Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July Working Bee

Despite the cold weather we had a good turnout for the July working bee. Activities included composting, learning how to prune an almond tree, and stringing up the garden arch, and the usual eating and drinking of yummy muffins, fruits etc (thanks to Twig yet again), not to mention home-baked yummo cookies!

We learned that before you start pruning you need to look at the tree. What properties are you pruning it for? Shape, for example a vase shape (our choice)? Do you want to maximise your crop this year or in future years? Do you want to restrict poaching of fruit – hence pruning the lower branches, so the fruit is more difficult to get to? Another reason for pruning is to maintain the health of the tree. We cut any branches that look diseased or attacked by bugs, and also maximise air flow and avoid future rubbing of branches on others. Tools needed include sharp secateurs, pruning saw and long loppers. OH&S issues to consider include making sure the ladder is on stable ground, making sure no one is in your 'kill-zone'! and wearing gloves to ensure you don't cut yourself.

After identifying the collar we start pruning with an undercut.

Then cut from above.

Stringing up the arch to support the plants.

Weeding the North bed

Turning the soil

Busy holding a fork and drinkin'


Bed looking lush

Main bed
A productive and fun day had by all – thanks to everyone who braved the cold morning!