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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:40 pm 
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Showy Hen
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I have some big gaps in the orchard where I think trees must have failed so I'm looking to fill those and then expand sideways. I probably won't attempt grafting at this stage but I'm interested to learn about it and there are a few other people looking to renovate their orchards and they might be interested in trying it.

Sadly avocados are very frost sensitive and really don't cope when it gets cold. I started one from seed in a pot and it was doing very well but I wasn't able to protect it once winter hit.
I have a greenhouse now so I might attempt it again but it can only ever be a pot plant in our climate.
It's a shame because we go through a remarkable number of avocados.

Mulberries are an option. I'm thinking about planting some as shade trees in the paddocks. They are stock safe. My parents have an enormous one in their yard. I think they will have to be planted outside the netting zone.
I think feijoa do okay. I hadn't thought of that so thank you! My parents also have one of those but they don't get snow at all where they are. I guess I could plant one and see how it went.

I suspect walnuts would do well but I've never liked them. I always substitute pecans for walnuts in recipes.

I'd love a lemon tree but I suspect that unless someone knows of an incredibly frost tolerant variety I'll have to have that in a pot in the greenhouse over winter as well.

I've had some surprise success with blueberries. I bought 3 which I have in pots filled with horse manure mixed with pine litter for the acidity and they are really healthy and bore good crops over summer. I'd love to make a hedge of them but that might be a bigger job than I'm ready for.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:29 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: adelaide
Citrus don't like the cold.

While I dont know were you are located

http://www.rfcarchives.org.au/index.htm

may be a stating point if you are looking for something not so conventional.

Grafting can be a very useful skill.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:32 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks for that link!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:07 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
We have a climate similar to yours (just out of the ACT) Mulberries do well, so do Figs. Can't get Apricot to fruit. Probably because the tree is at the bottom of a slope and the frost hits the blossom each year Citrus does well for me but not for anyone else local that I know of. I am lucky to have a spot with the right micro climate. I have Grapefruit, Calamondin, Seville orange (Most cold hardy orange) Tahitian Lime and Meyer Lemon all in the ground. (They do all have very thick skins.) They are planted on a protected terrace on the NW side of the house and well protected from cold wind. Blood Orange and Eureka Lemon which grow well in their pots but struggle to fruit. I also have Kaffir Lime and a 'Lotsa' Limes which do well in pots under a pergola.
We have also planted a grove of Sugar Maples - which we probably won't tap in our lifetime, but they look attractive.
Trying again with Passionfruit - growing on the tank this time for temperature moderation.

Jacky French (who lives in Araluen - similar climate) says that she has Avocado fruiting. Apparently she planted the seed from every Avocado she ate and chanced some seedlings which are cold hardy.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:43 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks Sue. I did start to reply yesterday and it disappeared.

I'm going to explore those citrus options. I have a spot that would probably be as close to ideal as possible with the addition of some paving to help soak up the sun and reflect heat.

I'm really impressed that Jackie French (I've read her "chook book") has managed to get avocado to fruit but given that we can get inches of snow at a time here I'm not hopeful.

I do want to have another attempt at passionfruit too. It might have to be in the greenhouse though.
I may need to get a bigger greenhouse.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:31 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Pomona, Sunshine Coast, Qld
upbeatgirl wrote:

I do want to have another attempt at passionfruit too. It might have to be in the greenhouse though.
I may need to get a bigger greenhouse.


And also remember that passionfruit need bees or other flying insects (or humans with water colour paint brushes) to pollinate the flowers.


The further south you go the more sun falls on the northern side of every building in Australia.
This is the place to grow those more tropical fruits.
It requires a wind break erected at each end of the wall but that can just be trellis or lattice.
Dark gravel as a mulch is a fantastic heat sink over the ground & making all plants espaliered against the wall or rather about 50cm off the wall gives air flow & maximum sun. Adding some shade cloth from under the eves out as far as 1m is enough to protect against most winter chills.
A light frame coming out from the house that shade cloth or windbreak material can be thrown over so it drapes to the ground all around like a temporary green house is a fantastic winter weather spoil. However it is best if that material can be raised or rolled up each morning to expose the plants & the gravel to the sun.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:02 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks Clissa.
I can leave the doors on the greenhouse latched open, I wonder if that would be enough insect access. Unfortunately my house faces east/west with only a very short north wall, half of which is window and the other half is hidden by a water tank (that is going to be moved) so if I want citrus, planting space along there is in high demand.
I might be able to plant some of the frost tender things on the east. Our prevailing weather comes from the south-west.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:26 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Your water tank can also be used to create a less temperature fluctuating micro climate. Water has a high thermal mass and will slowly accumulate heat during the day and release it at night. You will rarely see frost around a water tank.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:54 pm 
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Showy Hen
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That may work on the cement tank down near the chook shed, I'll try it.

Unfortunately along with the orchard we also inherited a very dilapidated property with a large number of rusting out water tanks. There are holes in the one next to the house less than a metre off the ground so it's next on the removal list.
Realistically there's almost nothing on the place that doesn't need to be replaced from sheds to fences. It's also very haphazard so most of the replacement items-sheds, tanks, fence lines, yards, even the driveway will need to be moved so we can create some kind of logical order.

We're facing a mammoth task here. The positive side to that is that because we are changing everything I can plan my garden properly and not just make do with what someone else has left behind. I'm very fortunate that my husband is on the same page as me regarding the garden and also not afraid of hard work!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:18 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Similar story to ours. Great way for him to justify large, expensive 'boys toys'.
Half tanks make good shelters for firewood.(and ducks)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:54 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Pomona, Sunshine Coast, Qld
I value old water tanks be they corrugated iron or plastic.
Corro iron ones get turned upsidedown to make into a garden shed, pet house or chook shed with the aid of an angle grinder to cut a door.
Plastic ones can become troughs, raised garden beds, small swimming pools or sheds.
Concrete tanks are a different story & can only be reused as rough fill in erosion washouts, driveways, etc.

So if yours are corro or plastic then you might be able to reposition & reshape them into something that will provide temporary protection through the coming winter while you work on more permanent structures.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:19 am 
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Gallant Game
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Location: adelaide
If Walnuts grow in your area pecans probably would too pecans can turn into big trees


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:31 am 
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Showy Hen
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This is interesting for me to read from the UK, but I'm also familiar with Portugal. In the UK we can only grow citrus in pots, but lemons are the easiest as they will do in a frost free greenhouse over winter and can be wheeled out for the summer. In Portugal, obviously they grow in the ground, but apparently they do best at between 300-500m above sea level - ie they don't want to be too hot. We have one tree which is in fruit all year round, and provides for our needs. Most orange coloured citrus do better at lower altitudes and prefer warmer winters - so they come from the south of the country. Cherries would do well for you, I'm sure, they seem so adaptable, doing well in Portugal and the south of England. I'd research the different varieties so you get a succession over the longest period. You could grow them on dwarf rootstocks to get the nets over more easily, although they probably won't crop so heavily. In Portugal we live in a cherry growing area. Its normal for the farmers to graft good eating varieties onto quick growing rootstock.

Walnuts grow well in the UK, but better in France where they get hotter summers. If you get a mulberry (they do very well in the UK so only need coolish summers) make sure you get a black one, as the white variety is used for silkworms, and the fruit is small and quite insignificant compared to the black ones. In the UK we would have to grow apricots against a South wall, with frost protection, peaches are slightly less fussy, but they still need a good dose of warmth to fruit well. Hazel bushes grow fast and produce nuts quickly in the UK, so are frost/snow tolerant. Plus you can coppice them for wood, or grow them as hedging. Chestnuts also do well, but take longer to mature.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:04 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks Mrs Biscuit, you've added an interesting perspective.

I hadn't read anything about the height above sea level for citrus. I'll do some more research on that.

Cherries do fruit very well here and we had a very good crop just before Christmas, although the birds got most of it. One of our trees bears white cherries which I had never even heard of before discovering this tree. I'm going to plant a frw more varieties to try to extend the season.

Very interesting comment on the mulberries too. I've read a lot of comments on gardening forums recommending white mulberries over black (because of the mess). I think black are easier to source here.

I guess our climate is quite different to yours in that although it gets cold here in winter it also gets quite hot in summer. We usually have at least a few weeks of temperatures between 30-40 degrees Celsius. Water is often a problem with everything drying out very quickly and not nearly enough rain falling. We rely on rain water tanks for our house supply so watering gardens in summer is difficult.
The greenhouse becomes unusable because it is too hot. I have a shade house on my wish list after this summer.

There are lots of orchards near us but at a slightly lower altitude, almost exclusively growing stonefruit but especially peaches, nectarines and cherries. There are also a lot of vinyards in the district.

I hadn't considered hazel. I will look into it.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:05 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Petanque I would love to grow my own pecans!


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