Pruning ..

Turkish quince hiding amongst the greenery

Turkish quince hiding amongst the greenery

At long last yesterday morning we finally got some rain. Not much mind you, but enough to get me wet while I was feeding the chooks!

Peach tree after a mini haircut

Peach tree after a mini haircut

At last, fruit tree pruning is underway. I usually like to prune stone fruit at the end of summer or start of autumn, while pip fruit are given a trim in winter. A peach and the Doris plum were given a mini haircut yesterday. The day was fine of course, a slight breeze and low humidity. A pair of sharp secatuers, methylated spirits, pruning saw and pruning paste. I always free up the centre of the tree to allow air movement and sunlight, ideally a bird should be able to fly through the middle. Not much point having branches going skyward either, too hard to get the fruit off, plus the tree wastes energy on these. I always trim off damaged branches and those that are growing from root stock or branches that are too low. Nice to have some good shape. If I cut off a sizeable branch (think of the size of a bottle cap) I always cover the end in paste – a good smothering of the googey stuff, helps to prevent infection. Important to always trim as close to the main branch as possible and ensure you prune on an angle so water can run off. The meths, well I use that to clean the equipment between trees, not much point spreading disease. I enjoy pruning … not sure why, perhaps I should have been a hairdresser?

There is still much happening in our vege garden. The chilies are coming on brilliantly … I’m sure that planting them in a bed with loads of seaweed has helped significantly. It is rotting away nicely in situ providing nutrients to the plants and is also acting as a mulch.Wonderful stuff I know my garden thinks so too!

We have one zucchini plant which is still growing and amongst the leaves is a monster zucc or should I say marrow. Massive thing which I am leaving. Many of the old leaves on the plant are covered in powdery mildew which I must remove and bin, imperative to keep diseased material out of your compost.

Way too big ... meet Mr Marrow

Way too big … meet Mr Marrow

Speaking of composts, the one I made a few weeks back has reduced in size as you would expect. I would love to turn it into the bin next door, but this is chocka with mulch and stuff. Funny how you can have land and still run out of room? This wonderful organic soil will be used in our next hot box a winter haven for spuds. But more on that later.

We have an outdoor table and chairs which is covered by lichen. Looks like some sort of science project .. I couldn’t believe my eyes the other day when I spied a paper wasp nest hidden by the top of the table. These guys aren’t nasty like the European wasp .. however they will give you a sting and believe me it hurts too. They literally build their home out of wood which they scrape from posts, wood etc mix with saliva and then design their cells, creating a home for their brood. I have learnt over time here to look closely when gardening as they will turn up in the strangest of places. A table?

Paperwasps_190213-1020155

Living out here has certainly made me appreciate loads of things though … the weather, insects, plants and trees and of course my vege garden. Nothing like it … and nothing better than a glass of Toi Toi in the garden at the end of the day!

Happy gardening!

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