Thursday, September 12, 2013

Garden update

Well, it's been a while hasn't it? We've come out of our winter slumber and the garden is looking great. We've had such a wet end to winter (370mm since mid July) and the garden is loving it.

The fruit trees are looking good. Here are some pics:

The almond tree has a good crop. Hopefully the spraying I did will stop the shothole fungus problem we had last year. Need to net soon to stop the birds too.

We have so many bananas I can't even count them, at least 250 I'd say. They are quite small but will be yummy I'm sure. I've borrowed a friend's Vacola dehydrator to dry some since we won't be able to eat them all fresh.

The macadamia is looking its best ever. Fingers crossed we get some nuts this year.

The strawberry guavas are huge this year, this one is the size of a table tennis ball! We have just a few through the cooler months with the main crop in summer. If you live in Perth I would definitely recommend them to grow, kids love them. This year I've been adding liquid feed Greendex (by Bass). This is an additive for alkaline soils to correct the pH. Our plant is surrounded by limestone walls and the leaves were yellow with green veins last year. The Greendex has solved this and the plant looks much healthier.

We have lots of tiny apricots right now. I need to put fruit fly net on ASAP because apricots are like heroin to fruit flies and they can get them when they're small. 

This year I'm trying a new netting technique, which has a frame of rigid black pipe. At the apex is a nut and bolt to hold it together and at each corner is a peg going into the ground. All I need to do now is throw the net over and weigh down the bottom edges, if I get around to it I may even put a door in with velcro. The main issue with this tree is that it's a double graft. This sounded like a good idea when we bought it (fruit over a longer period, different varieties) but I now realise it will make it much harder to net. One side needs netting now and the other needs to be left open to pollinators since it hasn't even flowered yet. This means I need to net half the tree and then the whole tree in another month or so. What a pain in the bum, don't buy double grafted stone fruit trees is the moral of this story.

The grape vine is shooting now to provide us with summer shade and some fruit to boot.

The boy in the bubble (mango) is going well. The greenhouse effect has buffered it from the wind and cold of winter, so it should be ready for a big surge when it warms up (I'll replace the plastic with shade cloth for summer).

The veges are growing well too. The broad beans are nearly ready to eat. Old bike inner tubes are the best way to support broad beans.

After a slow start the leeks are looking good too.

Last but not least the most exciting development. About six months ago I planted three groups of Quandong seeds. I thought they had rotted away because it had been so long since planting but now I have two beautiful little seedlings in the front garden.

 Here is the first to come up, it's about 2cm tall at two months.

And here is one that just popped up, you can actually see the seed on the soil surface if you look closely. I am so chuffed because it's very hard to buy seedlings and also hard to propagate. They are native parasitic plants which attach themselves to other plants to get nutrients (much like the related Sandalwood), so I have host plants nearby. I can't wait to get our first crop in five years or so, Quandongs make the best jam in the world, ever!


  1. We bought some mesh sleeves that supposedly keep fruit flies out to put on our apricot tree (it is also double grafted and like yours only one side has flowers/fruit). We got them from the Green Harvest website. You could use those on the side of the tree that leaves them now and then put the net on later.

  2. Yep, that's not a bad idea. I've used the bags before but find them a bit fiddly, it sometimes causes fruit to fall off when you're tying them on. I think I'll set up a net over half the tree and then pull it over the other half when it's ready.

  3. I'm only about 10 months late reading this, but I was wondering where you bought your Greendex from? My citrus seem to always need topping up with trace elements and iron chelates and the results in your photos speak for themselves!

  4. Better late than never Rick. I bought the Greendex at Dawson's in O'Connor. If you see a middle aged bloke with red hair and beard ask him about your citrus. We call Derek the garden guru, he knows everything. Just make sure you have a spare half hour though, he can't half talk! Good luck with it.

  5. Thanks very much for answering. I'll be sure to check out Dawson's.