Starting on the Orchard

Gardener:Old Mangakino Orchard (McCallum's Garden)

Date:07 Feb 2023

Blog Type:Vegetables

Normally I like to plant fruit trees in winter as it gives them a period of dormancy to get well rooted ready for the harsh summer weather however this summer has pretty much been a winter so I figured why not get started. 

I'm super grateful for the Yates prize this year as it has made this possible. With my wife studying, it was looking like the orchard was going to be a slow project over many years however now we can get most of it planted in the coming months. THANKS YATES. 

We have dedicated a patch of lawn by the water tanks for the bulk of the fruit trees and each tree will have a ring to edge it. This means the trees do not need to compete so much with the grass and also enables underplanting of beneficials or easy application of compost/manure to feed them. Also makes mowing a little easier. 

So far we have a dwarf peach and dwarf lemonade and yen ben lemon in this patch. We have a dwarf almond to plant and dwarf oranges. You may see a theme developing here. 

For me, dwarf plants are the way to go. While it can be attractive to have large fruit trees, I am always thinking about pest management and harvest. Often with large trees, the upper fruit is hard to reach and can become a breeding ground for pests. Having dwarf plants makes it easier to apply netting and spray if needed. 

The dwarf peach came with about 12 peaches on it as it should have been planted in winter. We rescued it from Palmers and ate all the peaches which were delicious. 

Excluding berries (will blog about those another day) we now have:

3 Orange Trees

3 Mandarins

6 Passionfruit Vines

2 Lemon Trees

2 Lemonade Trees

3 Lime Trees

4 Macadamias

1 Almond

1 Avocado (although not sure if it will ever fruit)

1 Peach Tree

3 Plum Trees 

1 Feijoa

1 Chestnut Tree (not that I like them - came with the property)

Hundreds of banana passionfruit! It is well established but I keep weeding it out. 

All of them are small at this stage but should start providing from next year. I look forward to the point where we can harvest all our fruit seasonally from the garden and also share the surplus with the neighbours. 


Starting on the Orchard