For my Six on Saturday this week I have focused on our fruit trees which usually normally offer more challenges than fruit. Most people here have an abundance of produce from the popular almond trees, plums, apples, oranges, lemons, advocados, figs, olives etc,, but not us. Nope, we struggle and although I am reliabily informed: God loves a trier, his bounty for us only extends to bugs and diseases. As I spot another infestation of whatever, I momentarily wonder at times if it is worth the effort.
The weather can’t seem to make up its mind. The week has been a mixed bag or wind, rain, cloud and sun. Typical April showers.
1. Olive Trees
Although we have three olive trees, we’ve never really had any olives. The one pictured below, which I bought as a spindly twig in the centre aisle at Lidyls, decided it is better suited to form a hedge which screens the pool. I like the idea of a edible hegge, however, nature conspires againts me. Currently covered with blossom which is turning into tiny olives that is as far as it usually progresses. By the time the olive form they have contracted a disease, or a fly has impregnated them with whatever, leaving brown marks on the olvies whi rednders them inedible.
I’ve yet found a treatment.
I know this olive tree is pruned incorrectly. Ho hum, like the third olive tree below, it never produces olives beyond the size of a peanut even in the pre disease era. I bought them both from a little nursery on the way to Monchique and have since discovered there are wild varieties of olives of which these are one. As we say: I was sold a pup.
This olive tree is so say about 75 years old.
Woolley aphids love my olive trees. Note to self. Spry with washing up liqued. Although some budding YouTuber, did suggest I suck them off with a vacuum cleaner.
2. Growing Kumquat Tree in a Pot
This is my second attempt at growing a Kumquat tree. The first is still alive, just. I struggle with the age old challenge, too much or not enough water. Both crimes result in the leaves turning yellow so I spin a coin. I fed this with citrus tree granualar fertilizer at the end of the winter so fingers crossed the leaves will find a balance. I tried to buy seaweed fertilzer but none of the shops here sell it (according to the manufacturer).
Last summer I forgot to trun the pot which resulted in lopsided growth.
3. Growing Lime Tree in a Pot
I don’t have great long-term expectations for this, but at least it has some flowers and those that have not been blown off in the wind are showing signs of forming into fruit. We will see.
Again I fed with granualar citrus fertilizer at the end of winter
4. Nespera Success
This year the Nespera tree yielded the best crop ever. More than enough to make several jars of nespera jam and chutney for us, a bag of fruit for friend and the rest the birds enjoyed.
5. Orange Bush
I will call this an orange bush as opposed to a tree due to the way it’s adapted to the harsh salt sea winds should it dare poke its head above the protection of the hedge. It is always either in flower or in various stages of fruit production. Although it was orginally bought as a Christmas orange tree it has long forgotten its origens and prodces randowm crops of fruit throughout the year.
6. Ornamental Trees in Pots – Growing Your Own Ice Cubes
Finally, we have the ornamental orange trees which again seem to crop throught the year. I feed autumn and spring with citrus granules and seem reasonably happy.
The ornamental organge tree produces bitter fruit the size of a golf balls, perfect for …
freezing to make ice cubes for my gin and tonic.
That’s it for this week, folks. If you are interested in gardening, why not check out other Six on Saturday bloggers?
Oh… I’ll sneak in a photo of the fig tree I planted two years ago. It’s still trying to make up its mind if it wants to live so until it does it only receives a footnote. This is my sixth fig tree and all of them have died. I ignore it. Fig trees don’t like me.