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Garden maintenance tip #1 – Pruning fruit trees

Have just finished pruning some fruit trees down on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, a peach a nectarine an apricot and a lemon. All with the exception of the lemon were pruned in a similar fashion.

It’s important to remember that we want to shape the branches in a vase like manner and not have any branches crossing over. It is also important to make sure that the branches which will be carrying the fruit are not too long as the weight of the fruit will break them. The area where the fruit will grow is clearly visible so just reduce the length to a manageable size.

The fruit emerges on last years growth so be sure not to take too much off. I also recommend that you reduce the height of the tree so you can at least reach the fruit with the help of a small ladder.

The lemon tree was more a case of shaping and also reducing the height.

 Pruning Melbourne

Oyster Plants (Acanthus mollis)

Have just spent 5 hours digging up these plants for a client

If you like the look of them that’s fine but be warned, once you plant them its almost impossible to get rid of them.

They have beautiful glossy large leaves and flower on a large stem which has large barbs at the base. They die back in summer, but appear within a matter of days all over the garden in winter.

I have tried glycosulphate spray but this has no effect. I am hoping that now I have removed the larger leaves and have dug out as much root as possible I can try the spray on the very new growth as it appears.

One of the major problems with removing these plants is every piece of root must be dug up , if not a new plant will grow from the remaining piece of root. Several pieces of root = the same number of plants.

Once flowers have been spent seeds are produced and once again they grow prolifically from these seeds.

I have even heard people considering digging up the whole garden bed and sifting the soil in an attempt to rid themselves of this plant. At the very least I believe anyone selling these acanthus should issue a warning regarding the downside of their propagation .

If you’re still a fan then go ahead.

Good luck!

Rental general garden cleanup – Mornington Peninsula

This time of the year there seems to be an increased demand for general garden cleanups. In an average sized garden this should only take about 4 hours.

Generally the landlord is looking for weeding and removal of general garden rubbish, a prune to neaten up bushes and removal of leaves and weeds from paving. Under normal circumstances the paving weeds can be sprayed but it cannot rain for 24 hours after spraying so manual removal seems the only alternative.

A quick trim of the verge also gives a good first impression as does the use of a blower on all paths, patios and driveways.