The peonies have started to bloom here at central campus – how gorgeous! I can’t wait to see them all out.
This week there were a few odd jobs to be done.
Adding fertiliser to the young cherry trees. Bottom left: Chaman
Adding fertiliser to the young cherry trees – we filled up our buckets with Cropzeal 16N fertiliser and walked up and down the rows throwing out a handful of it at the base of each tree. This particular fertiliser has a high nitrogen content with moderate levels of potassium and phosphorus, encouraging plant growth instead of flowering. It’s important to spread it out around the tree trunk so it’s not too concentrated otherwise reverse osmosis can occur in the root system.
The young cherry trees that were planted in winter needed to have some of their new buds rubbed off. Choosing which buds to keep sets up how the tree branches will end up growing. We rubbed off all buds under the guards, then left side alternating buds 200ml apart for the first meter of the tree and top buds for the last bit of the tree.
We started tractor skills this week but didn’t end up finishing the theory so don’t worry I won’t be zooming around the orchard just yet. Having two gear sticks is a bit odd.
The young apricot trees were ready to have some of the fruit thinned. Removing some fruit means that the tree has more energy to put into the fruit that is left. They will grow much bigger! The tree needs about 7 leaves per apricot to mature and ripen as desired.
Karen and I tried to tidy up the hedge in front of the potting shed. The electric trimmers where already in use elsewhere so we only had hand trimmers. Buxus is a plant used in lots of traditional English gardens. Some people manage to make really cool topiary designs with it. It’s slow growing but drought tolerant. It needs to be trimmed regularly.
The long awaited plant sale finally happened on Saturday. It was a great day, really fun. I couldn’t believe how many people came. At one point I couldn’t see the end of the queue for the eftpos.
I was working on the tomato table. We had heaps of varieties available. I think the most popular were the Sweet 100s, Baxter’s Early Bush (both are cherry tomatoes) and Black Krim, it’s an heirloom tomato from Russia that is very dark in colour and apparently very yummy. I got one of them for myself so I’m looking forward to trying them. I’m keeping it inside at the moment since we are still getting frosts.
We sold out of the most popular tomatoes but there were some punnets leftover. Quite a few of the other plants all sold out. There were vegetables, flowers, natives and lots of drought tolerant plants good for the Central Otago climate.
Last week’s weather: