PermablitzHI is a grassroots movement restoring                                                                      Hawaii’s food security, one backyard at a time.

Next Blitz – March 7

Waialae Nui Ridge




1st weekend in March we’ll be blitzing another Honolulu hillside – mark your calendars and stand by for our call for blitzers, this one will fill up fast.

Saturday, March 7th
Meet on-site at 9am.

WHERE: Waialae Nui Ridge
RSVP: Stand by to receive Call for Blitzers email one week prior to RSVP.

Yogarden Music Festival 2014: Basics of Grafting Workshop

Yogarden teamed up with Green Rows Farms to host the Yogarden Music Festival. The event was packed with all kinds of engaging activities all day long including yoga, garden workshops, and an awesome music lineup.

Side wedge graft

Drew Wilkinson held a workshop on grafting avocados and citrus trees. He guided participants through the basics from start to finish.  They explored plant anatomy, the grafting process,  and how to care for the plant after it’s been grafted. Some of the students were able to get hands on practice and a take home handout that helped provide the knowledge to create an abundance of food for the future.

Students get a turn at grafting

Basics of Grafting Handout:  by Drew Wilkinson

Why Graft?

  • Speed up fruiting process of plants from 5-10 years to 1-3 years. Within 1 year the grafted plant will have flowers, within two years the grafted plant will produce fruit.
  • Identical characteristics of fruiting tree
  • Able to combine more than one type of fruit tree cultivar on the same plant.
  • through different rootstocks, you are able to control size of grafted plant.
  • stronger taproot than air layering or cuttings.
  • Save money!

What is grafting?

Grafting is combining two or more different plants by connecting a budding end of one plant (scion) with a rootstock (mother plant) of another. A graft is made when the cambium layers of the scion and rootstock connect together and allow for the flow of nutrients and water. A callus will form over the wound and the two parts will heal together as one.

Vascular Plant image

xylem phloem


rootstock, scion , sharp grafting knife or razor blade, parafilm tape, garden tape, plastic bag, brush, tree wound sealer, pruning shears

Grafting Steps

Make sure to practice, practice, practice these cuts before using viable tissue.

Preparing Root stock- a seedling with stem about as thick as a pencil is ideal for most grafts (at least 6 weeks old.) Citrus can be grafted with each other. Lemon is a good rootstock for citrus. Mango can graft with Mango and avocado with avocado.

Selecting a scion– should be about 1 year old, same thickness as rootstock, looking for 3-5 buds near the tip, If you have a branch where the buds are already busted open into a leaf, simply cut off the top leaf and its ready to go, does not hurt plant to cut off scion, cut a few just in case, store scion in a plastic bag in refrigerator or in a box with newspaper and wet cloth-must keep them cool and out of the sun.

Different Grafting Methods:

2 types that work well for grafting avocados and citrus and are easier to perform. Side Wedge Graft and Cleft Graft

Side Wedge Graft: The main reason for using this technique is because it provides additional cambial contact. One  negative effect is that cutting the scion on both sides results in a greater tendency to expose the pith, which encourages drying out of the scion. This technique is used for species with thin flexible bark where all tissue elements can be retained in the flap.sidegraft 2


Tips on cutting scion:

-look for a flat 2-3 inch long area with no nodes.

-going to make 2 cuts: 1 about two inches at an angle and another at the end about half that.

-cut below a good viable bud

-hold knife like an x when slicing downward through scion

-don’t cut more than 1/3 way through scion

-flat side of blade down

Tips on cutting rootstock:

-find location on stock that matches thickness of stock 3-5 inches above soil

-locate a bud and start incision going about 1/3 way into the stock same length as scion cut.

-rock knife back and forth slowly.

-careful not to chip off outer layer and careful not to go all the way through.

-wrap tape from base to the top and slightly back down

-add wound sealer or wax to exposed cuts to prevent water from running into graft

-label and date your graft

Plant Care:

-3-4 weeks out: apical dominance: option 1-prune back after 3-4 weeks about 4 inches up or right above graft- option 2: bend top over into a more horizontal position, remove dominating factors but leaves are still providing food. Remove plastic tape to allow plant to expand

-eventually completely remove root stock top

-remove leaves on the lower nodes below

-wax helps prevent scion wood from drying out and prevents rain from getting into graft

-label your graft

-Keep in shady area: Biggest concern is desiccation (drying out of the scion)

-Put a plastic bag or saran wrap over the scion.

Cleft Graft

-select scion

-snip rootstock 6-8 inches from soil level

-create vertical cut in middle of stock

-cut both sides of the scion

-insert into top wedge

-wrap with tape

cleft graft

EXAMPLE Timeline for Grafting:

October. Plant Root stock Seeds

December. Graft Stocks and place in shade

January. Place in 50% shade outdoors and remove taped union if not using parafilm.

February. Place in open

March. Replant or transfer to larger pot


Grafting Videos:

  • Side Wedge Grafting Avocados:
  • Whip Grafting Mangos:
  • Veneer Grafting: Good video on some of the key parts and techniques of grafting.


  • CTAHR Grafting Avocados:
  • Grafting and Propagating Fruit Trees:
  • What is Grafting?


Kualoa Seed and Plant Exchange

Plant and Seed Propagation Workshop

About 80 people came out to spend a relaxing Sunday at Hale Moli’i on Kualoa Ranch to swap plants & seeds. Drew Wilkinson led a workshop on plant propagation and starting seeds to send the beginning gardeners off with some extra confidence and knowledge to care for their new seeds and plants. Gabe Sachter-Smith also did a workshop on saving seeds. Live music by Jungle Rocket, Paul Izak, and Hanalei Bishop kept everyone entertained. Guest speakers included The Littlest Co-Op’s Leo Campagna, Eating in Public’s Gaye Chan, Ag Co-chair and State Representative Jessica Wooley.

Seed and Plant Exchange    Taking home the goods

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Banana Growing Workshop

On Sunday April 13, 2014, Drew Wilkinson and Tia Silvasy hosted a Banana Growing Workshop at Positive Energetics Foundation on the North Shore of Oahu. We started out on the North Shore Edible Bike Path and then moved onto the farm at Positive Energetics Foundation where we delved into banana basics such as maintenance, harvesting, and propagation. We tasted our way through some delicious recipes including banana mac-nut bread, dehydrated cinnamon bananas, banana-papaya fruit salad, banana ice cream, and a delicous salad with creamy banana dressing. Everyone got a chance to dig up and take home a banana pup or two or three. We also explored strategies to identify and combat bunchy top virus by first treating the affected plant with a soapy-neem spray a few days before to kill off the aphids, then cutting down the plants, and removing the entire mat or root system and disposing into garbage bags for non-green waste disposal. For more information on how to treat and prevent the spread of bunchy top virus check out this website from CTAHR.




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photo 4


Junk to Joy Permaculture Workshop 3/30/14

Ocean Girl Project’s Kaily Wakefield teamed up with Drew Wilkinson to create an introduction to permaculture workshop called Junk to Joy. We explored our food, water, waste, and energy streams. We explained how we can adapt our lifestyle habits to create a great amount of positive change for the future . We will also delved into coastal edible plants, coastal remediation strategies, ways to protect our water supplies, and tips on how to grow your own food . We did a creative activity using macro plastics collected from the beach and created an art mosaic on a garden pot. Then planted some seeds in them. Cuttings were also given away.

Sharing Seeds





North Shore Edible Bike Path 2/16/14

Full moon Edible Bike Path Workday! We had about 15 community volunteers come out and help with the bike path. We unloaded mulch, removed weeds, chop and dropped pigeon pea and vetiver grass. Everyone took home some seeds and picked from our harvest of lemon grass, moringa, basil, and lilikoi. The bananas are on their way.



Bike Path 4


Permablitz Aina Haina

Permablitz hui Matt Lynch, Hunter Heaivilin, Paul Izak, and Drew Wilkinson led the charge of willing hands to transform Polly’s yard into an edible Aina Haina landscape.


A Cardboard weedmat is backfilled with a layer of compost + a layer of mulch, then planted with mutually beneficial plant species.

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Sweet Potato cuttings are an easy way to create an edible ground cover.

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Drew Wilkinson led the charge in creating a fruit tree guild. Fast growing & nitrogen fixing nurse crops (pigeon pea) protect & feed young fruit trees. Pollinator attractors (sweet basil) and a dynamic accumulator (comfrey) where planted to support the fruit trees’ growth & health.

Check out: to join Hawaii’s Edible Garden Revolution.