Saturday, 5 May 2018

orchard on polling day (3rd May 2018)

Work sessions in the Mayow Park orchard have not happened for a while, not since February when we held our winter pruning day. There have been too many days of heavy rain since then; no motivation for Friends of Mayow Park volunteers to get out and do  essential work in the orchard. But polling day promised to be sunny and perhaps even warm so we hastily arranged a work session.
At 10.30 am the first volunteers arrived. We intended to remove weeds round all 18 or our orchard trees, check tree health,  put down some mulch, check the guards and low metal fences round the trees. we were not sure we could do all that in  two hours.
Much of our small pile of mulch had been removed a few days earlier but one determined volunteer was able to sweep what remained into the wheelbarrow and all the trees got some mulch.

COMFREY FOR FRUIT TREES: Some of our trees have comfrey plants growing round them in their tree pits. These plants were intentionally planted a couple of years ago. The thinking is that comfrey, which has deep roots, will bring up nutrients into its leaves. We then cut down the leaves and chop them into the mulch so that the nutrients can feed the tree roots. Some comfrey can be very invasive, but the variety we have, Bocking 14, is non-invasive. If visitors see these large, fluffy-leaved plants they should not be concerned.
valuable volunteers in the orchard
VOLUNTEERS: In addition to our regular volunteers, a dad and his two sons joined us. Their help was much appreciated. Another volunteer came along later and also made a huge difference to the amount we achieved. A total of eight volunteers. We had not publicised this session so we were delighted to have these extra pairs of hands.
At the end of two hours, we had completed all the tasks.
Adding mulch to the tree pit

A happy tree
The orchard is looking lovely with some of the trees in blossom as seen in this photo below:
Cox's Orange Pippin (in foreground) in bloom
The orchard is once again full of Lady's Smock flowers (also known as Cuckoo Flower). These are delicate-looking flowers and rather uncommon in the borough of Lewisham. They prefer damp grassland and our orchard, being on very heavy clay, certainly fits that description. So, by arrangement with Lewisham Greenscene and the park contractors Glendale, the mowing of this area will be delayed until the plants have finished flowering and set seed.
Lady's Smock or Cuckoo Flower in the Mayow Park orchard

No comments:

Post a Comment