Q: What is the correct grafting procedure for grapes and muscadines. I have uncessfully attempted to graft cultivated varieties of both onto wild established and vigorous rootstock in an attempt obtain productive vines early. I normally have good success using normal grafting techniques on plums, mayhaws, and pecans. A different technique may be needed for grapes. Any advice or alternate source of information you can provide would be appreciated.
A: The best way to graft grapes is to use a "T" bud. It can be used on both old as well as young vines. The key to making the technique work is to make a "bleed cut" about one to two inches below the "T" cut. In this way the vine bleeds at this cut and not at the "T" above. If the vine bleeds at the "T" cut, the bud cannot heal.
The "T" or shield bud is outlined in detail at the following site: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/propagation/propagation.html This technique is best used in early to mid-spring; do not try too early though as the sap from the vine will be excessive. You will need to cut and store buds in January or February.
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