Saturday, August 28, 2010

Planting and Barking

The plants have been letting me know that Spring's almost upon us. The fig tree is about to explode into greenness and the dwarf Washington Navel Orange was starting to show signs of new growth. That meant but one thing: I had to get the trees planted tout suite!

So last weekend we got stuck in, and while Suyin was engaged in the therapeutic task of picking rocks out of the garden bed, I was digging holes for the citrus trees.

Here are some holes, and here are some trees. You can guess what comes next.

You may also have noticed in the above photo that the path is looking more path-like and less like a ditch. We decided to try some finely chopped pine bark as a fill but I was too chicken to buy more than one bag in case it looked bad. It didn't, so I've since bought some more to finish it off. Now, back to the citrus..

Final preparation before planting the lemon tree. Nice path, yes?
Still being paranoid about drainage after the untimely demise of the resident lychee tree from fungal root rot, I tested the holes by filling them with water and seeing how long it took for them to drain. The nursery we bought the trees from has a handy page on planting citrus where they suggest you should plant your tree elsewhere if it takes more than 30 minutes for the water to drain away. Mine took more like 5 minutes, so I was pretty comfortable with that.

Lime, lemon and orange trees ready for a good watering in.
After that it was pretty straightforward to plant the trees and water them in. With grafted trees you're always supposed to plant them with the graft above the ground, and in this case it was no problem as there was about 15cm to play with. Now it's just a matter of making sure they have enough water to get established (but not too much!) and looking out for any signs of distress or pestilence.

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