I've not been to many gardening clubs before, but lets just say that if you added the age of my brother and me together we'd still be younger than most there! We were given a warm welcome though and the speaker was excellent.
His name is Nick Dunn and he runs the nursery that I visited the year before last and he is also the author of the book "Trees for your garden" which is excellent.
His talk was brilliant (no photos sorry) he brought in many trees with him and cut them all up into how he's start different forms and shapes. Although I've been on many fruit tree pruning courses and talks before I still learnt a lot from this. He was truly passionate about it and seemed very happy to be talking to my brother and me at the end as he could see we were a younger generation interested in it.
A few random tips I wrote down are:
- Prune hard when you plant - This si something I never do but he was taking quite a bit of growth off, by half on the one tree. He says to be brave and the tree will grow a lot stronger because of it. It seems counter-intuitive but I'm going to adopt this practice and see how I get on.
- Tie cherry tree branches downwards or break them slightly - any growth going upwards produces vegetative buds but downwards will produce fruit buds. Break them when the spa is rising.
- Bend and tie the trees into an S bend to slow the spa rising and to produce more fruit. Also some orchards are planting closer and closer together to increase competition.
- Try to pick out branches that are a wide angle from the main trunk. they use toothpick like things to space them on some orchards now as it will mean a much stronger branch in the future. remove narrow angle branches as they tend to want to grow upwards.
- Summer pruning - I thought it was tricky to work out when but he says after the longest day you're good to go, although you might have to prune twice if they put on lots of growth.
- Figs - Prune in early autumn or summer, not in winter like I would have assumed.
- To prevent peach leaf curl you need to stop the rain falling on the leaves until the end of may. Give the tree a cover until then that is open to the sides.
My mother keeps on to me to do some talks for gardening clubs? What do you think I could do them on? Could you do a talk to a club and what would it be on?