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Old January 30, 2017   #61
BigVanVader
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I have 2 and 2.5 mm clips. Still do no roots method this small?
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Old January 30, 2017   #62
Delerium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
I have 2 and 2.5 mm clips. Still do no roots method this small?
Yes you can definitly do it without the roots. If you have seedlings to sacrifice you should give it a try. I think i may have a few pictures in the old triple variety graft thread (where i use really tiny seedlings for grafting) unless I posted it elsewhere on the net. I would even try Bills modified method where he leaves some roots. But i can confirm you can do it without the roots (buys a little more time from getting root bound in the de which is why i like taking off all the roots).
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Old January 30, 2017   #63
BigVanVader
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Well then I may try a few tonight or tomorrow then. I didn't realize how tiny these clips are. I don't know how much thicker I could let them get before the stems were to thick. I just watered the rootstock today so should I wait a bit?
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Old January 30, 2017   #64
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Doesn't hurt to wait. I would put a clip on one of the rootstock seedlings and see if they fit snug. If not just wait a bit longer. Looks like your rootstock seedlings are lagging behind a bit compared to your scions so i would probably wait a bit longer. I try to get them done early only because I'm fighting time with the weather and want to get them out asap. So i graft them when they are young since they have more time to heal before planting them outdoors. The longer you wait to graft them the more time you lose setting them outside and sometimes the graft wound is not totally healed even if the plants look like its fully recovered.
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Old January 30, 2017   #65
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Well I started Scion seedlings every other day so I have plenty to choose from. The clips seem pretty snug to me.
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Old January 30, 2017   #66
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Then go for it. It takes some skill to kill a tomato seedling. They are hardy plants. And your humidity requirements will be much lower since they are small. Get those transparent shoe boxes they work great for mini humidity chambers. Plus it saves space and gives you easier control. I could do like 18-30 plants in one of those shoe box containers.
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Old January 30, 2017   #67
BigVanVader
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Ok I sacrificed a SOO to test and the smaller clips are still just a bit loose, as in I can slide them up and down w/o much effort. I think I will wait another 2 or 3 days then do a bunch. Thanks Delerium! I have clear totes, the shorter ones but I dont have any shoe box size. I will look around. I also started a ton of BB seeds today to use as practice if this first wave fails.
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Old January 30, 2017   #68
b54red
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You will need to wait longer than that if 2mm is the smallest clips you have. The smallest I have is 1.5 and when I went out and got set up only a dozen or so would work with the 1.5 and only a couple with the 2.mm so I am going to wait one or two more days. My plants are a bit spindly so it won't hurt to wait. The most common size clip I use is 2.5 and 3. I have had some good success with the smaller plants as long as it is cool enough but once it starts getting a bit warmer they tend to fail more than the larger ones. Another reason I prefer to work with slightly larger plants is my arthritis makes me a bit less delicate than grafting requires. I have also noticed that my hands shake a bit more than they used to.

Here is a picture of my seedlings. They have some height but not much thickness in the stems.


Remember it is better to make your cut at least 2 inches above the soil level on the rootstock so when you plant them out you don't get roots forming from the scion and negating all your work. The first time I grafted I had most of them with cuts only an inch above the planting level and it gave me fits trying to stop roots from the scion going to the ground. I have no problem except the height of my healing chamber making the grafting cut 4 to 6 inches above the soil line as it makes it so much easier to plant them. I have seen no difference in the performance whether the cut is above or below the cotyledon. In our climate where heavy mulch is needed and frequent heavy rains can hit I think the extra inch or two is invaluable.

Bill
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Old January 30, 2017   #69
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Since I like to do at least a full chamber my first day I am going to have to wait to send you pictures of the actual grafting steps but I can go ahead and show some I took today that show what I use. It is important to get everything set up or you spend way too much time getting up and moving things and finding things. The pictures below show the items I use.
1. grafting clips silicon sizes 1.5mm, 2.mm, 2.5mm, and 3mm. It makes it so much easier to have a good range of sizes so you aren't forced to do them all in a day or two.
2. Diatomaceous Earth- Optisorb from O'Reilly Auto parts medium grain along with some Urban Farms liquid fertilizer which I will dilute to 1/3 to 1/2 recommended strength. I will use that to wet the DE before putting the completed graft in the coffee cup filled with DE. I use the watering can to make that easier.
3. Cups- I use standard coffee cups and punch holes in the bottom with the skewer
4. Razor blade standard double sided cut in half, skewer, plastic cutting board and some clippers for halving the razors which are much easier to use that way.
5. A healing chamber ready to go.

I also keep some rubbing alcohol to sanitize the cutting board and to clean the razor blade occasionally. If the blade starts cutting poorly I just get another because clean cuts are essential.

Hopefully tomorrow or the next day I can get started grafting and can show more of the actual process.

Bill
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Old January 30, 2017   #70
jtjmartin
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Lurking and learning. Thanks for all the help!

Jeff
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Old February 1, 2017   #71
b54red
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I couldn't wait any longer so I did a little grafting yesterday but the seedlings were mostly way too small even for my 1.5mm grafting clips. I did do about a dozen though it is hard for me to handle them when they are that small. I took some pics which are below.
1. shows root stock root ball after pulling it out of the tray.
2. same as above except after pulling off some of the root ball- with larger plants I pull off a greater amount of the roots.
3. shows a root stock and a scion which was cut off just above soil line ready to make the 45 degree grafting cut. I cut of the cotyledons on both and some of the leaves atop the scion. It works out better for me not having too much foliage on the scion as that tends to cause more drooping sometimes which can separate the two cuts during the healing process.
4. shows root stock and scion after cut. I just line them up and cut approximately 45 degree through both. I usually line them up so stem size matches with scion on top but sometimes I lay them side by side. Making sure to hold them aligned together well then with a smooth cut go right through both. Remove the root stock top immediately after making the cut or you might end up joining them back together. A mistake I have made several times.
5. I put the clip on the root stock leaving a space for the scion then slip it in. Usually I have to pinch the clip to allow it in smoothly. I then hold it up to a strong light to make sure the two halves meet cleanly. If they don't some light will come through the silicon clip showing a gap. If that happens I adjust them til they are joined as cleanly as possible.

My next post shows the steps after this where I put them in cups with granular DE.

Bill
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Old February 1, 2017   #72
b54red
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Below are pics of the final steps where the grafted plant is put in the coffee cups of DE.
I take a coffee cup with holes punched in the bottom and fill it to within a half inch of the top with the larger size DE. I make sure to label the cup with the root stock/scion that will be going in it and if you want the date. I then set the cup in an old pie plate and pour the diluted fertilizer in it until it runs out the bottom. Once the DE is wet I lift the cup out and allow the excess water to drain out the bottom. Then I take my forefinger and make a hole in the moist DE for the graft to go into. Then I carefully place the grafted plant into the DE and press the moist DE down to make sure the plant is stable and upright. The more upright the plant the less likelihood of graft separation.
I then place a generous amount of dry DE around the base of the plant for further support and to keep the surface drier. I then remove the lid of the healing chamber and place the completed potted graft into the chamber. I repeat this until I run out of graft worthy seedlings or until the chamber is full. I then mist the chamber making sure to wet the lid well then close it up and put a towel over it to keep it in a more darkened environment. I will only keep the towel on the chamber a day or two usually.

I will open the chamber several times over the next few days and if I see any wilting I will mist the plants. Gradually the opening of the chamber will be more frequent and longer and I will start leaving a good crack in the opening after a few days until I feel they are ready to be exposed to more air and light and totally remove the lid.

We will see how they do in a few days and I'll post more pictures.

Bill
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Old February 1, 2017   #73
jtjmartin
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Bill:

Pics ARE worth a thousand words. Thanks.


Jeff
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Old February 1, 2017   #74
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What are the advantages of the DE and Oil Dry over peat based potting mix?
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Old February 1, 2017   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
What are the advantages of the DE and Oil Dry over peat based potting mix?
Some of the Oil Dries are not pure DE , but OptiSorb is.
I have been using this brand for 3 years now. I mainly add it to my potting mix. It has good moisture absorbancy ( Over 100 percent of its dry weight but at the same time it wont compromise drainage.

Thank Bill, for a great pictorial demonstration.
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