How much do I trust the neighbourhood?

2 Sep

The blueberries look like they are going to have a stellar season.

Not sure if the new plants helped, but practically every flower is setting fruit, and the second-year Nelly Kellie blueberries are loaded with fruit and flowers.

I was showing my friend Robyn the plants the other day, and she starting calculating the value of the fruit on each plant. I think I have a punnet of organic blueberries on each little branch of this plant.

And several on this branch.

Let’s say conservatively that organic blueberries are $5 a punnet – I think each of my Nelly Kellies might be holding upwards of $100 in fruit in addition to the value of the plant itself.

So far they haven’t looked too blueberry-like with their pretty white flowers, but at some point it’s going to become pretty obvious that these bushes represent significant value, and are ‘ripe for the picking’ (so to speak).

So if you were me, would you be taking them around to the backyard sometime soon, or should I have more faith in people?

19 Responses to “How much do I trust the neighbourhood?”

  1. Robyn September 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    I had another thought. If you put them out the back, how much do you trust the chickens? Or perhaps trust other members of the household to not let the chickens out…. Maybe the front yard is less risky!

  2. Barbara Good September 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    I reckon if it’s just the fruit you’re worried about leave them in the best possible position (full sun etc) and go out early in the morning to pick all the ripe berries as they come. You might lose a few but hopefully not too many. if the plants themselves are at risk move them. but I agree with Robyn, you’re chickens could be more of a problem than your neighbours!

    But I have another more pressing question – do blueberries need a mate to fruit. I have one plant covered in flowers (like yours), don’t tell me it won’t produce if it’s on its own. I’ve already made plans for those berries!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 3, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      Definitely not worried about the berries themselves. I’m quite happy to share those around if people feel like a snack. I’m just concerned about the whole plants being taken. I don’t think that you need a mate for your blueberry, but another definitely would help.

  3. Lilian September 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    I think blueberries fruit better with a mate – I read it somewhere – and better still if you get mates of a different variety. I would put them in the back, but that’s me. After our incident with the palm tree out front being set alight by recalcitrant youth in our neighbourhood, I’m gun shy. I have planted our mulberry tree in the front yard though. I’m hoping that they are such a rarity nowadays that people won’t think to eat them.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 3, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      Yeah Lilian, I think your mulberries are safe – if anyone attempted it they are bound to be caught purple-handed! ;p

  4. Louise September 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Wow, they are looking great! My Nelly Kelly’s are looking at a similar stage but I think my plants are smaller than yours. Mine too are setting very well – the bees have been working very hard ( I wonder what blueberry honey is like?).

  5. Liz September 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    There was a letter in my local paper about someone nicking a watermelon from someones front garden last Autumn so perhaps keep them a little away from the fence…. I had a grevillea that was right on the fence line dug up one night – it is annoying, especially as it probably wouldn’t have survived the transplant. My plants are flowering at the moment – really keen to see if they set berries – and very excited…

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 3, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      I think that’s my problem Liz – no fence! And this year I’m growing watermelons…

  6. Nina September 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I really, really must get some blueberry plants. Yours look fantastic. It is a dilemma, growing produce out the front. It’s difficult to fit everything we want out the back! I had potatoes last year which were left alone – it was probably too much trouble to bandicoot them, anyway.

    I’ve recently planted a fig tree out front, as I just don’t have the room for one out back and a friend gave it to me. I’ve also got a strawberry and pineapple guava out there but none have fruited yet so have been safe so far. I figure if people are that desperate for a bit of fruit, they probably need it more than me.

    However, as your blueberries are in pots, I’d be a little more worried that the whole pot would go missing. A risk you might want to take, if they do better out there.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 3, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Yes that’s how feel about random produce too Nina – happy to share, but whole plants are a different story. I wonder if my house insurance would cover it? I’m sure if I rang to check it would give the call centre a more interesting morning 🙂

  7. Robyn September 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    I should probably add that I would never have thought of anyone stealing your blueberries if it weren’t for the fact that you’ve already had fruit trees in pots nicked from your front yard.

    What you need to do is put the roses back in. A fence of thorns would be a good deterrent! Maybe just plan your front garden bed around stuff with thorns etc to keep people out and hide the blueberries from view? I say those cucumbers you had out the back a while ago would work well! 😛

  8. Bek September 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    I would definitely be putting them around the back. I had a pumpkin stolen from my front yard garden last season. It was a massive thing and had obviously been cut at the stem, which says premeditated pumpkin theft to me! But that said it’s worth netting the plants to stop the birds getting to them, so you could leave them out the front with netting over, which for most people would be enough of a deterrent.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 3, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      Premeditated pumpkin theft- yikes! Luckily I haven’t had any trouble with birds on my blueberries, but I’ll say that and then a hoard of cheeky cockatoos will descend in a single feast one day…

  9. YW September 4, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    I would say trust the people, but I grew up remembering our fruitful chilli plant being dug out and stolen in the middle of the night.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 9, 2012 at 9:57 am #

      That’s terrible! And I wonder if they would have known how to look after it or if it would have died soon after transplant?

      • YW September 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

        Too depressing to think about really, it would be nice to think they took care of it 😦

  10. sydfoodie September 5, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    People in your neighborhood have form – you did lose trees last year. Maybe leave the pots at the front, but closer to the house. Tie some bells to the trunk too … And maybe a note as well like: “thou shalt not steal” or “karma will get you”.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 9, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      The problem is that our street has a lot of foot traffic between the business park and the free parking areas so hundreds of people walk past each day to get to and from work. I’m sure my actual neighbours are trustworthy.

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