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Thursday 13th July, 2017
What to do when it's Dry July?
Dry July has introduced some very productive evenings into this household. Instead of sitting on the couch with a delicious red in hand, its been in the kitchen making marmalade. Now I know that we have written quite a lot on marmalade in the past but the fact is that we have an abundance of citrus ripening right now. It just so happens that this garden has quite a number of grapefruit trees and it was the end of seasons
Wheeneys that we sliced up for marmalade last time but the other night it was Cutlers Red. Cutlers Red has a more sweet flavour and a beautiful orange skin (could be mistaken for an orange other than its shape) than the Wheeneys that we used last time and last nights maramalade was a rich orange colour.
I'm keen to make some out of the Morrison Seedless or it could a be Golden Special but how cool to be able to give home made marmalade away and name the variety used because they are just all so different. The last batch we made, I soaked overnight and then simmered for an hour without the sugar before work then all it took was another 30 to 40 mins on rapid boil with the sugar added and it appeared to set quite quickly. I think that the pectin levels must be higher this time because the fruit is still young compared to the end of season Wheeneys we used last time.
Now I know that there are those that are out there who can't eat grapefruit or marmalade because of their meds etc but I am sure that a combination of oranges and limes could give a very suitable substitute and I know that will be the next batch on our hit list.
Its not only the grapefruit that are coming right but we have an abundance of all citrus types here too so everyday starts with a juice of freshly squeezed orange. Of course the evenings begin with fresh lime or lemon squeezed into a tall glass of chilled sparkling water which is sooooooo refreshing.......
Then there are the Mandarins and Harry has been filling up a large crate every other day with a variety of Mandarins for the team. First up in the season has been the Satsuma clones Like Silverhill and Miya Gawa and so on. Then others like Corsica No 2 have come on board which I think has very good flavour and is probably one of my favourites.
I have also been meaning to make my own batch of muesli for ages but just haven't got around to it and there is not enough time like dry July to get these projects done.
Choose your day before pruning...... damp and wet is a no no
If you are thinking about getting started on pruning then make sure that you choose a fine and dry day. Its wet damp days that can spread the spores of silver leaf. Silver leaf is a disease that can affect all the members of the rose family and its spores tend to be more prevalent in the winter months and easily transported by wind and moisture. Pruning cuts that are slower to heal in the winter provide an entry site for this fungal infection whose symptoms are as its name sake ... a silvering of the leaves and eventually fatal to the plant. The Rose family or Rosaceae is quite a significant group as its family members include Roses obviously but also many of our fruit tree crops like pears, apples and peaches all of which most of us will be looking to prune sometime from now but before bud burst.
Once you have the day sorted make sure that your pruning tools are nice and clean and of course sharp. Sharp tools make nice clean cuts which will heal faster. Try to make your pruning cuts with the sharp edge closest to the plant and then the bruised piece will fall away.
Silver leaf is quite an easy infection to identify because as its name suggests the symptoms are a silvering of leaves and this is because the infection has released a poison that causes the cells of the plants leaves to separate. The silvered leaves themselves are not infectious, rather the growths that appear on dead wood that tend to release spores, more so in our winter. These spores land on open pruning wounds and grow downwards into the branch killing it as it goes. Silver leaf causes a brown stain in the branch so you remove the branch until you see no more staining and then remove 6 more inches, disinfecting your tools between each cut. I imagine that at this stage removal of the branch past the point that the infection has reached will save the tree but otherwise silver leaf is not treatable.
There are some that prune all of the Prunus family in the summer when the weather is much drier and the spores are less prevalent. The tree is actively growing and heals its wounds much more quickly. Good house keeping is also a good thing to do, so remove all the dead wood from your orchard area which could harbour the growth and spores. Disinfect your pruning tools using Detol, Jeyes Fluid or Meths which I think is good practice in all pruning situations. If in doubt about any infection disinfect your tools before starting another plant.
Finally on pruning there are some that think that they need to paste or protect all wounds but I believe that plants are best left to do the healing process themselves. I always liken this to ourselves as a cut that is in the open and kept dry heals mostly better than one that is kept moist under a plaster. The exception to this could be quite large wounds as these wont grow back over quickly and in this case you would use a professional prune and paste kit such as Bacseal and Arbrex Seal and Heal
Pruning of all kinds is best kept to fine weather!!!!!!
New to us
We have dedicated pages on our website under the tab New To Us where we display items that we are selling for the first time this season. These may be new varieties but can include plants that have been around for a while that have now become available through our nursery.
Prunus Southern Gem This beautiful flowering Cherry hails from NZ's deep South. The fresh green summer leaves are on fire in autumn with tones of yellow, orange and purple and in spring it erupts into bloom with a glut of semi-double, blush pink blossom. Great specimen or avenue tree, flowering cherries welcome spring with such a generous abundance of colour.
Eucryphia Numansay. This is a quick growing columnar evergreen tree that isn't a magnolia or a camellia. It has glossy green leaves and showy fragrant white flowers that cover the tree in early summer. This columnar form is great for a tight position.
Rosemary standards are in flower now, they love full sun and are great for culinary use as well as looking good. These are excellent buying down from $59.99 to $39.99. Imagine these in a pot under planted with Italian parsley or thyme, mouth watering. Bushes of Lady in White for a white flowering variety and Blue lagoon for a lovely blue are also available.
Callicarpa Dichotoma Standards. These have been grown up into standard form. The more you trim these the more berries you will get. Green leaves in summer and purple berries in the winter for great seasonal interest.
Helleborus Jacoband Jasper. Both new varieties of white flowering vigorous healthy hellebores that age to differing shades of red and pink.
Maori potatoes and yams. We have a great selection of Maori Potaotes and both red and gold yams available at present.
CercisMerlot and Ruby Falls. These redbuds are just in and in limited supply so be quick to ensure you don't miss out.
Michellias. These are starting to bud up with Bubbles coming into flower shortly and many others hot on it's tail. Getting them in the ground asap for a lovely display this season.
Nandina Fire power and Pygmaea are in high colour at the moment and looking amazing. They are in hessian eco wraps which are the easiest way to plant just cut the string when you plant them. Also available are City Lights which tends more to the yellows, oranges, and pinks for seasonal colour, and then there's Flirt the baby of the family gives reds throughout the year.
Only 2 events left and these events are held rain or shine. Come one come all, it is helpful but not essential if you register your intention to attend by response to this newsletter or if you are a facebook user events have been posted for each date, you can click here to choose the event you would like to attend or the dated links below. Its no biggie if you haven't registered or emailed us ... just come along, don't miss out on the chance to ask your questions!
Trees have started to arrive both fruit and ornamental. These are sent to us bare rooted and we root prune them and bag them. They then take a few weeks to develop their feeder roots so that is why it is so important you pick them up by the bag and not the trunk and that you cut the bag to remove it at planting time rather than just peeling it off. Gently does it as the saying goes.
We have now added Instagram to our repertoire so make sure to follow us at #wairerenursery so we can keep wowing you with our gorgeous plants.
Well it has been a cold, cold week around the country, I'm sure the joy of fresh snow wears off pretty quickly so wrap up warm and make sure you shake the white stuff off your plants to stop branch breakage if you can. I understand a good brandy will help warm you after you have achieved snowless plants!
Have a great weekend everyone, stay safe on the roads in all that white stuff.
from Lloyd, Harry and the Wairere Team
Make it a Wairere weekend where even GNOMES know that gardening's not a drag.