Grafting, hothouses, and spring spuds
and minerals along with pest, disease and drought resistance.
After a few weeks the tissues of the two parts will have grown together, eventually forming a single plant.
After some years it may be difficult to detect the site of the graft although the plant always contains the components of two genetically different plants.
The root stock may be a different species from the scion, but as a rule it should be closely related. For example, many commercial pears are grown on quince root stock.
Serial grafting of several scions may also be used to produce a tree that bears a number of different fruit cultivars, with the same root stock taking up and distributing water and minerals to the whole system. Those with more than three varieties are known as family trees.
This month’s preparations for spring include tidying up gardens and glasshouses.
If your glasshouse is clear of plants, burn some sulphur powder to kill all the pests that are waiting for warmer days. Treat the soil with Terracin Soil Pathogen Suppressor, and three weeks later with Mycorrcin.
To beat the potato psyllid, get in an early potato crop before the pests start for the season.
In a deep trench place a small handful of sheep pellets, a table spoon of gypsum, a teaspoon of BioPhos and a sprinkling of Neem Tree Powder, and cover with a little soil before placing the seed potato – shoots pointing upwards – on this ‘‘bed’’.
Cover so shoots are under about 10mm soil. Check regularly and when the shoots poke through, cover with another 10mm soil. This protects them from any frosts.
Keep doing this until the trench is full, then start mounding up. Potatoes should form all the way up making for a heavy crop. Protect the foliage from any late frosts with a spray of Vaporgard, or use frost cloth or sacking.
Early potatoes planted now will be ready before Labour Weekend and should be free of psyllid damage.
An apple tree stem showing where the foliage and fruit bearing scion is grafted to the root stock. It is important to keep the root stock free of any unwanted wayward sproutings.