Brains Trust

How do I repair burnt soil?

After fire, there remains copious amounts of ash on the ground and this contains potassium carbonates and elements such as phosphorus and magnesium. This is beneficial to all gardens at the rate of one shovelful per square metre. Dig in with an eco-hydrating soil-wetter to overcome hydrophobicity.

How do I make the right decisions about caring for fruit trees after damage from radiant heat and fire?

Don’t cut back the burnt trees immediately after the firefront has passed through. Always wait at least six weeks and check to see if there is life in the branches. Scratch the bark through to the cambium layer (the tissue layer just under the bark where plant growth occurs), focusing from the extremities towards the trunk. When dealing with grafted fruit trees, the normal occurrence is new growth movement below the graft. If there is no leaf growth above the graft, ie, the scion, you have probably lost the tree. Citrus trees seem to be more badly affected than other fruit trees because of the nature of the sap. Those that survive will need to be carefully pruned back to live growth. The application of eco-seaweed, a solution containing 16% potassium, helps relieve plant stress after fire events and will assist recovery. Apply the mixed solution over the foliage and around the dripline, monthly, during the growing season.