How a wedge graft is performed

Hello good! In this week’s article I want to explain something that I really wanted to explain here. How a wedge graft is performed. I have already explained to you what spikes are and the importance of their selection, this is the first step, since without a good spike the graft will not be born in ideal conditions. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, I advise you to take a look at the article. The graft that I am going to expose in this article is made on a low or head vine, although it can also be applied to the trellis.

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What is a wedge graft?

A wedge graft is one way the vine is grafted. In case you don’t already know, the vine is divided into two parts, the external part, which is the part that is visible and produces the grapes, and the internal part or that cannot be seen, which are the roots. The root part is planted first until the trunk reaches a considerable thickness. The foliage of the plant is also taken into account when grafting it. Once the optimal conditions are met, this work is carried out.

There is another very common way to graft here in this area of Montilla, bud grafting. Currently, the new strains that are planted in trellis vines are already grafted using this method.

What is the ideal time for wedge grafting?

The ideal time is before the start of flowering. The optimal months are January, February and March. In the month of April it is also grafted, but it is too late because the sap of the plant begins to move due to the beginning of flowering and the cut that must be made causes too much bleeding in the plant.

How a wedge graft is performed

1st Step: Discover the plant. The first thing is to select the plant, check that it meets the appropriate conditions such as: trunk thickness and foliage. To do this we must uncover the plant about 10 – 15 centimeters, if we see that it meets the conditions, we make a small pool around it to be able to work comfortably.

2nd Step: Cutting the plant or rootstock. Once the pool is made, we must cut the rootstock or trunk of the plant as high as possible, but taking into account that the cut remains clean and horizontal to the surface of the soil. We must also tie the esparto grasses to the trunk to be able to tie the graft later. We must leave a considerable distance from the pattern cut, although this will depend later on the wedge. See how it looks in the following image.

3rd Step: Make the wedge to the spike and insert it into the pattern. Now comes one of the most delicate steps, making the wedge to the spike. The first thing is to select the spike most suitable for the trunk of the plant, then make the wedge to the spike, making both sides of the spike equal, so that the union with the plant is perfect. Finally we will have to make a cut right in the middle of the pattern to insert the spike wedge. The spike should be as seen in the photo.

4th Step: Join the spike and the pattern with the esparto grass. The spike is inserted and the graft is tied, with this we ensure that the union is as precise as possible and that not much of the sap escapes due to the cut made. There must be no gap through which knowledge can escape.

5th Step: Cut at the appropriate height. Now we must cut the spike at the height we deem appropriate. This will depend on our area or the conditions in which the vineyard is located. The normal thing for this type of strain is to leave about 20 centimeters of free height to the ground.

6th Step: Bury the entire graft. We have already finished making the graft, now we bury it so that the weather conditions do not affect this process. It should be completely buried, covering the topmost bud with a small portion of soil, which in principle is the one that should flower and become the head of the future vine.

I hope this article serves as a reference for you to have an idea of how a wedge graft is performed. The process is a little more complex than what is stated, but I did not want to go into details either. If you have any questions, you have the comments field to ask them. Regards and until next time!

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