On January 16, 2015, the South Carolina Watermelon Association (SCWA), SCDA, and Clemson University will host a hands-on plant grafting workshop. The workshop will be held at the Hilton Columbia Center Hotel, 924 Senate St., Columbia, SC from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.
Registration for the workshop is $10. Registration fees will be collected at the time of the workshop but pre-registration is encouraged. To pre-register for the grafting workshop you can contact Ellen Lloyd, Administrative Specialist, SCDG, at (803) 734-9807 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt Cornwell at email@example.com.
Grafting is the practice of joining a cutting (scion) possessing desirable market and horticultural characters to a rootstock that can confer increased resistance/tolerance to soilborne diseases, nematodes and/or abiotic stress, in addition to increased yield or enhanced fruit quality. The fact that grafted plants can be prepared and/or used by growers operating at any scale, in any setting and within any production system is unique. Although the grafting methods learned at this workshop can be applied to several plant species, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomato and appropriate rootstocks will be used as demonstration plants at the work shop.
Soilborne diseases make production of various fruit and vegetable plants difficult not only in the home garden but can be extremely detrimental in a commercial field. Because many of the root stocks used in grafting may confer resistance/tolerance to soilborne diseases, grafting has gained increased interest in the US. Tony Keinath, Vegetable Pathologist at Clemson University Coastal Research & Education Center (CREC), will discuss grafting for disease control.
There are several methods for joining scion and rootstock. Success takes practice and knowledge of the most appropriate grafting method for the chosen plant species. Richard Hassell, Vegetable Extension Specialist at Clemson University CREC will cover cucurbit grafting using the “One Cotyledon” and “Hole Insertion” grafting methods. Dr. Hassell will demonstrate the “Splice Method” for tomato grafting. Gilbert Miller, Vegetable Specialist at Clemson University Edisto Research & Education Center will demonstrate the “Approach Method” of grafting watermelons.
Grafting can be tedious and time consuming. Being successful requires knowledge and implementation of the appropriate procedures and much practice. You should be able to take home from this grafting workshop the knowledge needed and with continued practice, be successful grafting plants for your own production.