During a recent visit to Singapore in February this year I visited Mr. Lee Chong Khee at the Head Horticulture Centre, National Parks Board Tel:+65 62725323 Fax: +65 62728029 http://www.nparks.gov.sg
The Nursery covers 20 hectares and Mr. Lee’s main duty at the nursery is to propagate and maintain the tropical fruit trees. Potting Mix used is 2 parts soil, 1 part sand and 1 part coco-peat. The following notes represent answers to questions I posed:
Approach grafting can be done all year round
Bud grafting is best from March to July in Singapore (our September – January) as the branches are too woody at other times of the year and the bud comes off easily at this time. We take buds about 1 ½ inches long (30mm) early in the morning then keep them in a wet cloth and then graft on the same day. Cover with 50mm wide Nescofilm put out by Nippon Shoji Kaisha Ltd., Osaka Japan.
Marcotting Always make sure that your marcot is in the shade – not in the sun – can be done all year.
Carambola Can be air-layered and grafted
Custard Apples Bud or Wedge graft. We’ve never tried marcotting them but you can try.
Durian We’ve tried many methods but find that springtime bud grafting is the best method for peeling off the bud but you can also wedge graft and approach graft.
Jackfruit We only grow from seed but you could bud graft in Spring.
Mango If you want to top work your mango and graft on new varieties, chop it off and wait for the new shoots to appear so they’re about 30-50 cm long and about the thickness of a pencil. You can either Bud graft, Wedge graft or Approach graft.
Papaya We Tongue graft it.
Durian Never disturb the surface roots as it has a lot of fine hairs. Damaging them affects the quality of the fruit. Best time of year is March to June.
Jackfruit Ready to pick 90 days from flowering
Kuini is from the Mango family
Loquat Won’t fruit in Singapore – very good in Taiwan and Japan
Nutmeg You need two
Macadamia Doesn’t fruit or flower here
Mangosteen Available April May June
Rambutans Interior branches should be pruned for air ventilation and good sunlight penetration. This is for controlling pests and diseases.