October in the Orchard

baby plumsThe plums are having babies. Tiny, wee new fruits, so precious! Keep an eye on how they develop. Thinning time will soon be upon us.

leaf curlAre your peaches or plums showing signs of leaf curl? It’s really too late to do anything, but do support them through this stressful time with regular foliar sprays of seaweed. Have you given them a spring feed at their feet? If not then spread a layer of homemade compost, work in some RokSolid and layer some seaweed if you have it. Mulch atop. Hanging strips of kelp in the branches will give your peach or plum a liquid feed every time it rains. Collecting all the dropped funky leaves will help break the cycle. If you have the time then this is excellent house keeping. If like me there is not even the remotest chance of this happening, do all the above and remember to copper next winter.

Keep building up your comfrey patch. Simply poke around the base of established plants and take root cuttings of about 5cm. Plant them into good compost where you want them to grow. If you live on sand or very heavy clay I would recommend planting the root cuttings into trays and growing them on a bit first before planting them out.

Prune back your tamarillos once you think the danger of frost is passed. I know the damaged leaves and mildew look unsightly but this extra cover is doing a good job of protecting the tender new shoots from frost damage, so don’t hurry this job! To prune take off all last year’s growth and any whitefly infected areas. Keep your tree short and stocky.

Citrus planting time is here! October is perfect for getting subtropicals and citrus in. Choose lots of sun, fab shelter, no frost, free drainage and excellent soil. If either of these things are missing then put your energy in that direction this spring and get prepared only. Wait till next year to plant (seems to be the theme of the month.)