We planted our lemon tree in December 2009. Slabs, Juniordwarf and I spent the best part of an afternoon transferring soil into a huge planter box from the ute in the driveway.
Today while Juniordwarf and I were out in the garden, I noticed some tiny green fruit on the tree!
It was the first fruit it had ever grown, so that was pretty exciting.
Only I remembered that I’d seen Peter Cundall say many years ago that it was best to remove all the fruit from a lemon tree for the first couple of years, so that it could put its energy into growing a strong root system and a strong structure. He said something along the lines of however much it breaks your heart (he probably actually said ‘bloomin’ heart’) to cut off the fruit you’re actually trying to grow, it’s best for the long term health of the tree and for future crops.
|A tiny lemon|
So with some regret, that’s just what I did. I felt terrible, but I kept reminding myself it would be worth it in a couple of years when we have a magnificent lemon tree.
And in other gardening news . . .
This morning Juniordwarf and I went outside to do some gardening, which to me means pulling out weeds and so on, and to him means putting his little gardening tools into the back of his Tonka dump truck and parking it somewhere in the backyard.
Then he found another snail, which absolutely thrilled him. He spent the best past of half an hour walking around with his snail, showing me, showing the dog, putting it down in various places to see what it did. He was very taken with it.
|It's a snail, Mum!|
I’m quite pleased with his new-found interest in all things buggy. It seems like something all little kids should be into.
In the mean time, I decided to take another step towards getting the garden organised. This time I ventured into my shed and pulled out the mouse-eaten box of seeds that had been sitting round for far too long.
|From this . . .|
I had this grand idea for a kind of seed filing system, where there would be a divider card for each month that listed on it all the seeds I could sow that month, whether to sow them direct or in punnets, when to plant out and when a harvest might be expected (if the snails hadn’t got them). This could all be added to my calendar/diary as each type of seed was sown.
Well I didn’t quite get that far. I tossed out all the obviously out of date seeds and the ones that the mice had got to. The rest I sorted by vegetable type and then put them either into the ‘sow now or in the next four months’ container or the ‘sow in spring or thereabouts’ container. (These containers are great – they are from those terrible recipe card series that I always sign up to for the free/cheap two or three months and the free card holder and then cancel.)
So basically the seeds are stored behind the February, June, September or October dividers. Now, the theory goes, when I’m looking for something to plant, I can just go to the current month’s divider and grab something. Once I’ve planted something for that month, it goes into the next month that it can be sown in – either the next month, or sometime later in the year.
|. . . to this|
The other thing I did was set up a potting station and a sort of greenhouse thing for seed punnets. I’m not sure it’s in the best position, because it gets some of that really hot late afternoon sun, so I might have to restructure a bit.
|This is on a stand that holds 8 trays & is all covered by a plastic cover.|
But because it’s close to the back door, I’m hoping it will make seed sowing a more accessible activity for Juniordwarf and me.
Time will tell if it will make the garden more productive.