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Re: [nafex] after care for graft-lings

tugger@netreach.net wrote:

> Yesterday I saw some trees done by a local amish nursery owner at
> about the same time I grafted trees last year.  His results are far
> superior to mine but he wouldn't share his secrets with me except to
> say he watered them 2x  per week and asked if I saw the geese up in
> the field by where he has his tree nursery? I watered my trees 2 or 3
> x per week last year with a dripper system, fertilized them 3 or 4 x
> per season with a manure tea, kept the weeds down but my whips are at
> max. 3' tall and his trees are 5-6' tall. He dug them late in the
> fall and put them in cold storage and had potted them for sale about a
> month ago. What am I missing or should I buy geese?
> Mike

     My response-----

     Most likely, the amish fellow practiced or knew of the various basics in
propagation and was willing to do the season-long work of tending them
including keeping the pest free, weed free, necessary irrigation (about 1"
per week), etc.
     Forget the geese.  They can and will eat newly emerging buds.  For that
matter, no animal/bird, etc. should be allowed to be in the nursery plot.
Also, there is the factor of soil quality which should be at least equal to
your garden soil's quality.
     And lastly there is a factor of various below-ground pests such as Wooly
Apple Aphid, various fungal and bacterial diseases which are not easily
controlled and are quite common, esp. in heavier soils.
     As Bernie mentioned, budding to established rootstocks will give you a
much better grade-out or more consistently great quality of desired growth.

     Just a few thoughts.



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