Bud grafting with the new moon to create a multi-variety fruit & nut tree ๐ŸŒˆ

in #grafting โ€ข last year


In this post I am going to show you the easiest way to turn a small plum tree which yields sour tasting fruit into a 'rainbow tree' which yields seven delicious varieties of plum, peach, nectarine, apricot, cherry & almond, all of which are classified as stone fruits and can exist together on the same tree. The technique I will be explaining is known as bud grafting. It is the least stressful of all the cloning techniques for the tree itself and therefore the most likely to achieve success when aiming to graft multiple varieties in a short space of time.

Where is the moon cycle?

Plants & trees are hugely affected by the moon cycle so you will have a much better success rate if you choose your moment wisely when performing any actions such as sowing seeds, planting out, pruning, harvesting or grafting.

There are two distinct growth periods for plants which are in sync with the waxing & waning of the moon. The energy and predominant growth will be in the roots during the waning period of the moon cycle and in the main body of the plant during the waxing period. It's the same with our hair by the way. Perhaps you have noticed how your hair grows faster with the waxing moon, while it strengthens its roots during the waning moon.


At the moment we are in a waxing period, just one week into a new moon, so this is the correct time to be grafting, while the energy is in the upper section of the plant.

This subject is quite extensive and I am keen to show you bud grafting but there is one other very important thing to know about timing before I move on.

The Steiner calendar system

Joseph Steiner is famous these days for his Steiner school system but in fact this is just one of his many amazing achievements. For us gardeners the most useful thing he gave us was a calendar system which guides in all things plant related. The calendar (which changes each year) indicates the optimum energy period for four different categories of plant: flowers, fruits, leaves & root plants. Each of these categories has around three days before the energy passes to the next.

This basically helps us know the optimum periods for planting, pruning, harvesting and grafting all varieties of plant.


We also have barren periods within this calendar during which it is advisable to do nothing at all.

Currently we are in the fruit period which is why we are grafting fruit trees today. If I were to do this graft on a flower, leaf or root day, my chances of success would be smaller and the plant itself may not do what is expected.

Like many of the masters, Steiner worked out his system by meditating in nature for a long period of time and having used his calendar for a few years now, I can assure you it works very well. I have scoured the internet to try and find you a free version of this year's calendar but alas I cannot. We buy ours each year from a local organic garden shop.

Bud grafting

At this point I would like to introduce Doris our allotment neighbour, a German lady who is entirely responsible for the knowledge I present you in this post. With 50 years of experience behind her, she has been my garden guide since we acquired our land here and I am extremely grateful for her presence & innate wisdom.

Here you can see her cutting a branch from a strong & productive Reine Claude tree (amazing tasting plum) in order that we can replicate it on the baby plum tree in our garden.


When bud grating you don't need to cut much from the mother plant, but it does need to be from a branch which is around the same size as the one you are grafting onto and not from last year's growth. You can see this by the colour of the wood. The green offshoots at the top are last year's growth and too young for this purpose.


This stick contains the genetics for our desired fruit and once it has been detached from its mother plant it is known as scion wood.

Here is our baby plum tree with its seven branches, each of which will ultimately grow a different variety of fruit.


The first thing which needs to be done is a T shaped cut in the bark of a developed branch, half way between two internodes.


Doris has a special grating knife for this purpose which has a super sharp blade and a rounded blunt one for getting in behind the bark.


Here is the finished T shape behind which the bark has been loosened, ready to accept the graft.


Then we take our scion wood and carefully remove one of the buds with the sharp blade.


The cut must be clean and the bark around the bud must remain unbroken to be a viable graft.


The bud is then slipped inside the T shaped cut.


The small piece of bark which protrudes from the top is trimmed off.


Finally it is wrapped tightly with kitchen cling film (or specialised grafting tape!) to protect it from water and keep the connection firm.


We did two buds in the end, tying them off with string to keep them extra secure.


Once we see clear signs of a successful union with the buds growing out from the tree, we will trim this branch just above their position to encourage optimum growth.


Last but not least Doris and I gave the buds some Reiki and let them know they are loved and welcome in our garden. Clear intentions and energies are just as important as the physical stuff.

I intend to graft peach buds onto this branch next, but will have to wait till the next fruit day during the waxing cycle of the moon.


Three of the seven branches are still a little small for grafting so I will have to wait till next year to complete this tree, but you can be sure it will be worth it! One tree like this can ultimately become the mother plant to multiple orchards in the future. And that is exactly my intention here.

On my way home I spotted these beautiful violets and smiled with them for a moment.


I enjoy their flavour which reminds me of a sweet I ate as a child.


This morning we went into town to buy our own grafting knife as something tells me I will be doing this on a regular basis for the rest of my life.


It cost โ‚ฌ35 which is a lot of money! But the guy said I will never have to buy another one, which sounds good to me.

Once I'm done with the rainbow tree I will be grafting an incredible vanilla tasting white fig variety onto this black fig tree in our courtyard.


You may believe there are only a few varieties of fig out there, but you would be wrong about that.


One final point worth mentioning is that each variety of tree has a different optimum technique for grafting, so this stone fruit bud grafting technique won't work on figs.

Perhaps I will make another post on how to do figs in the future.

Now get out there and make the most of this knowledge!

Love & Light everyone ๐ŸŒฑ

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