keep in mind that zones alone do not tell a whole story. There are a lot more variables to take into consideration.


#5

Clark,

I’m glad things are warm enough for you to get back on the stick.

Around here, we have another week of highs in the 40s followed by a week of highs in the 50s. We’re not there yet, and I have the usual massive anxiety to get started… but alas cannot yet.

This morning, it is downright raw outside: sharp cold winds.

Have fun.


#6

Tippy,
Your right 6a is very different. Our estimated high temperatures this week are 58, 62, 70, 58 and our lows are 25,38,42,34. Kansas temperature extremes is what makes it so hard to raise fruit here.


#7

Matt,
Sounds like your within 2-3 weeks. Can’t wait to see the photos!


#8

As reported from VA, MD and MA it’s still too cold. I’m in warmer part of NY and we have snow today with temps in 30’s. Hopefully some 50’s next week. We’ve had warmer days in March. Actually the cold weather is good since it put a pause in the breaking of dormancy. Forecast for the rest of March is 40’s & 50’s. Zone 7 Long Island doesn’t normally see 70’s till May.


#9

We’re still fully dormant. The only things close are cottonwoods, aspens, and such. But I think we’ll start to see blooms on Nanking cherry, chokecherry, apricot and hawthorne soon. Then we can start getting excited!


#10

Grafting almost done, except I decided late to cut down my Shiro ( on Starks red leaf peach rootstock ) and to rework the stump to a nectarine. Blooming complete but for a few northern hardy plums. I did my first cover spray Saturday. Now if I can get through the next two nights, things should be clear sailing.


#11

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a8/41/ce/a841ce27dcdcca03c1434eb54afa9abf.jpg

Saw this on a Facebook page and thought it was appropriate.


#12

When the Farmer’s Almanac says it’s time to plant lettuce and onions then it is time to plant!!


#13

Thanks for a laugh. I hope she put on sunscreen :grin:


#14

SPF Brrrrrrrrrrrr


#15

Am a corporate slave that works by day and graft whenever I’m not working. So night time it is for me!

The main advantages for night grafting aside from it is my available time during the weekdays, is that the scionwood don’t go into a grafting shock compared to daytime. You took the scionwood out of the cool fridge, graft them at night when it is cool and continue to cool down in the morning and then it gently warms up the next day. So they’re acclimatized the night when they’re grafted. If you graft them around noon time, the sudden rise in temperature from the fridge to the sun, and the fact that they’re inside parafilm tape, could be an evnvironmental temperature shock, but then its effect are practically negligble for dormant wood types.

It does matter when grafting citruses or avocados. Early evening is my most preferred time. As the scionwood are taken from their cold storage in the fridge, and are gently exposed to the elements during the night. The stock plants would be well hydrated during the night, and the sap from cut are kept moist.


#16

JustAnne4, are you suggesting doing grafting on the increase of the moon (after the New Moon)…or is that something you’d even thought about?


#17

I wait to do most productive activities (sowing, xplanting, grafting) on the water sign, so not the moon phase but rather the sign that the moon is in.


#18

hardcore gardener! ha ha ha! :blush:


#19

I’ve finished grafting everything that I’m going to graft this year except maybe a persimmon or two. I will show some picks soon. Most of my grafts are growing right now. Mind you I’m in Zone 8b SE Georgia. Thirty four degrees is forecasted for Wednesday and there was a touch of frost on the pumpkin this morning, but not cold enough to hurt any of my fruit it appears. After that, all the forecasted temps are in the 40s and 50s for evening temps. Winnie and Granny Durden both have quarter sized pears. Southern Bartlett and Tennessee have nickel sized pears.


#20

I will start grafting this weekend if the weather permits it. The buds are swelling. We are considerably colder this year comparing with the last year.