How To Grow Your Fruit Salad On One Tree
“LJ, the idea of grafting a branch of a fruit tree onto another tree and winding up with one that bears different fruits is intriguing. Imagine an orange tree that also produces limes and lemons. Is that possible and how does it work?”
“Yes, and it is a fascinating and inexpensive way to put more fruits within easy reach of many. Grafting involves inserting a cutting from a donor plant into an incision in a receiving plant and encouraging the cutting to grow onto the receiving plants’ root system; this creates a single plant that produces different fruits from the original ones.
The ancient method of cloning plants such as fig, grape, pomegranate, and olives started first because they rooted easily. Several thousand years later, grafting came into use because fruits such as apples, pears and plums did not root easily from cuttings. Perfecting the technique of grafting these and other temperate fruits was pivotal in their movement out of Asia into the rest of the world. The result was nutritionally healthier populations.
What grafting does is:
– Extends the function of plants
– Creates multiple nutritional benefits from a single tree
– Creates the opportunity to grow a variety of fruits in one pot or other small space
– Earth-friendly; watering one tree for various fruits instead of multiple trees for one fruit
– Saves time; grafting onto an existing tree means the fruit can be ready to pick sooner
– Creates easily accessible food
“Ok, so how easy is grafting?” “With everything, Annie, it takes patience, practice, and learning from an expert. https://practicalprimate.com/grafting/, this is an excellent website for step-by-step instructions. In the meantime here are a few basics:
– Research fruits that are in the same family to ensure grafting success. https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-plants-in-the-family-Rosaceae-2001612
– The best time to graft is at the end of winter just before spring when trees start to bud while the branches are still bare.
– Use the appropriate grafting tools and grafting tape
– Use cuttings only from healthy trees
– Make sure the bark of the graft is touching the bark of the tree
Local nurseries are an excellent resource for grafting expertise or buying a grafted tree.” “I can taste a delicious fruit salad that all came from one tree. I Can’t wait to get started. Let’s try this!” LJ thoughtfully paused and…