Protecting the peaches...

10 January, 2016

This weekends main gardening task was netting the peach tree. The peach is a stunning white peach (variety: Anzac) so I was not in any way willing to let any of this delicious goodness go to waste.

In previous years while the tree was relatively young I had small crops and therefore I had individually netted each peach. However this year the tree is absolutely loaded with what may be hundreds of peaches, so I'm not going that route. Instead I'm netting the whole tree in my preferred whole tree netting method, which is with star pickets, stakes and polytube hoops to support the net.

See now six year old peach tree. It is probably about 4m tall and 3m wide.


First step before netting was actually to cross brace the branches, as given the mass of peaches the branches were getting very weighed down. Now it was either thin peaches or brace to ensure the peach limbs, which are notoriously brittle and break easily when heavily loaded, don't break. In the interests of my stomach I went with the brace option.

I used regular garden string to tie the opposite branches in the trees Y shape to each other, keeping the branches more upright and hopefully preventing any from breaking. Fingers crossed!


Then the net supports went up.

I went with short 80cm star pickets hammered securely into the ground, to which I tied 1.8m green plastic stakes. The polytube arches then go over the top of the green stakes. I went with 6 stakes and 3 arches to give a full round shape to ensure no net sag.


Then the fun and games of trying to get the net over the structure began. I would have preferred to use a large 10m x 10m net, but I could only get my hands on a 10m x 4m net, so instead of pulling it over I needed to wrap the net around the stakes and tie together at the top. Needless to say it was a bit of a palaver, but its done now so I'm happy.


A small tweak to my usual system to hold the ends down with bricks, is that instead this time I tied the net up under the tree, all the way to around the tree trunk. This will ensure that any super ripe peaches that drop from the tree will be gently caught in the net and hopefully mean less wastage.


Unfortunately there were some casualties of the netting, with some underripe peaches being knocked off as I was wrenching the nets over the tree.


(Gah, how did my shadow end up in the pic!)

Luckily these are just ripe enough for eating, and I'm hoping will ripen a little more off the tree to whet my appetite for the read deal. Because a tree ripened peach is a wonderful thing. And I can't wait to taste it again.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm sure they will be! I've been eating the thinnings and they are pretty tasty even under ripe.

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