Pep was going to buy me two fruit trees for my Birthday at the end of April, an orange tree (naranjo) and a grapefruit tree (pomelero). The Cooperativa in Benissa couldn’t get them at the time, everything was taking longer than normal due to the state of alarm, so they said they’d ring him when they arrived.
This past Friday they informed us that the trees were now in stock. Off he goes to buy me the promised trees, two of my favourites. We already have an orange and a grapefruit tree but because they were planted in the wrong place (I’ll explain in a bit) they hadn’t grown much in the 2 years they’ve been in the ground.
After an hour and a quarter he returned. It gets rather busy at the moment in the Cooperativa but even so, I thought that was quite a long time to buy 2 trees. Then I saw the back of his car. He’d come back with 9 fruit trees and a rose bush! He’s like a woman going clothes shopping when he goes to buy plants, he always comes back with more than he says, he just can’t resist the temptation.
We now had to find places to plant a cherry tree (cerezo), a grapefruit tree, an orange tree, a lime tree (limero), a mandarin tree (mandarino) a walnut tree (nogal) 2 different types of mango trees (árboles de mango) and a peach tree (melocotonero). Our land is already rather full with various different fruit trees, almond trees (almendros), veggie plants and herbs so this is not an easy task but we’d manage to squeeze them in somewhere.
The thing is, they can’t be planted just anywhere. 2 or 3 years ago Pep’s sister had learned something about the magnetic fields in the earth and had happened to mention to us that you shouldn’t plant where 2 or more of these fields supposedly cross. I was sceptical at first but through our own experience we’ve come to realise that it could definitely be true. We now check for these magnetic fields (or whatever they are) every time we plant something. This year we’ve even used this method for planting some of the vegetable plants. I’m always the one that has to find the fields, every time Pep holds the rods they circle all the way round till they’re pointing at him! He must have two magnetic fields crossing inside him!!
To find out where the fields cross all you need is a couple of metal rods about 40 to 50 cm long, bent over just above where you hold them. They use the same method with copper rods to find water but the rods we use are made out of iron. You then hold them up to your chest and walk slowly accross the land where you want to plant. When the two metal rods cross it means there are two magnetic fields crossing and it’s best not to plant anything there.
I know, I know, it sounds really bizarre. I swear I didn’t believe it at first either. I mentioned at the beginning of this post that we already have a grapefruit tree and an orange tree that hadn’t grown very well. We decided to check if the rods crossed where they are planted and what do you know, they did. Also 2 avocado trees that haven’t done too well since we planted them. There are almond trees on our land that were planted long before we bought this house. When we moved in they were in need of some serious TLC, which I’m pleased to say Pep is pretty good at. Some of them have come on tremendously but there are 2 or 3 that just don’t seem to want to know. A lot of their branches dry up each year and they don’t look very healthy at all. The rods crossed when we checked these trees. We’ve even checked 2 or 3 of the artichoke (alcachofa) plants that haven’t grown much and it’s the same with them, the ones that are in a good spot have come on leaps and bounds.
Anyway, back to the planting of the fruit trees. Once we’d found nine good spots to plant the trees we set about digging the holes. They have to be quite deep. We dig out the earth and put it in a “capazo”, chuck in a load of manure (estiércol. Love that word, sound much better in Spanish!), tip some of the earth back in, mix it all up then in goes the tree. This way they get a good start to their new life.
After, Pep levels it all out and compacts the earth by treading on it. I call it his ritual tree dance so now he sort of does a Red Indian chant at the same time, I’m sure it helps the tree to grow (he’ll kill me when he reads this!)
Now we need to put something around the tree so the humidity stays in, it’s getting rather warm now and, even though the watering system is being set up and they’ll be watered every day, the sun is so strong that it would all evaporate. For this we use weeds that we’ve cut down previously, the broad bean plants when they’ve died off or anything that will stop the ground from drying out too much.
Once the weeds have been placed around the trees they get a good watering. We also need to tie the trees up to some long metal rods that we’ll be pushing in the ground next to the tree. This will help them stay strong when it gets windy (quite often here in Benissa!)
And that was our Friday evening. We started at 6pm, I came in at 9:15pm to make tea and Pep finished just before 10pm. That’s what you get for buying 9 trees instead of 2!! But who cares, hopefully in a few years we’ll have too much fruit to know what to do with. Thanks for reading. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact us. Love Georgie and Pep xxx