Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Orchard and Garden.

Thank you all for your comments and good wishes on the previous 2 posts.
Shirley we are not allowed to use unregistered products on our kiwifruit vines so peroxide would not be allowed.( at this stage anyway )
 The psa has slowed and we have not found any more during this last week. That is good and probably corresponds with sun and a copper spray. We will keep monitoring closely. 

At the moment we are crush tipping the first growth on the female  kiwifruit vines.
 This photo ( click on to enlarge ) shows the growth at the end of a female cane. If you look closely you may see flower buds already showing. ( note also the sky - not a cloud to be seen! ) This shoot will continue to grow and we are crushing the growing tip very gently to terminate it when it has about 8 leaves. If we cut the end it will shoot out from that point again and we will have to keep doing it. By crushing the tip it self terminates and puts it's growth into plumping up the buds and later the fruit.

 I asked R to demonstrate. Using just the index finger and thumb gently squeeze the very soft tip.
  A delicate touch is needed.  If you squeeze too hard the tip will snap off.  So gently, gently...patience.... Not difficult at all... just get into a system and away we go.
 Also note in the photo some of the flower buds are already showing 2 or 3 together in a bunch. Thinning these to just one comes in a few weeks time but I find using my lady finger nails I can already rub some of these off. If it is done too soon all 3 buds will drop off. Like anything there is a knack .....and practise makes perfect.( one's thumb and index finger look like smokers' fingers after a while - staining from the sap as we crush )
 I should add that not all shoots need crushing -  on certain wood some are naturally self terminating ( which is helpful )

 I have been out in the garden taking lots of photos in the last week. My precious copper beech tree is getting it's leaves. ( like the kiwifruit it pushes the sap to the ends first ) hence the top of the tree breaks into leaf first.
Up close.
 I have been harvesting too. Radish are best young.
 Many of the little lettuce I planted in the flower gardens are ready too. This little Tom Thumb variety will make the base for a tasty salad at lunchtime.
 While out with the camera I noticed this industrious fellow.  A paper wasp just beginning to make a nest ( it won't be staying! )( I hate getting stung by them! )

 I prefer these friends...bees just everywhere - that is so good!
 Somewhere else there are lots of bees...I heard them buzzing, there were so many
 here on a Golden Totara tree.
 I checked in J.T. Salmon's book The native Trees of New Zealand and it tells me these are male cones that ripen and shed pollen.
 This is a very large tree and is covered in the cones ( which are tiny about 2 or 3 cms long ) and so many, many bees are working away collecting pollen.( there are bee hives being stored by a bee keeper on a neighbouring property so we get lots of bees in the garden. )
Finally  photos with  colours other than green!


Jennifer said...

Pretty spring flowers today......and I love that copper beech! Wow, you farmers can't just sit back and take it easy, can you?

Kelly Warriner-Simpson said...

I love spring. Nothing quite like relaxing with a tall cool drink and watching the busy little bees do their thing

Molly Bon said...

Ali --- Your artist's eye is most evident in the beautiful shot of leaves....

Isabelle said...

Very lovely. It's still very mild here but the leaves look autumnal. Winter can't be long. Brrr.