“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” – Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden
Grow your own!
Growing your own fruit is easy, fun and healthy, and one of the greatest joys is harvesting fruit from your own trees. With the correct selection of fruit varieties, you can have fresh fruit ripening throughout much of the year in big or small gardens. Just a few trees can provide you with hundreds of fresh apples, peaches or persimmons each year. Some fruit plants, such as strawberries, blueberries and gooseberries, can even be grown in pots on a patio. Home-grown fruit tastes better and is packed with goodness, especially considering that commercially grown fruit is likely to have been treated and picked green so that it transports better. In your own orchard, you pick the fruit when it’s ripe and in peak condition. Many fruit trees start to bear in the first few years, so start planting now! Regular watering, particularly when buds are forming and fruit is setting, and regular fertilisation with a fertiliser high in potassium, are the keys to abundant crops. Protecting against pests and diseases is also essential.
Berries are back!
If you are looking to try something different why not look at berries. Berries are being hailed among the new ‘wonder foods’ that are packed with nutrition, vitamins and antioxidants. Strawberries and gooseberries are commonly found as small plants in local garden centres. Both plants have trailing growth habits, with strawberries being particularly successful when grown in containers. Blueberries and raspberries are less readily available. These berries are grown from canes covered in small spines, and have a rampant growth habit that needs to be closely maintained.
Nourishing your fruit
The most critical period in the fruit tree life cycle is the flowering stage. Apply Wonder 3:1:5 (26) SR prior to flowering. Then apply additional nitrogen in the form of Wonder LAN + C (8) Bio-Carbon enriched fertiliser 30 days after flowering. During the time of fruit set, fertilise with Wonder 3:1:5 (26) SR to promote fruit development. Nutrients applied after harvesting serve as reserves for fruit-set and promote new growth for the following season. Using organic products such as compost and Wonder
Organic Granular Fertiliser Vita-Boost + C (8) will promote plant growth and enhance the drainage, aeration and waterholding capacity of the soil.
Efekto Steriseal is a fungicidal pruning wound paste for use on rose, grapevines, shrubs and fruit trees after pruning.
Pruning your fruit trees
Pruning of fruit trees maintains the balance between the root growth and the above-the-ground shoot growth, enhancing the fruit-bearing potential of the tree.
Tips for pruning:
- Always use sharp, clean equipment.
- Treat pruning wounds with Efekto Steriseal.
- Diseased material that is cut back should be destroyed.
- Prune fruit trees into the shape of a cup to allow adequate sunlight to reach the central branches of the tree.
- Attend a tree-pruning demonstration if possible to learn about correct tree pruning.
- Prune apricots and plums back one third of the length of all the main shoots once a year. After three years, growth stabilises, and thereafter it is only necessary to remove superfluous shoots and dead branches.
- Prune apples and pears in summer before flowering occurs – once a year, removing dead and unwanted branches, and selecting the strong main stems that will form the base of your fruit development. The need for pruning decreases with each pruning.
- Prune peach trees in late winter. As fruit only forms on new shoots, remove any growth that is older than two years. Cut branches that have developed new shoots back to their base. Undesirable growth is pruned back to two eyes per shoot.
Listed below are the common pests that attack fruit trees and the recommended protection products. In addition to spraying, always practise good garden hygiene when plagued by fruit flies, codling moth and other destructive pests. Collect all infected fruit, including any that has fallen onto the ground, and burn it or remove it from your property.
Protect with: Efekto Aphicide, Efekto Lime Sulphur and Efekto Oleum (apply to dormant plants only).
Protect with: Efekto Aphicide, Efekto Malasol and Efekto Oleum.
Protect with Efekto Malasol, Efekto Cypermethrin 200EC. Natural protection: Efekto Eco Fruitfly Bait GF120.
Protect with Efekto Karbaspray, Efekto Cypermethrin 200EC.
Referenced from Efekto , Green Fingers : Your gardening and product guide from Efekto
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