Every six months we renovate our mulched tree circles in the orchard at Genus HQ. Weeds are removed, the edges clipped with our trusty French Bahco shears, and a top dressing of our homemade compost is applied as a weed suppressant and feed.
There are a number of reasons we do this. Namely, it looks great when we’ve finished and really visually lifts that area of the garden; it’s a big return for a relatively small amount of work. Secondly, the trees give back a lot in return each year; we had a bumper crop in the orchard last year, so to maintain the tree's health is as important to us as it is to them. Thirdly, and possibly most importantly it creates a ‘safe zone’ around the tree; an area where the mower doesn't need to go. How familiar are we with damaged trees when visiting friends gardens; the trunks bashed, damaged, and weeping sticking syrup from their wounded trunks where enthusiastic gardeners have tried to get right up close with the mower or worse still a strimmer, ringing the bark completely and leading to a sometimes lingering, sometimes quick death of the cherished tree.
Back in the Genus garden and with the mulching finished we can at least reward ourselves with a glass of our own apple juice and perhaps some delicious plum crumble on Sunday, a well deserved and much needed reminder that spring and summer are not really that far away.