Saving Heirloom Varieties : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

The Organic Grange by Master Gardener Grant Eversoll Heirloom varieties seem to be the rage. The old style tomatoes, herbs and corn are making a come back. You can special order seeds for several of the old world "heirloom" varieties of plants. There are other ways to have heirloom varieties from your own heritage, propagate. There are several different ways to get starts from Grandma's rose's, Uncle Fred's Blackberries, Great Aunt Cove's Gooseberries, and even that Dogwood tree where you ask you better have to marry you. Blackberries, Raspberries and Gooseberries all propagate the same way by layering. Layering is simple. It's natures way for spreading these plants, your are just helping nature along. In early spring bend a young low hanging branch down to the ground, covering a length of it with about three inches of soil, leaving the tip of the branch with at least three buds sticking out of the ground. The covered part will set down roots, next year you can cut the layered spot and transplanting the new plant. The Gooseberry plant I have came from my Great Aunts home place. No amount of sugar will remove the tartness and I would not cut it down for love nor money. Like wise the Blackberries came from my fathers tame blackberry patch that he planted twenty-five years ago. Grafting in another easy way to keep a family heirloom plant alive. To quote The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. "A graft is a successful union of two diverse but related living plant pieces in such a way that the cambium or living conductor of nutrients and food of the lower piece or stock will connect with the cambium of the upper piece or scion." Both the stock and scion are wounded before they are matched and from the wounds a callus forms. The tow calluses interweave and a successful graft is formed.. My mother-in-law moved a maple tree from her home place in Kentucky to her home in Southern Indiana. She is disabled and thinking about moving to an assisted living housing complex. She wished there was a way we could move the tree. Well I can't move a forty foot tree but I can make a graft. And that is what I did. To translate what The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening said, making a graft is easy. It works best if both plants are young. I transplanted a small Maple sapling about three feet tall into my front yard. about one foot up, at a branch I removed the branch and made a slice about half of the way through at a 45 degree angle. I then took a short piece of a branch from "The Kentucky tree" and cut the end of it like a wedge. Place the wedge end in the 45 degree slice and wrap the splice with jute. Next apply a coating of some type of wax to the jute, Bee's wax, candle wax, or grafting wax. Another foot above this I repeated the process on the other side of the tree, (Kind of a belt and suspenders thing) with luck I will have moved the tree in a sense. My great grand father use to graft tree all of the time just to see what would grow. He had pink and white Dogwood on the same tree, red and green apples, and so I have been told apples on an oak tree...Like I said that was just passed along, I can't verify that one. Grafting is not new, it's been around for over 3000 years so there must be something to it. Starting rose's is the easiest of all. All you need is a clipping a quart glass jar and a knife. Take the clipping and slice the cut end making it look like a brush. Remove all of the leaves except the one at the very end of the cutting. Stick the cutting in the ground, water and cover with the quart jar and leave it alone. Next spring there will be enough roots to transplant your new rose bush anywhere you want it. Just think of all of the places you could get rose bush cuttings from. And the best part about all of these methods...there free and the plant will have some sentimental value to you for years to come. Remember, "A stolen rose is as sweet as a stolen kiss" W.W.O.W.

-- grant (, April 22, 2001


Thanks, Grant. I have always been interested in grafting, but usually need to see something done to "get it" ;) What exactly is jute and where do you find it?

-- mary, texas (, April 22, 2001.

Jute is like bailing twine any small rope will do.

-- grant (, April 22, 2001.

This is kind of bizarre! I was fencing today and looking at the dewberries...Pretty much blackberries, but a tic different, and thinking about propagating them and moving them to a bed in my yard so I could fertilize and prune and get bigger ones. Thanks so much for all this info, Grant.

So can I bug you about a new pear tree I am having troubles with?

It had leafed out a bit early and we had a hard frost. It has black tips and on the leaves and then some yellow bumps on many of them too. I sprayed it with eco oil early on and now I have sprayed with Neem oil. It isn't dropping leaves, but it looks a bit sad. I transplanted this and another pear early this year. It's about 10' tall or so. The one with the problems is a Kieffer.

-- Doreen (, April 22, 2001.

Grant, don't you have a website somewhere? I thought you did, and that I had even saved the address in the favorites section of the old computer that is now deceased, taking all it's memories with it!! If you do have a site, and I really am not just hallucinating from lack of caffiene, could you post the address again?

-- Green (, April 23, 2001.

Yes I do.

-- grant (, April 23, 2001.

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