Friday, April 8, 2016

This Week in the Garden: Autumn Planting and Planning

Everyday things look a little less like summer and a little more like autumn in the garden. Days are still warm, but there is a definite nip in the evening air - the fluffy winter blankets have come out! New autumn-planting bulbs went into the garden this week, filling out strategic gaps in the front flower gardens in anticipation of cheerful spring colours to come (more on bulbs sometime soon). Garden planning is in full swing for our wet seasons and dormant winter plantings. On the subject of garden planning, if you need more pages for your garden journal or are starting fresh, we have free printable garden journal pages available for download. Enjoy!

It is still early for end of season pruning, but I was inspecting the garden this week and discovered our rampant summer cicadas have left their mark on of my young fruit trees.  Not really surprising given their size, my spray-free garden, and the cicada's liking for deciduous fruit trees.  For anyone unfamiliar with the cicada's handwork, female cicadas slit small branches and lay their eggs inside.  Around a week or so after after the cicada eggs are laid, large herringbone-style notched scars appear on the surface where the eggs have been deposited.  My first sighting was a fresh oozing cherry tree scar earlier this week, then closer inspection revealed the damage on my apples and pears - often on the underside of the branches not immediately visible at passing glance. They vary in size (this one was around 50mm long), but on some branches they are chained.  The eggs hatch to nymphs which them go into the soil and feed on the root systems before starting the whole cycle again; however, the egg-damaged branches may die or be weakened to breakage. Sadly, it means an earlier (trying to beat the eggs to nymph stage) and harder prune on some areas of my young multi-grafted trees than I would have liked, but such is life and the course of nature. I'll share some better photos when we have a break in the weather as it was difficult to take pictures in our recent winds.

What's happening in and around your garden this week?  Whatever your garden/green news, we would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment or post us a message on the GiRL Facebook page I look forward to sharing our garden with you as it grows.    

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