Sunday, November 3, 2013

Growing nectarine trees in Perth

We planted two nectarine trees on 26 July. They were bare rooted then and about five years old. They grew in Beverley before they came to us and were about 1.75m high. We prepared the earth with compost and worm juice and sat them into the soil, not too deep and about less than a metre from the fence, as I am considering future espalier growth.
Nectarine Trees 25 July

We mulched the soil around the stem but not too close to it and I installed a plastic grid that prevents the chooks from scratching directly under the trees. The trees took to the new place very well and about three weeks later started flowering in the with very pretty pink flowers.

Nectarine Trees 24 August
I was surprised to see that so much fruit had set, as I did not observe many bees or native insects around the the trees. Lots of the fruit fell off in the winter storms and heavy rainfall in September. Upside was that the tree's root system grew well and the wind brought back the number of fruit to a level the tree can manage. As soon as the fruit had set I made some fruit fly traps, just to be sure. They filled up quickly in the rain and had to be emptied. I will make some more in the coming weeks and have noticed the first nibbles by birds on bigger fruit in the top of one tree. Will think about netting when closer to harvest.

Also there is an issue with leaf curl. Currently it looks like the tree can manage, as there is no infection on recent leaves. My worm juice treatment seems to kick off, boosting the tree's immune system. However, I'll keep an eye on it and will spray when needed.

All in all, a promising start to growing nectarine trees in Perth.

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