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How To Deal With Old Fruit Trees

SPRING is just round the corner and soon, when the sap rises, it will be time to rework old or unprofitable trees with new varieties of proved merit. Grafting wood, that is, last year's ripened growths, should be selected now ana heeled in in damp sand. Frameworking is the term which has been adopted for the method of grafting a new system of laterals on to fruit trees, thereby making them produce crops of superior quality. Before this system was adopted, top-grafting was the common method in use, but as this entailed the severe cutting back of the main branches much delay was caused in the formation of new fruiting branches. In frameworking, however, the main branches are not shortened; the laterals only are removed and scions of the new variety inserted in their places. In this way fruits of the new variety are produced in the second season after regrafting. There are several methods of frameworking, but stub grafting and side grafting are the principal systems. All lateral shoots not required are first cut off close to the main branches, leaving only those which are iin to lin in diameter, and these are left in the positions which the new laterals are to occupy. For stub grafting the scions are cut wedge shaped at the base, making one side of the wedge slightly longer than the other. This is inserted in the lateral, setting it in a slit made at the base. This slit is made by inserting the knife about half an inch from the main branch and cutting down obliquely toward the point where the lateral joins the main branch, penetrating half-way through the lateral. The slit is opened by bending the lateral slightly downwards, then the scion is inserted with the longest side of the wedge downwards. As in ordinary grafting it is necessary to have the barks of the stock (lateral) and scion (shoot of new variety) in close contact on one side or the other. As soon as the stub graft is inserted firmly, the old lateral is cut off to within half an inch of the scion and the union is sealed with grafting wax. Side grafting is used where it is desired to insert a graft at a point where no lateral exists. The scions are prepared by making a slim wedge at the base. A cut is then made in the side of the branch and the scion is inserted. It should be set at an angle of 20 to 30 degrees so that it stands out from the branch at the same angle as a naturally developed lateral. This is also sealed with grafting, wax. In both cases the scion should be 6 to 8 buds in length. :jc * W *

To obtain heavy yields of peas and justify the space devoted to them, they must be grown on land that has been deeply GOOD CROPS dug and is in "good OF PEAS heart." To sow them

in poor, shallowly worked soil is to court failure. Peas are naturally deep rooting plants and "heavy eaters and drinkers" and the first essential in their cultivation is to meet those primary needs. If the ground has been double dug or mock trenched and plenty of manure or garden compost buried beneath the top spit, all well and good. Otherwise it definitely pays to prepare special trenches for them. The more humus-forming material that can be mixed with the lower spit, the better, for it is this humus that, _ besides providing food, holds the moisture in summer, and all the watering possible will not compensate for its absence. Birds attack the seedlings as they push through the ground and gardeners are usually advised to 1 stretch black cotton entanglements over the rows for protection. This is effective so long as cats or dogs do not cross the garden, but half an inch of fresh lawn clipping scattered over the row is equally good and far less- trouble. The early sown peas will appreciate protection in the form of soil drawn up in small ridges down each side of the row and staking should be done early, first with small twiggy sticks when they are two or three inches high, then a fortnight or so later with sticks six inches taller than the lr 'ght given on the seed packets. Eve ' the dwarf varieties are - improved by staking and support.

In arranging for the summer floral display these most popular and important flowering plants must be amply pro-SUMMER-FTiOWER- vided for. IXG SWEET PEAS There is no need to .dilate upon their merits and attractions. Now is a good v time to sow the seeds in the open ground where a sheltered and well-drained site is available. Otherwise. August is an excellent time to sow. To grow perfect blooms, enthusiasts go to no end of trouble in preparing the trenches by digging them out deeply, adding manure and fresh turf" soil. Unless he is after exhibition blooms, the ordinary gardener does not need to embark upon such elaborate preparations. By deep digging and applying some well rotted manure or compost when preparing the ground in the autumn, excellent results can be obtained. A light dressing of superphosphates can be sprinkled on the soil when the plants are a few inches high.

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Bibliographic details

How To Deal With Old Fruit Trees, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

Word Count

How To Deal With Old Fruit Trees Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

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