Friday, 11 November 2016

Finding Neem

 I don't know if this works, but I will give it a go anyway. I have just sprinkled Neem Tree powder all underneath the tangelo tree along with vermicast to combat whitefly. Neem tree oil is also available to spray, along with granules, but I thought my best bet would be a powder sprinkled from the trunk to the drip line, so it can be absorbed through the roots. It does have a strong but not unpleasant smell, that will hopefully repel these insects which seem to have taken a great liking to my tree.  The neem tree has all these pest repelling wonderful properties that is just as good as Yates spray just like the soapnut tree washes my laundry and I don't have to use Persil automatic.

I have also learned that commercial citrus tree fertiliser is not good, maybe you can have too much of a good thing. The tree will grow, but maybe too well and thus be susceptible to attack, like how good looking, attractive people always seem to attract trouble in their lives. Well its true, look at all those Hollywood actor types. They always getting high on drugs cos they can't handle the fame.  But it's all surface, inside, they are weak. Commercial fertilisers are like plant steroids. They give terrific yields but at what cost? Apparently you can gain the world and lose your soul.

I hope the same  thing won't happen to my meyer lemon tree. I bought this lemon tree on whim from Pak n'Save before I seriously started gardening. Unlike my yucca which I regretted buying the meyer lemon is proving to be a good investment.  Nothing will kill it, and it has been moved several times. It's even flowering now and may set fruit this year. Meyer lemon is residing in Fluffy's butterfly patch surrounded by manuka,  muhlenbeckia, chinese lantern, kowhai and jasmine. So I have a yellow and white theme going on here. I have mulched them with pea straw and feijoa prunings. Mary and Martha even lay a clutch of eggs in the corner which weren't discovered for a few days, how my parents missed the eggs I don't know,  but they found out and are now back to laying in the cage.

Meyer lemon is replacing the sad old lemon tree next to the tangelo that was on it's last branches. We had several other lemon trees in pots that never did well, they all succumbed to borer or scale or some other sap sucking insect. Ruud Kleinpaaste the bugman would know. Lemon trees are New Zealand's iconic backyard tree, every home has one. It has to be Meyer because they are the most frost hardy.

Lemons can be used for all sorts of household recipes, as both dessert, drink, and cleaner. How is that for versatile? Much as landscape designers seem to love yuccas and other architectural plants that are really, quite useless, I am in praise of the lemon tree. Because when life gives you lemons, you can always make lemonade.