Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Waitati Open Orchards

By Jason Ross

Waitati Open Orchards is a group of folk on a mission to plant fruit
trees in public spaces around Waitati for all to enjoy. Email
waitatiopenorchard@gmail to join our mailing list.
Back at the end of August we had a great afternoon of grafting at
Bland Park. Thirty people came, many locals and keen grafters from as
far as Palmerston, Broad Bay and Balclutha!
The whip and tongue method of grafting was demonstrated for both
grafting cuttings onto rootstock and for grafting new varieties onto
existing trees. A useful skill to acquire if you have  fruit trees in
your backyard that aren't doing well, be it that they don't suit our
climate or are not pest and disease resistant.
You can then cut their main limbs down to knee height and graft on a
variety that will do well. Or, in a small garden why not graft a few
different varieties onto the one tree so you can have fruit that
ripens at different times or fruit that has different uses.
For those who took grafted trees home and planted them, keep them
watered (if it ever gets dry) and well fed with compost or liquid
fertiliser to encourage growth. Pinch off any growth from the
rootstock and protect the graft from knocks.
October will see the WOO group checking over the trees we have planted
and getting a few more trees planted.

Jason Ross, 4822625, waitatiopenorchard@gmail.com

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