Archive | 3:29 pm

I just can’t stop buying fruit trees

29 Jun

Vegetable production is fast. You just whack in the seeds, and 60-180 days later they’re on your plate.


I wish fruit was that easy. With fruit trees, you need to plant them, protect them from thieves, diseases, bugs, birds, possums, children, prune them, train them and then, if you’re really lucky you might actually get to eat something.

So my plan has been to start early, and start big. I figure that my success rate is going to be pretty low – I am a complete amateur after all. So I’m going for quantity. Even a newbie like me can’t kill 100% of my fruit trees, right?

Black Mulberry, Imperial mandarin, Eureka lemon, Navelina orange, Golden Dorset apple, Tropical Anna apple (All trees are dwarf)

So now I have quite a few fruit trees, and I just can’t stop ordering more. I like to think of it as an investment in the future.

Now every time I have a craving for a particular fruit, I don’t say Oh, I should go buy some, oh no, not me.

I think – I should buy a tree!

And I’m starting to run out of space.

Along the side of the front yard I have the dwarf fruit trees planted quite densely. I have space for one more between the orange and the apples, but I think I might put a dwarf Granny Smith in there. Apart from the banana in the back corner, the rest of the trees are growing in pots on the back deck.

Second from the left in the above picture is the dwarf Imperial mandarin. This guy has struggled since I gave him root rot through zealous overwatering in the bonsai bags. Since then I’ve put him in the ground and treated him with anti-rot fairly regularly.  Now I’m wishing that he would either get over it and thrive, or curl up his toes so I can replace him with something more successful.

Sulking isn’t very becoming in a plant.

So I’ve now given it a feed with some Dynamic Lifter for Citrus and a good water with some Harvest. A day later, and I think it might just look a fraction better.

Closest to the street I have my dwarf apples. I’m getting a bit nervous about these guys, because I’ve read about the importance of establishing a good branch structure early. I gather that this involves actually doing something, but what exactly eludes me.

This picture shows the troublesome structure of one of my apples. I’m aiming for a central leader style of pruning, so I think I’m supposed to be aiming for a main central trunk with branches that come off at close to horizontal angles. My branches have been growing almost parallel with the main trunk, so  I’m trying to increase the branch angles with the ties. At the ends of the branches the shoots are coming out densely in all directions, so I haven’t the foggiest idea about what to do with those. Help!

Yesterday my stonefruit arrived. I ordered the sunset peach and nectarine trees from Plantnet. Their big selling point is that they are low chill, so they are ideal for Sydney. They also won’t grow more than 1 metre high, which makes them ideal for pots, which is about my only option anyway.

The first problem is, last time I put fruit trees in pots out the front someone absconded with them. The other problem is that I’m running out of pots.

For these two specimens of future juicy goodness, an azalea and some other inedible shrub are about to have a very bad day.