Want to add more fruit trees to your backyard but don’t have the space? Grafting may be the answer; you can add several varieties to a single trunk. Learn how – and get everything you need for success – at the annual Scion Exchange, hosted by the California Rare Fruit Growers.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, hundreds of fresh fruit tree cuttings – scions – with be available along with healthy rootstock, tools and expert advice. The event will be held at the La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road, Carmichael. Suggested donation is $5 and includes membership in the CRFG. Bring large (1-gallon) plastic zippered bags and a marking pen to label cuttings.
Grafting cuttings onto an existing fruit tree allows growers to expand their selection of varieties as well as lengthen their harvest seasons. Different varieties – such as a peach and a plum – can be grafted to the same trunk to create a “fruit basket” tree.
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Now is also the best time to plant bare-root fruit trees. Good selections can be found at most local nurseries.
Other tasks to do this week:
▪ Remove old flowers from camellias and azaleas to avoid petal blight.
▪ Finish pruning roses. Pull off and discard any leaves that remain from last year’s growth.
▪ Start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed indoors.
▪ Plant bare-root perennials such as peony, bleeding heart, coral bells and astilbe. Plant blooming camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons.
▪ Transplant or direct seed snapdragon, candytuft, lily of the valley, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies and stocks.
▪ In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichokes, strawberries and rhubarb.
▪ Transplant seedlings of lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and kale. Direct-seed radishes, beets, peas and chard.