In the February Orchard

20 February 2013
Written by Kath Irvine | Images by Kath Irvine
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I said I’d report back about the hawk kite and here it is. The Hawk kite went up, then 2 days later in a big wind it promptly blew down. Follow the instructions is all I can advise, as opposed to Matt and I creating our own style out of stuff we had lying round. Faith in cable ties was sadly misplaced (and of course not in the instructions.) We had missed our moment anyway.

Rosella’s send their scouts out early on and once they’ve found an up and coming food source they move in.

After moving in day you’re on a hiding to nothing trying to stop them. So will pop the kite away till next spring and surprise the scouts with it then.

Meantime it’s a good old fashioned 22 and a dead eye that’s keeping our apples hole free.

How’s your apple harvest coming? Got the knack of picking when ripe? It takes practise that’s for sure. The most important thing for you to avoid is the all too common rush of blood to the head that accompanies the thought that the fruit is ripe, and results in all the apples getting picked in one excited go. Patience folks – pick one, taste it, be sure. Then pick only those that are ready. The ones round the outside will be ready first. The ones on the inside will take longer.


I’m eating more Hawera plums than is good for my bowels as I write this. What a delicious plum, and such a good tree. Most of my fruit trees I’m thrilled with, but there are a couple I’m not. A register with trees that suit our region would be a fine thing would it not? With so many varieties to choose from it’s a hard pick. After all the research, the effort and expense to plant them, then the wait to see how they grow it’s a thrill when they work and a pfaff when not. A local guide would be a great efficiency (any volunteers?).

Summer pruning is here. Olives and Avocados can have the old one, two, three to let the light in (just work around any fruit that’s set); and stonefruit can be thinned and reduced once the fruit has finished.

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