This weekend two guys from Fiji's Department of Agriculture helped me graft mangos on my farm. Allow me to share what we did.
For background, my partner and I have a 15 acre seaside hobby farm in Fiji. In a 4 acre section near my home I am planting mostly dooryard fruit, while focusing on citrus, mango and avocado for the remainder. The farm also has an area with a low water table and shade for those that need it (cocoa, mangosteen, jaboticaba) and a higher-elevation area for native fruits and those that need wind protection (Fijian Longan, Rambutan).
I asked for help, since my prior mango grafting success record has been poor (~20%), compared to 50% on avocado and 80%-90% on citrus.
They came with enough scions for the 117 in-ground rootstocks plus some extra. We had 4 varieties of scions, in approximately equal numbers: Mapulehu, Kensington Pride, Nam Doc Mai, and Baramasi.
The rootstocks are all 'Fiji mango' - very fibrous but well-suited to the climate. The rootstocks were in the ground, since I had a powdery mildew problem last year in the shade house and planted them before it became to severe. This meant walking from tree to tree in the field. My farm hand and I assisted the two grafters as we could.
Almost all the seedling grafts were cleft grafts. They brought their own tape, and didn't like my Parafilm for mango because it didn't 'bounce back' like their tape did. I don't know the name of their tape, but after stretched it would contract to tighten on the graft much more than Parafilm. It was made by Donco but I couldn't find the specific tape on the web. It wasn't a sticky tape and needed to be tied.
They also criticized my knife as not being sharp enough, though I was proud of my sharpening skillls (plenty sharp for kitchen use, too!). They preferred sandpaper for sharpening. Something like the 'Scary Sharp' method.
We also did a few bark grafts when the diameter of the rootstock and scion were extremely mismatched. They preferred this to matching up only one edge on a cleft graft.
We also top-worked one young tree in my yard. On this, they preferred bark grafts.
The Ag guys expectations for success on the grafts ranged from 70% to 90%. Even 70% would be great, from my perspective, and we'll do another round to fill the holes in a few months. This is a great step forward for my farm. Thank you for reading this far.