Michael and Jenny’s orchard of 2500 trees was planted in 2009 and has also been managed as single stems, although branching starts lower than Mike Davenport’s trees.Continue reading Orchard visit: Michael & Jenny Petherick, West Melton
After the session at the trial block, we visited Peter Barrowclough’s orchard of 3000 trees, planted in 2008. The main variety is Whiteheart with Alex and MDB pollenisers.Continue reading Orchard visit: Peter Barrowclough, Lincoln
Mike and Kathy’s orchard of 1000 trees was planted in 2006 and the management regime has evolved over time. From their early approach of regular fertiliser and “delicate” pruning to maximise crop, Mike now considers the orchard an amenity rather than a business and manages it accordingly.Continue reading Orchard visit: Mike & Kathy Davenport, Rolleston
The weekend started at Lincoln University. Clive Kaiser, who has recently been appointed Associate Professor of Horticulture, talked us through plant responses to pruning and the influence of growth hormones and environmental factors.Continue reading Lincoln University trial block: plant growth and development
Written by Mike Davenport. Originally published in the HGA newsletter November 2020.
Last season, Mike and Kathy Davenport purchased a John Deere tow-behind lawn sweeper, to conquer the mountain of clippings that spring and autumn grass growth causes. Mike realised that the basic principle lends itself to a wider range of orchard management, particularly pre-harvest preparation and perhaps even harvest itself. Mike has kindly agreed to share his experiences.Continue reading Using a lawn sweeper for pre-harvest cleaning
Summary of a presentation given by Charles Merfield, Biological Husbandry Unit (BHU), Lincoln University as part of the winter 2019 AGM/field day weekend
Originally published in the HGA newsletter, August 2019
Merf delivered a fascinating presentation on the key aspects of a healthy soil and how common orchard management practices can destroy soil health.
Merf’s key point was that it’s possible to achieve a healthy orchard and clear floor for harvesting while also maintaining biodiversity in the orchard floor, rather than using herbicides that kill soil microorganisms.Continue reading Managing the orchard floor for optimal soil health