One or multiples? - a question on fruit pollination

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Chook Nut, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Chook Nut

    Chook Nut Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    With those who have experience with orchards (their own or on friends properties), can anyone recommend to me whether its best to have two or more of a variety of fruit? ie. two of the same peaches or nectarines.

    I am happy to get multiples of the same type of fruit as i have the room now; but i would like to also stagger my fruit harvests over a full 12months. I have 7 types of citrus at the moment that will do this, eg. lemons, oranges, mandarins etc. and they are self pollinating. I have been recommended by a nurseryman saying that while self pollinaters will do the job fine, harvests can be increased by having two of the same variety.

    Any thoughts, recommendations or experience would help greatly. I have a fair time to plan where i will grow my orcard systems, but would find it handy to allow room for multiples of each.

    I bought 4 Manzanillo olive trees this weekend, these are a self polinating variety and very delicious. As its possible for them be suffer from disease (i heard of full harvests being ruined recently) i will plant them in twos on opposite sides of the property.

    As there is always going to be some sort of pest to tackle i am thinking it may be good to plan my overall design so that some loss is not necessary a total loss!

    Thanks in advance....
    Dave
     
  2. Chook Nut

    Chook Nut Junior Member

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    Any suggestions?
     
  3. d_donahoo

    d_donahoo Junior Member

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    unless you need a few varieties- i.e. hazelnuts/apples for cross pollenation - the idea that two of the same variety will pollenate better than one - i guess makes sense on the idea of the more flowers - the more likely it is that more will be pollenated...

    personally. i'd run on a - what do i like principle - that is what i am looking at now. what fruit are we most likely to eat - i'm not a huge plum fan - so i'm only going to plant 1 and have a go at making prunes. but we love peaches and apples - so we will have a fair few of these...

    and i'll have a go at a large number and varieties of avacadoes - against a north facing wall and hope i can see them through the first few winter frosts!

    like the idea with the olives - very good.

    does it get cold enough for apples up there?

    dan
     
  4. Chook Nut

    Chook Nut Junior Member

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    Thanks Dan,

    I have been leaning more towards multiples thinking that pollination would surely be better. I was curious to find out other ppls preferences or experiences; so thanks for that. We dont have a problem with bees doing a lot of our pollination, they're everywhere and are fortunate to have a lot of flowering trees and shrubs where they can source food year round.

    As far as being cold enough for apples; i get conflicting information from different locals. On one hand i am told there are enough chilling hours and others will say its not consistant enough and lean more toward the tropical varieties.

    We have two apple trees with fruit ripening on them at the moment but the fruit is too small to know what varieties they are yet.

    I hope we get enough chilling hours b/c i am keen to grow some cherries! :p

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  5. Guest

    Hey Chookie, have you got lots of native bees as well? they are even better pollinators of many subtropical flowers that are too small for the honeybees. of course they're also good for pollinating native species too. good for biodiversity in general. i think that honeybees have actually done some damage by outcompeting the natives in some areas so if you do have lots of honeybees it might be worth checking to see if you have a healthy population of the natives as well. there are people who breed them and will sell a hive through the post. you can harvest their honey too eventually and although its different to "normal" honey the taste could grow on you, or it would probably sell for heaps as gourmet bush tucker!
    as far as having multiples of the one variety, i think different species and even different varieties all have various habits (some trees like carobs have their male and female parts on different trees) so you would have to research each planting individually but I would think that it could only help matters. both in terms of increasing pollination, and in the benefits of diversity in general. if you only have two or three of everything, you have more chances of hitting the right niche for each variety don't you? as per your strategy with the olives. YOu can always get the machete or the chainsaw out down the track, but trees take a while to grow.
    that's my $.2 :O
     
  6. Chook Nut

    Chook Nut Junior Member

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    Thanks Richard,

    Some fruit trees definitely require male and females to be planted.... i'm not that far into my planting at the moment. I have planted about 8 fruit trees at the moment and am now going to concentrate on more natives and legume trees to establish some other areas to prepare for more orchards later down the track. We get quite a bit of wind so they'll need some protection to get established. Plus it will take time to figure out where i want what to go where (that was a tongue twister :p )

    I have noticed we do have lots of native bees on our place, just the stingless variety is all i have noticed so far. We have lots of habitat for them and have seen them get stuck into the same trees where the exotic honeybees are as well.

    I dont think i will bother with using them for honey as they dont produce a large quantity and i have heard that harvesting them can cause detriment to the hive if there is a bad season! I might go with an exotic bee hive though as i eat honey a lot and rarely eat sugar unless its for baking. It's about $8 a kilo at the moment and i have found local suppliers where i can buy it raw.... mmmm :)

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  7. Mont

    Mont Junior Member

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    Just on olive varieties Dave, Patrice Newell researched a lot of varieties for her biodynamic farm in NSW and it's in her book called 'The Olive Farm' or something very similar which would be in most libraries. I seem to remember she didn't like manzanillo much but that might just be her tastebuds. She went for Italian varieties, corregiola and something else. Then again it depends if you want olives for eating or oil - she wanted oil.
    (It's not a bad read anyway).

    Mont
     

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