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Part 2: Fruits and Nuts - Mar. 31, 2015

posted Feb 19, 2015, 8:02 AM by Bowie-Crofton Gardener   [ updated Apr 1, 2015, 7:12 PM ]

Fruits & Nuts
Speakers: February 24th and March 31st, 2015
7PM meeting of the Bowie-Crofton Garden Club, Elmer Dengler
and R.Jay Ugiansky, 

Join us for this fascinating 2-Part Series on Fruits and Nuts in DC Area!
Part 2: Mar. 31, 2015

We will continue our discussion on how to grow fruits and nuts in with a hands on apple grafting demonstration.   Come just to watch, or come to actually do grafting.  At the end of the meetings bring home a truly unique disease resistant apple tree!   We will provide Detailed instructions will  be provided..    R Jay Ugiansky and Elmer Dengler two local back yard fruit tree growers will explain the art and science of grafting.  

The two apples we will have scions of are resistant or tolerant of the major diseases that affect apples in this area.  Scions are small branch cuttings about the size of a pencil taken while the tree is dormant and grafted to another plant in early spring.  We will be grafting or merging the scions with the rootstock of an apple that has superior growth characteristics which will enhance the vigor and production of the scion as well.  Both apple types to be used should be able to fertilize themselves, but to enhance fruit set we will also try to add bud grafts of an edible crab apple that is an excellent pollinator of apples while being highly ornamental as well.   Another option is to plant one of each of the apples. 

Grafting is an ancient science developed in Eurasia thousands of years ago.  All plants either by a spontaneous mutation or through sexual reproduction will occasionally create either entire plants or altered branches called sports that differ radically from existing plants.  When plants sexually reproduce the offspring will differ from either parent and in the case of apples usually not with desired results.  By taking a cutting or a scion you are actually creating an exact duplicate of the parent plant.  By merging it onto just the roots and stem of another plant while keeping any sprouts from the roots from maturing; the only characteristics you will see expressed are those of the desired plant.    Almost all types of apples were developed that way.  Many other commercially produced fruits and nuts were improved upon that way and are still produced that way today.   Grafting is one of the key ways we have been able to produce all the food required by our population today.   It was one of the tools of agriculture that made cities and civilization possible by allowing large amounts of food to be grown by just a few people in a small area; therefore freeing up others to develop inventions that led to modern technology and advanced cultures.

Part1: Feb. 24, 2015
Few people realize that the Mid Atlantic was a major producer of fruits before Washington and California became states, and highways crisscrossed the continent. Not many years ago most folks who owned a home had small gardens and fruit orchards. Today it may seem like a lot of work, but there are many edibles that take the same amount of time to care for as most ornamental shrubs. As long as you have at least six hours of sunlight and don’t have constantly standing water on your property there are fruits that you can grow. In fact with some standing water it is even possible to grow cranberries.

The speakers will discuss selecting the right fruit varieties for your property and how they even can be grown organically. Both have been growing fruits and vegetable all their lives. 

At the March meeting the discussion will continue with the grafting of apple trees, some grafted dwarf trees will stay so small that they can work even in a large pot on a deck!
 
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