Thursday, March 28

Tickling brush at the ready.

At this time of year we watch with eager anticipation for the first flower buds to appear on our fruit trees.

Although we have a lot of fruit trees on the plot, we have also gradually built up a collection in the garden. These are mainly ones that we feel need a little more attention - peach, nectarine, apricot and a cherry. They are grown on dwarfing root stocks and planted in large pots to try and restrict their ultimate size. Our garden is also more sheltered than the plot which they will appreciate.

The peach tree is the most mature. You may remember this was an accidental purchase - it should have been a nectarine but the company sent out the wrong tree. It turned out to be a happy accident and has provided us with a few fruits for the last two years.

This time of year we keep checking eagerly anticipating the first buds. All of these trees produce flowers before leaves so any buds swelling are likely to be potential flowers.
The trees other than the peach were only planted last year and have yet to produce any pickings. I'm hoping that this year we may get at least a tasting so I was particularly pleased to see that the apricot - Flavourcot - is beginning to produce buds.
The peach - Fantasia, although not quite as advanced as the apricot also has buds starting to develop.
Once the flowers open (how's that for optimism) we will drape some fleece over the branches whenever frost threatens and I'll have my tickling brush ready just in case the pollinating insects are still in bed!

If we get any fruit you'll be amongst the first to know!


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

12 comments:

  1. I have my fingers crossed for you.

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    1. I have everything crossed, Liz

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  2. I dragged my peach tree to the greenhouse last year after it suffered from peach curl disease. It appears to have a few buds on it. I would like to add an apricot & nectarine to the collection.

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    1. Ours got peach leaf curl too, Jo but now it is too tall to go inside and pollination is definitely better outdoors - usually!

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  3. The buds on my fruit trees are very tightly closed still, with the weather being so cold. They are talking now of the Arctic conditions persisting at least until the middle of next month, so I hope you have got plenty of fleece stood by for protecting your apricot / nectarine / peach flowers.

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    1. We have Mark but may be buying more!

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  4. I like the idea of your tickling brush! I think it will be very useful with these cold biting winds- not good for insect pollination I am not very optimistic about my own flavorcot this year.

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    1. I'm not optimistic about any fruit at all Roger - not with this weather!

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  5. That's what I like - a bit of hope. :D

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    1. It's all we can rely on Carrie

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  6. I'd love to have some fruit trees in pots, nectarines and peaches sounds great! For me it’s mostly about space, my garden is completely full, and my patio is filling up too, especially since my latest purchase – which I haven’t written about yet, but I can tell you I have bought not one but two magnolias! They will be grown in pots so maybe I will ask for some advice later on for how to grow trees in pots when they get mature. The first magnolia has arrived already, 2.5m tall, single stem in a 10L pot. I am potting on as soon as the next one turns up.
    How do you manage watering during (normal) summers, so they don’t dry out and don’t get too much water?

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    1. I don't think we have had a normal summer since we planted them Helene. I did pop some of those water retaining granules in the compost but if we do have some summer weather I guess it will be to keep giving them a really good soaking. We did at one point have a dripper system fitted to out outdoor tap that also had a timer attached but when we stopped work and were more able to water frequently we abandoned it.

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