I spent a bit of the last couple of days pruning the deciduous fruit trees, so the garden looks a bit bare.
I’m no expert on pruning but I’ve got some good ideas over the last couple of years from visits to Joe’s Connected Garden.
The smaller trees have been pruned into my approximation of a vase shape and I’m trying to keep them down to about 4 metres tall.
The Plum and Almond trees are a bit different. We want them tall, 6 metres or so because they are key to making the lounge, sitting area and front porch cool and shady in Summer, so I let a lot of their branches get tall while cutting back enough to give us an accessible harvest in the warmer weather.
The fruit that pops up in the upper branches are our gift to the birds.
The wood that I cut is divided into piles… One pile for garden stakes, one is for rocket stove sized pieces. A third pile is to go through the mulcher and the fourth is small sticks to be broken up and dropped around the garden to make a slow release mulch.
Using small sticks that break down over a year or two is a key to maintaining a constant flow of nutrients back into the garden.
Applying this idea provides nutrients, mulch and shelter for the plants and critters that live in the front garden with us.
It acts as a nutrient buffer too – as it slowly releases its nutrition it also uses some other chemicals while it breaks down. This slows the cycle a little, minimising any excess and extending the benefits to the garden over a couple of years.