Plant a tree for your children. - May 18, 2018

Free Mandarins forever!

Dear gardening friends

Autumn has finally arrived.
Cooler nights means the deciduous trees around Macarthur are finally putting on an autumn show. Trees that are under stress, from lack of water, are dropping leaves prematurely. But if you have been watering your garden then your trees should be colouring up like these Manchurian Pear Trees at my place.

I planted these trees to celebrate the birth of my sons. I’ve always loved Manchurian Pear trees because they have spectacular autumn foliage and they get covered in white spring blossom too.

I had a customer looking for a Liquidamber tree during the week and I had to say to her “why would you want to plant one of those?” Manchurian Pear trees or Pyrus give you so much more bang for your buck!

We have some beauties in the nursery in smaller pots so they are great value.
Look for the Pyrus Capital and Cleveland Select if you are after a narrow growing variety more suitable for today’s courtyard sized gardens.

Remember these trees shade your house in summer with lush green shiny leaves and then the leaves fall off in winter so the sun can warm your house. A tree like this can save you money on air conditioning costs.
It just makes sense.

I was driving through Menangle during the week and I spotted this Orange Trumpet Vine growing on a fence. It looked so spectacular I just had to stop and share it with you. Pyrostegia venusta has these bright Orange Trumpet like flowers throughout winter. It’s super fast growing so it will cover your ugly fence in just a few years. It grows best in a sunny position.
We have plants in the nursery, come see.

If you’ve got kids, then you will know, how much they love eating Mandarins.
My Emperor Mandarin tree has at least 300 Mandarins ready to eat right now.

Emperor Mandarins have a puffy skin which makes them easy to peel. They are so sweet, to eat, your kids will love eating them.

The secret to getting all fruit trees to grow in our horrible clay soils is to plant them on a mound of IGC Planting Compost Improved soil. Raise your tree out of the ground so the roots don’t get root rot.
Mulch around the base with Sugarcane or Woodchip to keep the water in the soil.
More water, means more growth and more fruit.

We have Emperor Mandarins on dwarf root stock, so the trees only grow about 2 metres high instead of 4. This makes them the perfect size for today’s tiny gardens.
If you own your home, plant your tree in the ground. A potted tree will get about 15 Mandarins a year. While a tree in the ground will get 300 plus fruit.

Citrus trees need lots of water. At least 10 litres of water twice a week. If you don’t water enough, then the fruit will be dry inside or they may just drop off.
Never feed potted trees with Citrus food.
It kills them. Never feed newly planted trees or they may die too!!!!!!!

About 9 months ago Aidan Mullan rang me. Aidan is the Environment Manager at Interface in Minto. They make Carpet tiles and they export them around the world.
Aidan wanted to make his factory greener, literally, by growing a vine over the walls.

We supplied him with Boston Ivy, IGC Planting Compost, Woodchip Mulch and a drip irrigation system. Aidan had a working bee, and got all the staff, who wanted to help, to plant their own vine.

It was funny, because I turned up and I was watching this guy who didn’t have a clue how to dig a hole. He was going around in a circle wondering how to start. I just grabbed the shovel off him, dug the hole, mixed in the Planting Compost, then planted his plant. He gave me this blank look and then told me “it was his plant”.

“Shit mate, I had no idea you guys got to plant your own plant” I was embarrassed.

Anyway I went back to check on the plants during the week and I was amazed to discover that the Boston Ivy had grown up to 5 metres high on the wall. In 3 years time this western facing hot wall will be covered in green leaves all summer long. In autumn the leaves will turn bright red and in winter, the leaves will fall, to allow the sunshine in, to warm the building.

Aidan came out while I was there and I congratulated him for doing such a great job. He is an inspiration for other factories in Macarthur and around Australia who want to make a difference.
Aidan is talking about growing vines over suspended wires now to shade the carpark.
He wants to plant more native plants in the surrounding gardens to attract native birds. I came away smiling.

While I was there a journalist rang me about a block of units that had been withdrawn from Council. You need to do a story about Interface I told him. Campbelltown Council could learn a lot from this guy. We should be planting Boston Ivy over these enormous developments. Let’s make green buildings. They do it in Singapore. It just makes sense.

Come and see us if you need help in your garden. We want to help you make your place greener too.
Happy gardening