My fruit trees are coming into their third spring season and I'm getting hopeful for a crop of fruit come summer and autumn. Last year I did some heavy pruning just to develop good structure in my trees which also meant a lack of blossoms for many of the trees and hence no fruit. Not a bad thing as the tree could then focus on growing bigger instead. After reading an article that suggested leaving pruning until after the tree had produced fruit, I decided to try this method. Seems it was successful with most of my trees flowering this year. Now to wait for fruit set. Pictured below are blossoms from an apple tree that I'm yet to get any fruit from but there are lots of flowers so if I carefully net some of the fruits before the birds pick them off, I might get to taste some this time. I was also very excited to find baby apricots on two of my trees - I'll also make sure to protect these little treasures as well!
I had been waiting to fix up my stockyard for my son Michael to come and help me, as I felt two sets of hands would be better than one. Lockdown came and that plan failed. I decided I needed to get this project done as I need to be able to keep the little lambs in occasionally. I made a start this week and found my one set of hands worked just fine with a change of attitude. Pretty pleased with the progress. I'll just have to come up with another project that my son (or both!!) could help with (hate to have them feeling left out!!).
I've also been working on mulching my productive trees on my roadside swale. The big old gumtree by the side of the road had recently dropped a huge limb. After cutting up all the smaller branches with leaves on them I just dumped them on this swale. So I'm kind of chopping and dropping all of these branches so that they lie flat on the ground around all my trees. This way they'll keep moisture around the trees throughout summer and not pose a fire risk by drying out too much. I think it looks really pretty too :)
Still working on getting more trees in the ground. Yesterday I managed to get nine little acacias planted in my top swale. I'm trying to bulk out the hay shed end of the swale with a bit more diversity and also create more of a wind break effect so that I can try replanting some of the higher value plants. I have had some trees dying because of lack of protection. I think this season I'll focus on getting all of the support trees in and then think about adding in the productive trees next year.
Last Friday I had the arrival of the last little lamb for the season which wonderfully entered the world without assistance - just the way it should be. I have had to assist or get assistance for four out of the eight lambs this year so really relieved that number eight was easy!
The muscovy ducklings are now about three weeks old but certainly not too big for snuggling in under mum on a crispy cold morning. I have had three of my muscovy ducks taken by foxes in the last couple of weeks so this young family will be kept in their house and in safety until they are quite a bit bigger and not so vulnerable to predators.
Ok so thats all I have for you for this week. If any one is interested in worm castings and how to harvest from your tub then check out this weeks video and you will be informed!! Link, as usual, is at the top of the page!
Have a great week xx