Garden Progress

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After our visit to the Garden Expo on Saturday, we spent Sunday afternoon out in the garden.

Our first project was to remove the old bird netting from the peach tree and to prune it.  This is what it looked like before we started.

Peach tree
This is one of the nets which we bought at the Expo.

Fruit tree net
The nets will protect fruit trees or garden beds from birds and pests, including fruit fly.  I had been looking at them online but when I saw them at the Expo I decided to go ahead and buy 2 of them.  Here is the website.  We bought the 2m ones.

It is recommended that you do not put the netting on until after the fruit has set otherwise it impedes pollination.  Since it is likely that the time to install the netting will be while we are away, we decided to have a trial run after pruning the tree.

New netting
While this would be sufficient to keep the birds away, you need to gather the fabric up and secure it around the base of the trunk to be sure of eliminating any fruit fly infestation.  We will ask the housesitters to put the netting on at the relevant time and hopefully look forward to a crop of unblemished peaches.

We also pruned the fig tree, grapefruit tree and one of the lemon trees.

Next weekend I will be planting as I have ordered some rhubarb crowns and asparagus.  I had a phone call today to say that they are ready so I will pick them up on Thursday.

Don’t Forget the Peaches

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Most of the sewing I have been doing recently has been clothes for various members of the family but I have been doing other things as well.This bundle of fabric has been in my sewing room for a couple of years since I bought it at the op shop with the vague idea of using it to exclude fruit fly from the stone fruit.  We have since removed the peach and 2 nectarine trees that we planted because, although they produced heaps of wonderful fruit the fruit fly infestation was just too awful to contemplate.

However, we did keep the dwarf peach as it seemed less vulnerable to attack by the fruit fly and also it would be easier to manage some sort of exclusion since it is a relatively compact tree.

I had hoped to use this fine mesh curtaining to cover the whole tree but that was not an option so I have been making bags to cover at least some of the fruit.

I sewed the bags and then threaded kitchen string through the mesh using a large, curved needle to make a drawstring.

The finished bag ready to be used.

Here is the peach tree and the photo below shows a close-up of some of the fruit.  I hope I am not not late in covering the fruit.  I do know that I will have all my resources prepared and ready for next spring.

Here are some of the bags in place protecting the fruit.  I am looking forward to a harvest of unblemished fruit.

I have about 12 bags on the tree so far and about another 20 to finish making.  Some will be a sleeve with drawstring openings at each end so that I can slide them over the branch where there are a lot of fruit along the length of the branch.

We are very lucky in our garden as we generally do not have extremes of temperature, frosts or long periods without rain.  Too much rain and fruit fly are our only real challenges.  What pests and hazards do you have to cope with in your garden?