Tree Stump Tales
Helping a Hopeless Orchard
Helping a Hopeless Orchard looks at the simple problems that we can all overlook and how we can improve the soil quality of our gardens.
I had just moved into a new house and still getting to know the garden. The wall was quite low and you could see in from the street. This particular area saw a lot of joggers and dog walkers every evening, as it was near a huge lake. It wasn’t long before before my antics in the garden started to attract a lot of attention. People were basically baffled by the amount of fruit I was producing, before I knew it I was working in gardens, trading plants and trees and sharing my most valuable knowledge. One lady, who was already retired, walked past my garden every day and couldn’t understand why my trees had bloomed in such a short time period and her ten to fifteen year old orchard had never seen any fruit. I offered to take a little look and as I arrived at the front gate I noticed immediately that she had at least twenty different fruit trees and not tasty treat in sight. After a sit down and a background chat we discussed what it was she was aiming to gain from this obsolete orchard. She told me that the most important trees were her limes. She dreamed of picking them in the morning and sharing them with her fitness friends on their daily exercise route.
I got straight under the tree, knees in the mud style, to see what was going on. I noticed almost instantly that the earth surrounding the trees contained almost no organic matter at all. It was a mixture of building clay and sand. After many long weekends of chopping mud and adding my organic homemade soil, I finally saw the first flower. The delight on this lady’s face was out of this world. She couldn’t believe the transformation and over the following weeks they kept coming and coming. Its amazing what you can do with a load of old eggshells and coffee grounds. As for me, I haven’t bought any green tea for months as she brings me a monthly supply as a little thank you gift.