The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

Picking Nectarines

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2010 at 11:06 am

For those who don’t know what a Nectarine is, it’s a “Fuzz-less Peach”. Peaches and Nectarines are one of my favourite fruits to grow ( not eat ) for a few simple reasons. The first being the quick growing canopy they offer the sun-scorched Australian garden. In 3 years you can have a decent 2.5m high canopy… as well as a fairly heavy crop.

When I first grew Nectarines I knew little about them. My crash course came when several pips grew out of our compost and quickly grew into trees. The first was a flavour-less dud… the next 2 were beauties. Pips in the compost can be fun but it’s random what quality ( and quantity ) of fruit you get.

So, today was picking day. “When do you pick Nectarines?” I hear you say. My rule of thumb is ‘before the birds get them’. All I know is two things. .1. If you pick them too early, they won’t fully ripen and will turn to compost within a few days. .2. Fruit doesn’t pick itself; i.e. you’ll have to get the ladder out and do it yourself.

If you look at the photo above, you’ll see that there was about 10kg of fruit on a 3m x 2m tree; which is pretty bountiful. I left about another 2kg on the tree to stagger the harvest.

There are pro’s and cons with any fruit tree. So we finish on a good note, first we’ll cover the issues. Nectarines and Peaches suffer from 2 ills – die back and a coddling moth. The moth I don’t care about as they wreck about 2% of the yield. Die back is a problem as you can lose up to a 1/3 of your yielding branches simply because the tree ‘wasn’t into keeping them’.

Snapping branches comes in a close third in the problem stakes but is only an issue when you combine a dry season with a branch that is overloaded with bounty. Solution? Pick your fruit! This third issue you can control, the other 2 it’s up to nature.

The pro’s of a ( good ) Nectarine are two-fold. Good fruit salad and a fantastic umbrella shading the tender understory plants and thus saving precious water. Nectarines are great in this role as you can prune them to a suitable height. Or, just plant one right up against your fence and give the neighbors a treat. For the posh among you, you can espalier ( prune your tree flat ) Necta’s and Peaches easily.

Well there you are – a crash course in Fuzz-less Peaches! So, quick to grow ( and therefore, fruit ) and no fuss – a great all-purpose addition to the vegie patch. The next backyard harvest will be the other Nectarine trees we have – with a brief revisit to the first to grab the left overs – and then it’s onto the Apple in a couple of weeks…

  1. P.s. You may be wondering what an article on Nectarines has to do with “the practice of spirituality”? Well, it comes down to the fact that my mind was focused on what I was doing at the time and not distracted by things that weren’t even happening. The purpose of spiritual practice ( for me ) is not about reaching heaven… but fully living on Earth.

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