T'was a beautiful sunny autumn day, so we all decided to get a bit of vitamin D in the orchard and performed a bit of fruit tree maintenance.
Of all the twelve fruit trees that I have planted in the front yard, all but two are growing well. The two poor performers are a pair of dwarf cocktail pears. Mind you, I haven't really helped their cause, as the mulch was non-existent because all the local birds nicked it for their nests, and Kim insisted that I plant an agapanthus in the same bed which sucks all the water from the bed.
Here they are, and you will have to look hard they are like sticks. They were both heavily attacked by cherry and pear slug and have struggled all year long. It was time to dig them up, re-pot them and give them a little tender loving care.
I had a couple of well cared for olive trees in pots that were just screaming to be put in the ground, so this was the tree of choice to replace the olives. Ben popped the pear trees in a bucket with some water to keep them going until I replant them tomorrow.
The ground was rock hard clay, and I had to resort to bashing the crap out of it with a mattock to loosen the soil. After a big soak of water, I managed to get it down about 4 feet.
Here is one of the olive trees before being replanted. I placed a liberal few handfuls of worm castings in the bottom of the hole and sprinkled some more around the top of the root ball before backfilling with soil.
Here is the replanted olive tree with a little moat. I will heavily mulch it tomorrow.
Meanwhile, by the pool, the sun dogs were all pooped out from running around the front yard, and needed a rest. Are we keeping you awake Teddy?
Then it was a case of repeat the process and get the second olive tree in the ground. This hole was harder because it was riddled with dead tree roots from the old gum tree we had removed two years ago. The mattock was required again to remove them so I could dig deeper. Once in the ground, it was time for the obligatory proud bloke photo!
Now I lost the tags for these olives long ago, so only know that these olives grow big and are for eating. One day I will remember to write down the variety when I buy them!
After I planted the two trees, it was time to weed the paths and some of the garden beds. Ben was not impressed with the work, and complained for a while until I pitched in and gave him a hand. After that it was quite pleasurable weeding with Ben as he is quite a funny lad especially when he found a huntsman spider near the cherry tree ;-)
The it was lunch and time for a rest. After the break, I grabbed my garden clippers and a book about pruning fruit trees and headed back into the orchard. With a fair bit of confidence, I pruned back each of the deciduous fruit trees, and even tackled the peach and apple trees near the cob clay oven. In the end the wheelbarrow was full to the brim, which I will mulch tomorrow and spread around the new olives!
Now I have three olive trees in the ground, once they get a bit larger, I should be self-sufficient in this delicious fruit. Lucky that I know how to cure olives, and can't wait to cure my own.
Does anyone else have some olive trees in their back yard? Do they produce well?