Grow Your Own Fruit Trees

Workshop on growing your own fruit trees at Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens

Making a grafting cutThis jam-packed half-day workshop will introduce you to the amazing world of growing your own fruit trees and give you the knowledge and skills to grow trees from seed or cutting.

You'll learn how to preserve heritage varieties, how to graft rootstocks or existing fruit trees to change varieties, and be able to practice three technique of grafting, including whip-tongue, cleft and bark grafting.

Many gardens don't grow the variety of fruit that you prefer to eat, or the fruit all ripens together in a glut, or the tree never has any fruit for lack of a polliniser. Imagine how much money you'll save by growing your own trees, and how much fun you can have by changing varieties, or adding new varieties and creating a "fruit salad tree".

This workshop covers the reasons for grafting, explains what a rootstock is and how to get one, and demonstrates three grafting techniques.

During the second part of the workshop you'll get the chance to learn and practice the technique yourself, while being supervised by an experienced grafter.

All aspects of growing your own trees are season specific (for example cuttings are taken in winter, grafting happens in spring and budding happens in summer), so even though this workshop focusses on grafting, you'll also learn about other grafting techniques and when to use them, and go home with a calendar, so you'll know what to do, and when to do it!

Budding is another form of grafting to grwo your own fruit treesThe workshop is taught by Katie who learnt at the knee of master grafter Merv Carr (her Dad), who runs the Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens tree nursery, growing all the trees that are planted on this 5,000 tree organic orchard.

By the end of this workshop you’ll never need to buy a fruit tree again, but will have the skills and confidence to grow your own trees and continually improve your fruit tree garden to grow exactly the type of fruit you want to eat!

 

"Thanks for taking time to answer specific questions and explain clearly to a novice."
Eliza Gilchrist, Castlemaine, central Victoria

Who is this workshop for?

  • People who are already growing, or wanting to grow, their own fruit
  • People who look after fruit trees in the community
  • People who are interested in organics, permaculture, growing their own food, or food security
  • People who already grow, or are interested in growing, fruit or fruit trees commercially

What does this workshop cover?

A young trree with buds inserted to grow new fruit tree

  • The theory of grafting, reasons for grafting, and the difference between grafting and budding
  • Equipment required for grafting and budding
  • How and when to collect seed or cuttings and how to look after them
  • How and when to plant seeds and cuttings
  • Sources of rootstocks for grafting
  • Compatabilities between different rootstocks/types of trees
  • Techniques for changing the variety, or adding a pollinising variety, to a mature tree
  • How to add a create a "fruit salad tree"
  • Seasonal plan for growing your own trees

What’s provided?

  • Equipment for grafting and budding practice (other than knives and secateurs)
  • Knife sharpening equipment
  • Workshop notes

What you need to bring:

  • A knife if you would like to practice grafting or budding. Specific grafting or budding knives are available, but a sharp, clean pocket knife will do.
  • Here's a great link to find out more about knives
  • Clean, sharp secateurs
  • A pen and/or coloured markers for note taking (full written notes are provided, but you may like to make additional notes)
  • Appropriate warm clothing (the workshop is held in our shed, and despite being heated it can be quite cold)

About Us

We – Hugh and Katie Finlay – draw on over 15 years' experience as orchardists at our farm, Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, to bring you the Grow Great Fruit Program, the farm-proven system for home fruit growers.

To read the full story of our farming journey, click here 

MAFG Blog

Our blog gives a snapshot on various aspects of life on the farm. Currently Katie is documenting her journey as winner of the 2015 RIRDC Rural Women's Award for Victoria!

Visit the blog 

MAFG Forum

Grow Great Fruit Forum

Our Grow Great Fruit Forum is a place where our program members can access member resources, ask questions, and find answers to their specific fruit-growing problems.

Visit the Forum here.

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