September 21, 2017–Tropical Fruit annual self-help clinic

UPDATE: Your hands-on homework to get ready for October’s grafting theory workshop is to find a tree you would like to graft. On a few branches, cut off the end leaves to encourage the terminal buds to begin to swell. Keep watch over the next week or so and see how long it takes for the swelling to take place. On at least one branch, let it continue until the new shoots start to form so you can see what happens if you wait too long. New leaves and stems will be too tiny and delicate to survive the grafting process. You want the bud to start to swell so it is in growth mode, but not too much. For example on a mango, remove all the leaves clustered on the end of a branch, leaving a length of bare green stem. Extra credit: If you want to practice, remove the graft wood and graft it onto a branch of the same diameter. Watch the grafting videos here and here to see how it is done and what tools you need. Don’t worry if you succeed the first few attempts–grafting is not hard, but it is a skill that needs to be developed. At first you will feel like you need an extra hand or two. I would suggest grafting the first few branches onto a different branch of the same tree and not think about anything but mastering the technique. Once you get your first successful graft or two, then you can graft onto root stock and see if you can get it to survive longer term.

Most of us joined the club to learn the how-to’s of growing specific tropical fruits. We have members with decades of practical information that would benefit all. Even though we have outside expert speakers, this month we will get together more informally and share our experiences, successes and failures, fertilizers, pollination, bugs, pruning, varieties, etc. So this is the month to get answers to your fruit tree questions!

Board of director elections:  If you have an interest in organizing, planning and promoting programs for the Treasure Coast Rare Fruit Club, there is a place for you on the Board of Directors. Don’t be shy: the old board will still be here to help with advice while you get your bearings. The new board will take over the beginning of 2018.

• Remember the limit of 3 items for the auction (members only) so we can finish on time.
• Don’t forget to bring something for the tasting and raffle tables.

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