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The recent wonderful rain that has turned my place from a desert like area with brown crunchy grass and struggling fruit trees into something that is now flourishing is not only great for the spirits but also possibly a provider of lessons. 

For example, my hedge of Pomegranates has not been a provider of much fruit, and while the bushes are still relatively young, they have often produced flushes of flowers, but very little has come to maturity. My thinking was that as these are best in a Mediterranean climate, and they have a reputation for being extremely hardy, it is best to not water too heavily when they flower as fruit set might be aided by fooling the trees into going into survival mode and desperately trying to cling onto any fruit. This year the bushes had quite a lot of flowers and I watered them lightly in the dry spell. Well all of the flowers fell off, and I thought "that's it for another year". But No!!! They have responded to the wet spell by again coming out in even more flowers, many more flowers than before. While these may not yet become fruit, it at least tells me that my approach previously was off the mark. So I will be providing these bushes with loads of water in an effort to see if this makes them more productive.

I am also keeping an eye on all the other fruit trees which have not fulfilled their promise in dry spells. For example, I have a Tamarind tree, It was one of the first trees to get planted here. I have only ever had I year of flowering (2 years ago) in around 20 years, but no pods formed. I read up on what the tree needed and my info told me that It comes from very dry regions, so I didn't water at all. Will it produce flowers this year? Well it's now coming out of it's winter dormancy and so I just might get a different result this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!

Has anyone else noticed similar differences caused by the rain? Does anyone else have a Tamarind tree? What can I expect or do for this tree? 

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Comment by Phil on November 11, 2015 at 18:30

Great idea Roger and good hear that it works. We just need to convince Lissa to do this with her collards now.

Comment by Roger Clark on November 11, 2015 at 5:55

I got them from a guy at Redland Bay who was selling them from home, he also sold Figs. These were all just cuttings that he potted up. So when winter came around and they both went dormant, I took some cuttings and potted them in good potting mix and they mostly took. I have done that every year for a while. I usually take some along for garden visits, but usually tell people -"this is your stock, now you can make as many as you like". I have around 10 in the ground, and another 10 or so as new cuttings. From my original unknown variety and a puechased "Wonderful".

Comment by Dave Riley on November 10, 2015 at 22:28

"Hedge of pomegranates"? How did you plant that? From seeds?

Comment by Roger Clark on November 10, 2015 at 17:55

Thanks for the comments. I guess the jury is still out on this. In years gone by, my mulberry tree gave me lots of fruit, but I find that if it doesn't rain when the fruit is setting, then everything just dries up and falls off the tree. I haven't had a crop of Mulberry's for a few years. My daughters' tree which was from a seedling under our tree, gives copious amounts of fruit, but their soil is good. I think that my soil is so poor that there is no moisture to swell the fruit. so unless I get help from above, I just don't get fruit. It's too late for the Mulberry, but maybe the Tamarind and Pomegranates will make up for this. 

Comment by Susan on November 10, 2015 at 16:32

Hi Roger,  my parents had a Tamarind tree that was always loaded with fruit.  While they never watered it, they were at Airlie beach - very subtropical - bordering on tropical and had LOTS rainfall from spring through summer.  I have also found that Lychees need lots of water at flowering and setting fruit stage.  For the last two years, mine have been getting a load of washing water twice per week and I get plenty of fruit set now.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on November 10, 2015 at 8:05

Roger there are Tamarind trees growing on the footpath of the lower part of Dornoch Terrace, Hill End. You can bet no one waters them! Only seen them once but they were laden with pods.

Doesn't seem to worry the Figs which you'd think would prefer a drier summer than we have. Mine are in 200L wicking bins with a 22mm overflow. You'd think 'wet feet' but seems not. Other fruit trees are too young to bear except for the Blueberries which are precocious anyway.

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