How can I produce grafted seedlings of lemon and oranges and where can I get the mother seeds from?
The basics that a farmer needs include the black/loam fertile soil that is put in planting bags for the fruits and a source of trees that acts as the mother garden. The seedling bags are filled with soil up to three quarters.
- Cut two twigs from compatible fruit tree species.
- Twigs should be cut at a 45 degree angle to each other to form a close bond. bond.
- Place twigs together allowing the small band of cells called the cambium (just under the bark layer) to match up as closely as possible. In case of lemon and oranges, the one that you want to dominate is put up. For example, if you prefer oranges to dominate, then put the orange scion on top.
- Secure the two twigs together using a commercially available grafting tape. Rubber electrical tape or duct tape may also be used. Place a rubber band around the grafting site firmly, but not too tightly. You can also use clean kaveera as grafting tape by tying it tightly around the grafting site.
- Let the twigs stay over two to three weeks for successful buds.
- Cut fruit tree twigs when the plant is at its most dormant-that is when it has no fruits. The twig (scion) should be about the thickness of a pencil or slightly bigger and about six to eight inches long. Twigs from two-year old wood with no blossoms or buds work best.
- Store cut scions in plastic covers, put like a canopy over the scions. This helps them remain moist. When stored properly, the twigs can be stored for many months. Dip the cut ends of the twigs in wax, which is available in shops to seal the cut and keep them from drying out. Place twigs in plastic zipper bag along with a few drops of water. You can water them at least once a week to maintain moisture.
- Once the graft starts to grow, do not cut back branches during the first season. Pinch off growing bud tips to allow healthy branching.
- Wrap your thumb with a protective layer of tape or wear a glove while cutting grafts. This is intended to keep off possible contamination.
- Label each scion by type and variety. Keep a written record of the grafting.
Wrap the grafting site with a loose plastic bag should the temperature begin to drop below 65 degrees F. To know the temperature, get a thermometer, it costs sh20,000.
Do not allow grafting wax to become too hot.
Hot wax can damage or destroy plant tissue
- If wax is getting hotter, water the seedlings to cool it down.
- Both scion and rootstock cambiums must meet precisely for a graft to survive.
- Avoid any exposure of the graft site to wind, rain, insects or animals.
- Remove tape from graft site before the area begins to stretch the tape. The wax self- destructs as the seedlings grow