wacky grafting ideas for 2012

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wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby eeldip » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:28 pm

OK, this is probably not going to work, but my big theory this year is graft tomatoes on to Solanum sisymbriifolium (lychee tomato). it was my theory last year as well.. but you know how that goes. but basically the lychee tomatoes are a whole nother world of hardy. i have one growing next to my house, west facing wall and its still decently healthy- granted our low lows haven't gone south of 26-27 or so.

ISSUE: the habit of the lychee is a bit different- has a much thicker central trunk. can anyone think of a variety of tomato that has a really thick heavy trunk to match up the graft?
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby dave brenneman » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:15 pm

I'm thinking larger varieties of tomato are more likely to have thicker trunks, no? though I vastly prefer plum to beefsteak in tomato-town.

Could you prune a variety for a more squat, dense bush and then use that bonsai'd specimen for the graft?
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby matt walker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:25 am

Yeah, this is really exciting stuff to me. Have you seen that Territorial this year is offering grafted vegetables? You are on the leading edge, to be sure. I don't know enough varieties to offer much advice, but I have a question. Will the fruit ripen according to the scion or the graft? In other words, if you graft onto a rootstock that is a ultra early variety, does that change the fruiting characteristics of the graft? Also, where can I get this cold hardy Lychee, and is it any good to eat?

Also also, you should do an Urban Exotic Edibles thread, and show off your urban food forest.
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:17 am

I have never grafted tomatoes, so I do not know about the fruiting times or if they were changed. I have been growing heiloom varietys of tomato from seed for the last 2 years. I got started by getting some Potato Top seeds for free from the guy who writed the gardening section of the Pittsburgh Paper. If you send him a self addressed stamped envolope he will send you some seeds for free. With the proviso that you grow them and send back some seeds to him to give away next year. He billed the Potato Top as the best tasting tomato that he had ever eaten, and he gets alot of people telling him that they have the best tomato each and every year. It is a mid to late season tomato, beef stake type 1 to 2 lb. You will never see it in a store because the top is all narlly? [ not sure about spelling but the top is messed up ] They are large plants and mine had large stalks, you might write and get some to try this year. They are pretty tasty. :P I don't have the addy right now, but I can get it from my neighbor if anyone would like it.
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby matt walker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:24 am

Huh, I just got some special tomato seeds in the mail today, free from a guy in WI. He has, like, 350 varieties or some such. An amazing guy. I'd take some of your seeds, but my area is so cold, I just can't ripen any mid/late varieties, nor grow any that big. Tomatoes are one of my biggest challenges, and one of my favorite garden products.
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:38 am

I have been kicking around a Wacky grafting idea myself. I would like to know what the group thinks about it and if they think it would work or not. Years ago my Grandmothers brother put in a new fence in his pasture field. He used Locus posts that he had cut in the spring when the sap was up and running and planted the posts right away. Most every post he put in sprouted leaves and started to grow. A few of the posts didnt grow but I would guess 9 out of 10 made it. He then had a living fence to put his barbed wire to and did not have to worry about his fence rotting over time. I was thinking about planting 4 posts 8' to 10' tall in a square maybe 12' X 12' and grafting cross members to them at the top to form a frame work. Maybe tie a rope around the top perimiter that could keep all the joints tight so that they could heal. If they make it and grow my plan would be to graft some sort of roof member across the side beams next year. It would be open and airy, but somewhat shaded, like a pergala or an open gazebo of sorts. I have thought about locus, but I have been thinking williow might be easier to work with and have a better chance of growing from the posts. The end product would be a Living building that should last for years. I have convinced myself that it might just work, and I am considering the project for next spring, like I don't have 10 unfinished projects around here already. What do you think? Good idea? Or crazy person who needs help? lol
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby matt walker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:20 am

Eeldip, your lychee tomato is just blowing my mind right now. What can't it do?

From wikipedia:
Solanum sisymbriifolium is commonly known as Sticky Nightshade, the Fire-and-Ice plant, Litchi Tomato, or Morelle de Balbis.[1]

The small edible fruits are red on the outside and yellow inside. It grows inside a husk (like the tomatillo) which burst open when the fruit ripens. The flavor resembles sour cherries and a little bit like a tomato.[1]

This plant has been used as a trap crop to protect potatoes from potato cyst nematode.[2] The stems and leave contain solasodine which makes the plant very resistant to many pests and diseases, with the exception of potato beetles and tomato worms. It can also be used as a hedge plant to keep animals out of a garden, because it is covered with thorns.[1]


That with a delicious tomato grafted on? Amazing!

Guy, I like that idea. Hmmm, living garden arbor? Bean trellis?


Oh, uh, wow, well I guess it's not crazy at all, check this out I just stumbled on:

http://www.worldsstrangest.com/drb/livi ... hitecture/

Image


I think you should do it.
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby dave brenneman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:28 am

Oh man, those grafted and shaped trees are so impressive.
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:45 pm

It turns out that my crazy idea has been done for hundreds of years, Several methods are used and many unusual shapes have been made this way here is a list of trees from wicapedia that have been used .
Species options
Ficus-benjaminаTree shapers when looking for a new tree species to try they generally look for trees that grow well in the area, are less prone to insect damage, and are less susceptible to disease. Any tree species has the potential for shaping. Each type of tree has its own quirks, but they can be understood with time and experience.[14] Some of the trees that have been shaped include:

Acer Maple[15][2]
Acer negundo Box Elder[16][17]
Acer palmatum Japanese Maple[18]
Alnus Alder[2][19]
Betula Birch[15]
Betula pendula White Birch[18]
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus[18]
Fagus Beech[2][15]
Ficus Fig[4][20]
Fraxinus Ash[15][18]
Lagerstroemia indica Crape myrtle[citation needed]
Ligustrum Privet[1][19]
Malus Apple[18][19]
Pinus ponderosa Ponderosa pine[18]
Platanus Sycamore[2][19]
Populus Poplar[15][18]
Prunus avium Cherry[18][2]
Prunus cerasifera Myrobalan Plum[21]
Prunus serotina Black Cherry[21]
Psidium Guava[14][22]
Pyrus Pear[18][19]
Quercus Oak[18]
Quercus suber Cork Oak[15][18]
Quercus virginiana Live Oak[1]
Robinia pseudoacacia Locust[18]
Salix Willow[15][21]
Salix babylonica Weeping Willow[21][15]
Tectona grandis Teak[14]
Ulmus Elm[15][19]

Some of the shapes are great, not buildings so much as neat shapes. The term Pooktre Shaping seemed to be popular. They shape trees into chairs or tables or people or shapes. I think they start with live trees that have a root structure and not cut posts that they hope to root. The advantage to that is obvious, the roots are developed from the start. The disadvantage is the size tree that can be moved and transplanted. I was hopeing to get fairly large posts to root and get some instant gratification. I am an American afterall, lol. The other way takes over 10 years to grow the base trees and then start to graft sides. I don't know if I have that kind of time left. Not that I am Old, but I have had some health issues in the past. I guess the old saying, The Best time to plant a Tree was 20 years ago, the second best time to plant a tree is Today applies to my situation.

PS I love the pictures, isn't that a great idea of using trees for beauty and usefullness
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Re: wacky grafting ideas for 2012

Postby matt walker » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:51 pm

Yeah, I'm feeling inspired by all of this talk. I learned a lot about grafting tomatoes last night. Wikipedia has a great little page on it. Of course, they make it look super easy. Eeldip, I didn't see any mention of your awesome rootstock idea. I think you need to do that. Do you have those tiny tubes to graft with?

Guy, the "living building" discussion is inspiring me as well. Yeah, it's time to just get out there and do it, right? I've got a lower pasture and a garden surrounded by willow, and have been meaning to start that living fence around the garden for years. This is the year, even if I just stick a few cuttings in the ground. Any info on when the best time of year is? I'm guessing spring, but when? Now? When they show buds? I dunno.
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