(03/30/2019)
Submitted by: Brandy Brabham
WVU Extension Service

The West Central Extension Master Gardeners Calhoun are hosting their seventh Farm and Garden Series on Saturday, March 30 at the Roane County Committee on Aging from 1 to 3 p.m. This year's series will focus to educate growers and home gardeners on proper grafting techniques. Local arbor enthusiasts and educators Bob Mertz and Robin Wilson will be discussing grafting techniques. They will share personal experiences with fruit tree grafting. Robin will also offer information about nut tree cultivation for interested participants.

The goal of the workshop grafting session is to increase local production of fruit and nut trees by finding the varieties that are best suited to our growing conditions. Saving trees proven by time allows one to create grafts of these varieties onto young trees.

Participants are encouraged to take cuttings from local trees that are good tasting, good keeping, and good disease resistance. After learning how to graft, these cuttings can be used to create a new tree with the same fruit as the old one.

A good portion of the workshop will be hands-on. Participants are asked to bring a sharp pocket knife or utility knife and practice wood to perform their own grafts, following instructions from the Farm and Garden organizers. Practice wood should be made of freshly cut fruit tree prunings about pencil width to a half-inch in diameter of last year’s growth.

Cuttings to be used for practice or future grafting should be cut into eight to twelve-inch lengths with at least two buds on each cutting and then placed in moist (not wet) paper towel and placed in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will remain fresh and dormant.

Plastic bags containing cuttings from good fruit tree varieties to be grafted later should be labeled, listing the collector's name, contact information, and the fruit tree variety contained. If participants have extra cuttings from good varieties they would like to exchange with other participants, time has been allotted to facilitate this exchange.

The West Central Master Gardeners Association will provide refreshments and homemade desserts at the workshop to raise funds for their organization.

Vendors are welcomed and encouraged to participant in this event. There is no charge for vendor participation. However, vendors are asked to donate a door prize to be given away to participants during the event.

There will be a $10 fee to cover the cost of hand-outs and grafting materials.

Participants can pay at the door. For more information or to register, contact WVU Extension Agent, Brandy Brabham at 927-0975 or 354-6332 or email   brandy.brabham@mail.wvu.edu or just show up at the door on Saturday, March 30th.


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