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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:05 pm 
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I'm about to take over the front yard. I've been tossing up whether to do it for many years but I've always left it as is, and worked on the backyard but that's all about to change. The front yard already has a mini pomegranate, fig tree, syzygium (rose apple), Ice cream bean tree, Indian Guava, Brazilian cherry bush, apricot tree, and a couple of bananas, but now it's going to get a load more trees.

Went out yesterday and bought an avocado (to replace my dying ones out the back), mango, pinkabelle apple, pink lady apple, granny smith apple, pomegranate, 3 x paw paws, and about 3 other fruit trees that I can't remember at the moment. I'm going to plant them all throughout the lawn area out the front.

I had thought about getting rid of all the lawn and mulching the whole front yard, but after watering for the last few weeks the lawn has really picked up and would be very difficult to get rid of. So I have to plant the trees into the lawn. Here in lies the issue, does anyone have a good plan for keeping the grass away from the fruit trees, while also being able to provide manure/mulch to the tree without the grass grabbing all of the nutrients. If it was out the back I'd just put mulch around the tree and then cardboard on top to stop the grass, but out the front it probably needs to be a little more aesthetically pleasing.

Corrugated iron rings for each tree would be nice but that's a bit expensive. Perhaps big round bits of carpet with a hole cut in the middle for the tree trunk, and a slit down one side so that you can get it around the tree.. You could easily throw manure/mulch under it then cover it over to stop the grass growing.

I guess you could use fake turf around the trees instead of carpet or weedmat

Hmmm, any ideas?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Unless you can get off cuts, the fake turf is going to cost a lot more than your corrugated iron rings would. I just got a heap leaid around my pool.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:09 pm 
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3 other fruit trees that I can't remember at the moment


Umm curry leaf, black currant and ???
Its always the last one that is the trickiest like the 7 dwarfs and the rheindeer.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:57 pm 
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Yep, definitely do the curry tree - we use ours a lot. Will take a photo this arvo and start a thread on one I think.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:13 pm 
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Get some 44 gallon drums (usually free if you can find them) cut in half, cut out top and bottom, clean, paint pretty colour to keep wife happy, hammer into the ground to the desired depth remove grass from inside drum. The part under ground will keep the grass out and the bit above will hold the mulch exactly where you want it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Location: here and there, near Townsville, dry tropics
Location: that should do
large bits of cardboard cut into circles (if that is your fancy) with a central hole and slit. Place around tree trunk and then cover with mulch

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:41 am 
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A good front fence to stop foot traffic and self harvesting of trees. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:07 pm 
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dufflight wrote:
A good front fence to stop foot traffic and self harvesting of trees. :)


I'd have to agree with this one. It's the main reason I haven't planted anything into the dead desert that is currently my own front yard. All the school kids walk past us on the way to school in the morning and there's no way known that any fruit in any stage of ripeness will remain on the trees in the front! Especially not if my neighbours trees are anything to go by!

As for what to do to stop the grass growing around the base of the trees, when I was a child we had a good 30 or so fruit trees up the back of our acre block. The rest was lawn and a vegie patch. All dad used to do was mow the lawn, have us kids rake the clippings up - and he'd pile them around the trees within the drip zone, a good foot high, and keep the clippings a couple of inches away from the trunk itself.

The trees were always perfectly happy.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:22 pm 
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I like to run chooks around the trees every now and then. They clean up the ground, turn it over a little and eat any fruit flies and add fertilizer.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:39 pm 
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I had planned on fencing the front a while back, but decided against it for a few reasons... Most of the good trees will be back towards the house a bit, out near the road are things like Icecream bean and Indian guava, most people have no idea what they are.

One night I did have a big Samoan guy knock on my door and ask if he could pick some leaves from my guava tree. His daughter was sick and back at home they used to use guava leaves for colds, just did a quick search and it's used a lot around the world. Might have to start a new thread.. http://www.rain-tree.com/guava.htm

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Location: Benger, 160kms south of Perth, Western Australia (Temperate/Mediterranean)
EB, if aesthetics is what you're after I've seen a product from Bunnings at a friend's house that is made from old tyres. It is just like the cardboard/carpet circle suggestions except it has a pattern on it and costs about $20.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:08 am 
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What sort of guava tree do you have, EB? I have a pineapple guava or fiejoa tree. Is it one of those?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:15 am 
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I've seen a product from Bunnings at a friend's house that is made from old tyres. It is just like the cardboard/carpet circle suggestions except it has a pattern on it and costs about $20.


That is exactly what I said Granny Smith, well one of the things I said anyway!
Sooo many choices.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:28 pm 
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Alright, found a rubberized weed mat thingo today that should do the job. I'm a little disappointed at the size, only 60cm, would have prefered about 1m diameter but willing to see how these go. It will allow me to put some dynamic lifter/manure/blood and bone under it, where the weeds won;t benefit from it. They are made from shredded rubber and allow water flow through the material.

Stuck this one around my nashi, but the trunk of the nashi is already at the size of the middle hole.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Yeah. that's a small centre hole - time to get out the Stanley knife and some customisation :thumb:

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