This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
I havE written nothing about Horticulture so long, that I feel almost ashamed to begin again. Yet I do not know but it is as well for me not to begin. For the past three or four years, I have been so much engaged in other fields of exertion that I have not read as much in either Horticulture or Agriculture as had been my custom for twenty years, and the little I have read, some four or five Agricultural papers, contains so much of new - to me - principle that I am behind the age. I am therefore fearful that I may run foul of some exploded doctrine; this, to me, would be awful, as I detest the cognomen of fogyism so much.
I have been trying two modes of grafting, which I see not laid down, by writers, and have so well succeeded that I wish to give it forth, and inquire of you what you think at least of the first, viz: -
Having been advised by two or three plain country folks, to try laying the entire scion in the earth, with the top end only out of ground, inserting grails every eight to twelve inches, I tried a few Apples last year. I succeeded as well as with any mode of grafting I ever tried. The plan: - I took a long straight scion, say five to eight feet long, laid it upon a stout solid plank, and with a hammer and half-inch firmer chisel split through the stock about every ten inches, in which I inserted a graft already prepared, wedge-shaped, thrusting through the stock, then buried in the earth, leaving grafts and top end out of the earth. I had over five feet growth, - a bad year for growth, and in a situation shaded at least one-half the day. What I desire is, to know whether trees thus grown will probably do as well as others? I have seen objections made to root grafting, another favorite method of mine.
My Second mode, and from whom I learned it, I now forget, - is, to cut scion and graft as for splice grafting, and split down on face of splice and make a tongue, cutting nothing out; and then thrust the grafts down so that the tongues enter each split. I have done thus upon grafts and stock nearly one-half inch in diamater. Upon small and less labor to prepare the stock; as in heading down, the slope is made, and then a quarter or less split finishes. I then use grafting wax spread on cloth aud torn into one-quarter to one-half inch strips. I think I can put as many in, this way, as any other plan I have tried. In the first mode, nothing is used around the graft, the roots putting out from graft as well as from stock. I presume it to be fully as good as layering.
I have used another mode somewhat between budding and grafting, on the Peach. Our seedlings bud out full two weeks, usually, before the improved northern varieties. When seedlings are about one-fourth to one-half inch in diamater, I head down with a short sloping cut; on the highest edge of the cut I split down the bark, say in March, when the leaves are half an inch or so long, bark slipping readily; then with my graft cut as for splice grafting, I thrust it down the stock and wrap with my waxed cloth. The trees are ready to transplant that fall and winter, often growing ten feet high, on rich land. I usually do this on the stock on which the bud inserted the fall before had failed, and thus fill up all vacancies. I do not know how the first and last will do for you, and only give them as what I have learned from home folks.
It may be that our climate is better suited, than yours, but it is certain that on favored soils, that we can grow many of our fruits from cuttings alone. I can show several, Peach, Plum, Apple, and Pear trees produced in this way. I give none of this as new; I never discovered any thing in my days; my talent lies more in imitation; invention is not for me. If this can avail aught towards good, I will be content.
P. S. Peaches have now (March 23d) done blooming, Pears in full bloom, Apricots and Cherries, also. Apples blooming, Cabbage Plants set out, Peas in bloom, Beets some two inches high, Radishes in plenty, Corn up, and some are planting Cotton. Turkies (wild) now gobling, tame are setting, Geese and Ducks setting, Chickens out by scores, and forward, Ducks hatched out. Fine Hyacinths about gone, Roses beginning, Spiraeas gone, Evergreens, Spruces, Pines, Hemlock, Yew, Boxes, Euonymous, etc, growing, Horse Chesnut one foot growth. So much for lat. 32 1/2. How of yours ?.