Fruit & Vegetable Circle Meeting February 2020
We walked over to the Curator’s Garden, taking advantage of the daylight still available at this time of year. There was plenty to see, from the heavily laden espaliered pear trees to the well-covered brassicas and planter made from stacked tyres, used to grow Kumura. Other treasures noted were the Stevia plant and Mexican tea bush.
Back in the Kiosk we listened to "Through the Year in the Garden with Phil Ducker", as he explained what was happening in his garden, illustrated by some fabulous slides. Phil has encountered for the first time an unfortunate problem, Fire-Blight on his pears. These now need to be pruned back severely and secateurs disinfected carefully to prevent spread with meths. This is spread by insects and there seems to be no cure. However, his Louisa plums have produced a beautiful crop and he kindly supplied some to the sales table (image left). His Gala apples have done well and he has harvested some great Brunswick red onions (with surprisingly good root systems).
Kelly, our president, showed some slides of how his garden has progressed in the four years since he and Maria have lived there. When they moved in the garden was virtually non-existent, and now there are vegetable beds, and flowers to grace the front of the property.
Michelle & Wilma
Peter Saunders answered our gardening questions:

1.  Scale on lemon can be mitigated by manually scraping them off the stems if the infestation is small, or by spraying an application of Conquer oil.

2.  Kowhai can be pruned by up to 1/3 to rejuvenate them if necessary, as they are quite tough.

3.  If grown in pots, any shrubs or trees can be kept quite small.

4.  Passionfruit are semi-dormant in winter so don’t water them too much.

5.  Budding (grafting a bud) is best done in autumn, whilst ordinary grafting is done in spring.