Archive | 10:26 pm

The most beautiful tree in the world hits a snag

8 Aug

A couple of months ago I planted a sunset peach and nectarine. They have beautiful red foliage and stunning pink flowers. I’ve put them in matching pots on either side of the front yard and they are just coming into flower.

It is just the most beautiful sight – pink blossoms against vibrant red leaves, all in a tiny package, barely 40cm tall.

So I was pretty sad today when I realised that both my peach and nectarine have leaf curl.

Leaf curl is a nasty fungal disease that overwinters well in the little crevices on the tree, then springs quickly into life again once the weather warms slightly, curling the young leaves as they emerge in the Spring.

Our uncharacteristically warm weather in Sydney has sprung my fruit trees to life – they are almost* all flowering, including the dwarf apples. My mulberry is loaded with fruit already, and I have a bumper blueberry crop that I really should thin, but I’m not gonna.

So before I had even thought about spraying fruit trees with anything, the leaf curl has hit the peach with a bang. Dr Google says that it’s useless trying to control it at this stage, but I just can’t admit defeat. So I pulled out the lime sulfur spray this morning and gave the stonefruit a good spray, despite the fact that they are flowering. Now they look all bedraggled and yellow, and the smell! Despite the scary bottle, revolting smell and extreme safety directions, lime sulfur is actually an allowed organic input. It is reportedly highly effective against leaf curl, but not past the bud-swell stage, which my trees are well past.

I expect that the spray is going to burn the new foliage, and I’m not sure what will happen to the flowers. I’ll need to repeat the spray in a couple of weeks I think. I haven’t decided whether to pick off the infected leaves – any advice on how to proceed would be gladly received!

In other news, the garden is looking very much ‘between seasons’. I have a stack of seedlings ready to go in once it warms a bit more, and I can’t wait to rip out the remaining crops to make way for them. My brussels sprouts are finally producing, and they are fascinating everyone. I love to watch people’s faces when they ask what it is, then I lift the leaves to reveal the sprouts. It’s like a hidden treasure.

Also, and regular readers will understand how much self control was required by me to leave this till last, heck, to not devote a whole post to this even- I hereby declare my indoor coriander-growing experiment a success!

* The sickly Imperial mandarin is looking worse. Certainly not flowering.