Sunday, 28 April 2013

Is there a tipping point?

Is there a size tipping point from fruit garden to orchard? Regardless, I am calling this area our orchard. It has taken many hours of hard slog to render it free from the roots of the old fig tree [non-fruiting except for lorikeet and bat fodder]. My guess is it was a Port Jackson fig. The root system is massive, and extensive. Less so now that our slave-gang has attacked it with his mattock, and his axe, and his chain-saw!

I was astounded to see the extensive footings for what is a most unremarkable front fence, but which indicates the slope that lay upon the block in its original state. Taken together with the tier-ing of the rear garden, the block must have sloped by many feet to the south-east as it ran down to Middle Harbour via a catchment of small creeks still visible in the area. Look at this fence - more like a brick retaining-wall. There are seven courses of brick above the surface, and I can see six courses already below the surface. The fig roots that riddled this area have been severed, and there is enough loam and space to plant fruit trees directly into the ground.

For a computer network engineer, said slave has created a terrific 'bed' for our trees: a mandarin, a lime, and a lemon. The rocks has been reused from the original landscaping for gardenias. Indeed, the only new materials we have brought in are the raised beds themselves. Everything else is recycled. I have enough compost ready to go to fertilise the orchard AND one of the raised beds, and hope to have this spread by mid-May.

Now specifically what trees do I contemplate:
  • a Satsuma Mandarin
  • a Tahitian Lime, and
  • a Eureka Lemon.
They will get us started. I already have two olives and a Black Genoa Fig. I think one of the olives is for the high-jump, and into its large pot will go the BG Fig. I need to upgrade its feeding. I now have three empty large pots from which I removed murrayas as I already have a hedge of murraya along the front of the house. Into these pots will go a cumquat and two grafted Nelly Kelly Black passionfruit - once I have determined what I will trail them over! And got yet another hair-brained scheme through the management!


head in the sun said...

Man, that's the biz, that fig tree!
Did you know that the ripe colour of tahitian limes is yellow?
I didn't.
They are green in the shops coz they go funny around the top if they are picked and stored ripe.
I left mine on the tree til they turned yellow.
And this little Australian book is very good.

Margaret said...

The garden is looking good, it will be such a joy when you get it to productive stage,spinach will grow fairly fast, for Alannah to watch and help harvest.
Ah yes....retirement is such a doddle isn't it ? sit about in the sun knitting, looking at pictures of the grandkids and sipping cups of tea......yeah, right !

Julie said...

Letty - I ordered that book from Fishpond. I chatted with a cousin on FB and he gave useful advice. I think Daleys will provide most of the rootstock. Not the avocadoes, which are the least possible anyway. Shall go slowly and bed one lot down, before biting off too much.

Julie said...

Margaret - I am not allowed to plant just yet. However, next weekend when the concrete edging goes in, and after forecast rain, I think the 'orchard' plot will be ready for my first load of compost. I desperately need another compost bin, perhaps even grandfather, father, son series.

I am working as hard now as when I was first a mother. I am eating better, yet the weight is dropping off at the same time. I spend a lot of time researching plants and methods. Loving every minute of it.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Whew you guys to a lot of work. My tahitian lime is languishing in a pot. Needs a feed but I doubt I will do it .., too lazy.

That is why I like my garden in Clandulla. It has planted itself and all I have to do is weed ... not plot of plan.

Julie said...

We do do a lot of work. However, for Darren it is such a change from his 9-5 job, which is computer networking. He did the last of the digging/mattocking today. For mine, gardening is not work.