(from my Blog 30 days in Istanbul)
When I leave for Istanbul, I must leave my trees behind. More then that, I will leave the fish in their pond and the worms in their farms to fend for themselves. They can cope without me if the rain gods do not decide to play truant. I will be away during the wettest month of the year in Sydney; that’s June. If only we can trust the weather.
The fish lives in a perfectly balanced ecosystem. It will be winter and their metabolism slows; in any case the vegetation will provide enough food and oxygen. They will miss their treats – the worms I throw to them now and then – so their colours will dull but they’ll live.
The worms will also cope as long as I leave them enough decaying organic matter. Again the cold will slow their appetite and they may stop reproduction, but they’ll cope.
The trees – they are my main concern. An orchard without its orchardist will suffer. Preparations for my absence has earnestly begun. Everything is getting a prune to reduce their demand for water and nutrients. I have close to a hundred trees of varying sizes; from seedlings that’s not longer ago emerged from pips to full grown ones that shade me overhead in summer. The figs, pomegranates, the quince etc. will be bare and dormant but the citrus will be in fruit and will want water.
It’s simple: their containers must not dry out or they will die. My neighbour’s daughter used to take charge of watering while I am away but they are moving next month. I will have to find a Plan B. Meanwhile I am potting all the smaller plants up to the next size so they will not dry as quickly and will put them on a large saucer so they can sit in a little water to keep them moist between watering.
I must believe that all will be well or I will find it too difficult to leave.
http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4072376.htm – a video of my orchard by ABCTV