Since I am not clever or creative enough to figure out an interesting story line to go with this process, we will just stick to basic information. In most conifer grafting, we generally use a two year seedling as an understock. These plants are produced at a seedling specialist nursery that is capable of producing accelerated growth one year plugs. We receive these plants in late winter and use our drill potting system to transfer them to a 4 inch pot. These liners are then grown for an additional summer, generally increase in size three fold, and are used for grafting the following winter.
In order to give us flexibility to transplant into various flat configurations, we developed a simple system using a heavy duty hand drill mounted with a dowel (we use different bits for different size plugs). These dowels were produced from aluminum at a local tool and die shop. In the end, due to the fact that this type of transplanting occurs seasonally and in many varied formats, this simple system was far more cost effective than expensive fixed multiple drill bits on a standard flat transplanting machine.
Points to consider:
· Use GFI outlets to power the drills to provide extra electric shock protection.
· Apply extra electrical tape insulation to any cord areas that are subject to high traffic or abrasion.
· Inspect the cords often to insure a safe working environment.
A crew of less than ten people can easily transplant tens of thousands of liners a day with this simple, under $300 system.
Our source for these high quality conifer plugs (Pines, Spruce, Hemlock, Fir) is:
Evergreen Nursery Co. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, 920-743-4464