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.

Simple.

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.

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7 Responses to “I just can’t stop buying fruit trees”

  1. Sarah June 29, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Flowers are overrated!
    I think you should plant a pomegranate – they look so pretty on the tree, like christmas decorations 🙂

    • L June 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      And they grow well in pots too… *grin*

  2. Leanne Cole June 30, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    So many fruit trees, I think it is the way to go, let’s face it at the supermarket it is the fruit that costs so much money and the more fruit you can produce for yourself the less it will cost you, and trees will produce fruit for years, so consider it an investment of sorts.

  3. Bek September 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    I know you wrote this was a while back, but anyway, on the espaliering front, woodbridge fruit trees writes some really articles on how to espalier – http://www.woodbridgefruittrees.com.au/woodbridgefruittrees/articles/162-espaliering-made-even-easier—knnn-method.html
    I’ve found you need to be cruel and bend branches down to the point of thinking they might almost break and then tying them, though some people weigh them down gradually by tying water bottles to them and slowly filling with water over a few weeks.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      Thanks Bek. That is very interesting and your comment comes at the absolutely perfect time! I’ll be posting more about that shortly.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Struggles with Citrus « 500m2 in Sydney - March 13, 2012

    […] yard, along with a Navelina orange and a Satsuma mandarin. The mandarin was a replacement for my dwarf Imperial mandarin that I also managed to kill by […]

  2. Dwarf Mulberry – An Error « 500m2 in Sydney - September 20, 2012

    […] black mulberry tree is planted in the ground at the side of my front yard. I planted a number of my fruit trees there in March 2011 – it was a hasty decision brought about by the theft of a number of my […]

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