Well, the time has come to start getting ready for winter grafting. This year I decided to make some changes to the basic setup of things that will hopefully yield better results and make things go a little smoother. The first change is to use larger diameter rootstock. This year I'm using 1/4" stock, rather than the 3/16" I used last year. I made this decision after talking to Ed Shinn and others about the relationship of the size of the understock to the success of the graft. All agreed that larger is better (more stored food in the plant, better vascular system, etc.) It may not seem like a lot, but that extra little bit of caliper makes a big difference in the plant. The other change I made was to buy a decent pot/tray system. These are 4" square pots with matching trays that hold 15 pots each. The trays really make things easier to move around, hold the pots firmly, and these particular trays feature sculptured sides that make getting pots in and out a breeze. Last year was a real pain with my little round pots on cheap aluminum cookie sheets! This is a vast improvement. (see pics) So I've been potting up my rootstock from Heritage Seedlings and putting them outside to stay cold. In a few weeks I'll start the process of bringing them all indoors to wake them up and begin the grafting process. In the mean time, I'll be planning which plants to take scions from and getting a general idea of how much wood I can swap with others. Stay tuned!