Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

It is pruning time again. This is when I treat my citrus to a good going over for gall wasp and also a general tidy up. I always prune three times, as it is so easy to miss galls. I made the mistake of visiting my daughters house today and was appalled by the state of her lemon tree. While it has grown very well and was flowering profusely, it was also covered in gall wasp and I just couldn't leave it like that. So I borrowed her rusty secateurs, and got to work. I reckon there is less than half the tree left now but at least it will have a better chance of producing in future years. I also think that the tree couldn't possibly support all the developing flowers and fruit, so the pruning may well do the tree a lot of good, and I expect that it will burst into new leaf very soon. The galls all appeared to have no tiny holes in them where the new wasps would emerge so I think I got to the tree just in time. I also prune the figs at this time of year. They haven't developed new leaves yet so it is the time to prune and try to strike new cuttings for giving away to friends and BLF'ers. I will also try to strike some more pomegranate cuttings.   

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I'll add prune the figs to my "to do" list for my little holiday. One of my figs will have to be dug up shortly to allow the electrician to get at the busted air con unit. Hopefully it survive the experience.

Moved a heap of mulch this morning. Stuffed but happy. Lots more to do. My yard is very neglected since taking on this new job.

The Fig will survive especially this time of year. I have transplanted some of mine and they are still with me.

My Fig that I cut back severely because I thought it was dead, came back to life and is now around 5ft tall with several Figs on it and more coming on every leaf apex. It is covered with leaves and didn't loose them in Autumn/Winter. Only thing is my Fig was a Brown Genoa or Brown Turkey not sure which but now the fruit is White actually very pale green. Does anyone know what the Root stock is that is used for Queensland as I may have cut below the Graft and it would be interesting to know what I might have now..

Usually Figs are not grafted although my first Prestons Prolific was grafted. On what, I have no idea. The rootstock is often only a few inches high so pruning the scion would not go down that far. I'm not all that familiar with local Fig varieties but going on what I have been able to buy in the last couple of years has been Black Genoa (I believe there is a white version), Brown Turkey (the common one from years back), White Adriatic and Preston's Prolific. Given that there's dozens of cultivars world-wide we have very few here.

The White Adriatic has a green skin. There are pix here.

I mistakenly put that I had more Figs coming on the Leaf Apex it should read Leaf Axil. The old brain doesn't always get it right.

I gave my Tropical Nectarine another haircut yesterday as it was getting taller than I want it for the netting. It's developed a distinct preference to growing on one side. It's not leaning/falling over, just growing more on one side.

Next prune I might take that branch off but at the moment it's starting to flower up for the next lot of crop and I don't want to interfere with that.

I bit guilty of neglecting my citrus.  The thought of Roger coming around to my garden visit and shaking his head at my citrus trees made me go out and give them a good hard look.  Only 2 galls thank goodness and freshies too.  Pruned and disposed of! Whew!

Looking good Rob. As I said I always check the tree three times as it's so easy to miss galls. Any we do miss are going to make next years job all the more difficult.

Wow, I must be a lot more scary than I thought! Still if it's had the effect of helping you spring into action then it's all OK, I'll accept the label. The problem we all have is that it's the lazy people who don't  even try to look after their plants who make it difficult for we conscientious ones. Gall wasp, fruit fly, etc. etc. can be diligently controlled in your place but two doors down Joe Blow's garden is going to keep reinfesting yours and everyone else's around the area if he doesn't even try. We can't do much about that, but we can look after our own patch well.

And the best way to look after our own patch is to keep feeding the soil. It's the microbes who inhabit the soil organic matter who keep our plants healthy and that way the plants don't attract pests.



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