The meeting, held at the Ziraat Odasi in Patlangi媠brought the Club two new members all the way from Eşen which is near Patara. 

The meeting, held at the Ziraat Odasi in Patlangi媠brought the Club two new members all the way from Eşen which is near Patara.  Roy and Caroline have a large orchard so the Ziraat Oda meeting was a fitting start to their membership.

Devrim, the Agricultural Engineer who addressed the meeting, started off by describing soil types locally but, an expert at covering his back, he was at pains to continually stress the variability of soil conditions, even in a small area, and urged everyone to have their soil analysed before starting to plant.  As it is too late for most members, indeed many members bought land that already had established fruit trees on it, we moved on to care of fruit trees.

Devrim was anxious to emphasise the importance of ‘winter care’ for all types of fruit trees.  Pruning in December – February followed by a spray with Bordeaux mix to prevent disease entering via newly cut wood.  Bordeaux is sold here under the brand name ‘Bordo’ and whilst it is an organic product, Devrim pointed out that he recommends its usage even to growers who are prepared to use chemicals.

Members had brought samples of ‘sick citrus’ which included yellowing of leaves.  This was diagnosed as iron deficiency and we were told that we could hammer nails into the tree trunks to cure it.  Another common problem experienced by members is a curling of new leaves and there is an organic product Porkan, an oil, which can be sprayed to solve this leaf curl.

Discussion of soil improvement led to the high cost of rotted animal manure here and Devrim was amazed to hear it could be taken away for free from farms and stables in England.  He quoted 300YTL for a pickup truckload from the manure dealers on the main Antalya road in ơtalca.  As an alternative he suggested trying green manure.  Basically planting a crop of broad beans/bakla (plant in August); clover/yonca (plant in September) or vetch/fiğ (goes in in November).  Leave the crop until at least 60% is in flower then dig/plough it into the ground.  Seeds for all three can be found in the Friday market or from any agricultural supplier.

Devrim is working as a consultant for a new vineyard in Eşen (a visit is planned for a future meeting) so he is particularly knowledgeable about grape varieties.  Apparently last summer’s excessive heat totally shrivelled crops of some varieties and he recommended ‘sarı üzüm’ as a particularly reliable variety producing good crops of aromatic white grapes.

When asked about growing citrus in Üzümlü, where the temperatures are significantly lower than in Fethiye, he recommended the Seville orange, turun埩n Turkish, as the hardiest variety.

It was a very enjoyable meeting at which, I think, everyone learned something new.   Many, many thanks to Devrim and his colleagues at the Ziraat Odasi for welcoming us – the two hours just flew by.

The next meeting on March 5th is a visit to a Turkish-owned private garden on the sea front in Fethiye.  We’ll post more information and a map in a couple of weeks.