Horticulturist Allen Owings showed Hammond Garden Club members how to make grafts during our meeting this month.
Grafting is a method of asexual plant propagation that joins plant parts from different plants together so they will heal and grow as one plant, he said. Nursery workers and fruit tree producers must know how to graft and hobbyists can also learn this useful technique.
Grating includes a method called budding that is becoming the grafting method of choice in fruit tree production. Dr. Owings said grafting or budding a tree is essentially the same, but the procedures differ. He also explained the different methods of each.
Other methods are vegetatively (by seed), but many plants will not reproduce true from seeds. There are certain fruit trees that have to have a male and female for cross-pollination and one way of achieving that is to graft a scion from a male plant onto a female plant, he said.
He then showed us how to make the cut onto the tree stem in the shape of a T, stick the other piece into that cut and wrap it to secure the graft.
It was a very interesting lecture with many questions and much discussion from the members.
Dr. Owings had brought with him a peach and a pecan tree and gave both to us to use as door prizes or whatever we wanted.
It was decided to use one of them to plant for our Arbor Day ceremony in January. One member volunteered to take it home and keep it watered and fed till January gets here.
Dr. Owings was raised in Loranger and went to Southeast Louisiana University, then to Louisiana State University and received his doctorate in horticulture from Mississippi State University. He works part time at Cleggs Nursery in Inniswold and the other part at Bracy’s Nursery in Amite. His father, Dr. A. D. Owings taught at Southeastern in agriculture and integrated pest management so his love of plant life comes by him honestly!
The November meeting was wonderful but short because of that nasty old COVID-19. The members weren’t down with it, but because of it we weren’t able to get Garden Of The Month or Link Award reports.
The hostesses provided some beautiful chrysanthemum plants won by Margaret Hawkins, Helen Tallo, Fran Steib, Sylvia Dileo, Marta Lichtl and myself.
I’ll leave you today with some sage advice from Charlie Chaplin: 1) Nothing is forever in this world, not even our problems. 2) I love walking in the rain because no one can see my tears. 3) The most lost day in life is the day we do not laugh. 4) The six best doctors in the world are the sun, rest, exercise, diet, self-respect and most of all friends. Stick to them in all stages of your life and you will enjoy a healthy, happy life!
The Hammond Garden Club is a proud member of District VI, Louisiana garden Club Federation, Inc. and the Deep South Garden Clubs, Inc. doing our best to unify and beatify our homes, gardens, our city and our nation every day to the best of our ability. God bless America and God bless Hammond!