Archive | 10:48 pm

Meet the new additions

22 Sep

As mentioned in my last post, I’m constructing a wall of espaliered citrus varieties.

We trekked out to Dural (North-West Sydney) today to buy the trees because they have specialist citrus grower Engalls out there.

I have a very understanding family!

In the end I only bought one of my trees there because the trees were all a bit too good! I plan to start my espalier quite low to the ground, so it was important that the trees I bought were still pretty young and whippy. If they are too established then they won’t be ‘bendy’ enough for me to manipulate them into the shape I want. Engalls sold beautiful established trees – too strong to bend to my will.

I’m planning on using the KNNN method championed by Bob Magnus. Thanks to Bek for the link.

Bob says I need to use dwarf trees for the KNNN method. I like breaking rules, and given the low-light situation a bit of ‘rapid growth’ might be just what I need.

I had a chat with the lovely and helpful guy at Engalls, and he quickly shot down the idea of a grapefruit. Apparently you really need a full-sized tree to support fruit that size. He also tried to dissuade me from a mandarin because their structure doesn’t suit espaliering very well. He said that I should absolutely get a Tahitian lime because they are the best suited of all, and a Meyer lemon because they are close behind. Apart from that, oranges are also well suited.

I mostly listened to him, but ended up pushing my luck a little.

So I bought:

A Tahitian Lime and a Meyer Lemon

An Imperial Mandarin and Eureka Lemon

And a Nagami Cumquat and a Tarocco Blood Orange

According to the expert, I’m going to struggle a little with the cumquat and the mandarin, but I’m willing to take a risk. I can always transplant out to another location (maybe even where the mulberry currently lives!)

So I spread them out along the fence to get an idea of placement. Gosh – that backyard is a mess!

And I’m struggling a little with the decision. The trees at the right will get the most light. I think the first 3 from the right will do pretty well. The last 3 will be under the tree and will struggle more. So, should I give the most promising varieties (Lime, Meyer Lemon, Eureka Lemon) the prized positions and let the others struggle, or do I give the ones that are more likely to struggle the most light, and perhaps fail at the lot?

Next step, sledgehammer. The beds are coming out!

And once the banana fruits, it is too.