Landscaping NZ
Yates
Waimea Nurseries
Herb Herbert
Tui - A Friend In Your Garden
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Fruit Trees

Once upon a time fruit trees could be found in every home garden.  Nowadays gardens tend to be smaller and it is difficult to find the space, but if you choose carefully they can fit.

Citrus varieties don’t require a lot of space, plus there are dwarf or non-spreading trees that are perfect for smaller spaces. Some can be espaliered on a fence and climbers are space savers.

At a Glance:

  • Prefer a warm, sunny site
  • Choose fruits and varieties that are best suited to your area
  • Don’t forget to feed and water them

Some berry fruit, such as strawberries have always been popular. But others, such as raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries, currants, and blueberries, have all become popular because of their vitamin rich and anti oxidant content. In addition they are great tasting, and are relatively easy to grow. 


Many deciduous fruit trees can often perform additional functions, such as providing shade in summer, blossom in spring and sometimes coloured leaves in autumn. Many can be grown in most areas, while a few have more particular requirements.

When to Plant

While winter is the main planting season for fruit trees, they can be planted at other times of the year, provided they are watered regularly.

Sub-tropicals and citrus trees are normally available all year round, but their main season is spring which is an ideal time to plant.

Where to Plant

Choose a warm, sunny position, sheltered from strong winds.

Deciduous fruit trees will grow in most soils; however, in clay soils you should raise your plantings and add lots of compost.

Many sub-tropical trees simply require a more free-draining soil and additional warmth.

Mulching

This is a highly recommended practice as it suppresses weeds and conserves moisture in the soil. A layer of mulch, compost or similar medium laid on the surface in spring will help prevent moisture loss and greatly benefit the trees.

How to Plant

Before planting water the plant well. Dig in plenty of good compost, well rotted animal manure or organic material to the planting hole.

CLICK HERE for more information on how to plants Trees.

After Care...

Feeding

Fruit trees benefit from an annual dressing of lime or gypsum in August, followed by an application of Tui Citrus and Fruit Tree fertiliser.

Many fruit trees can withstand considerable dry periods, but watering will greatly improve the result.

Pests and Diseases

There are a number of pests and diseases that attack fruit trees. If particular pests and diseases are very prevalent in your area it may pay to choose different fruits that are not affected.

Apples, pears and quinces are attacked by codling moth, aphids, black spot and powdery mildew.

Stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots) are attacked by oriental fruit moth, aphids, leaf curl, brown rot, shot hole and rust.

Many subtropical fruits are attacked by aphids, white fly and caterpillars.

For control of these pests and diseases, CLICK HERE.

Pollinators

Some fruit trees require another variety to be grown nearby to ensure pollination.

Kiwifruit require a male and female plant.  

Ask a garden adviser if your selection requires a pollinator as this is very important.

Pruning

Pruning is divided into two aspects:

1.   Pruning to shape in the young stages; and
2.   Pruning for continuous fruiting and maintaining shape of established trees.

Pruning to shape is dependent on the variety, and to some extent, the shape you want.

Basically there are three shapes:

Vase shape
The traditional open centre with 3 to 4 main leaders for framework.

Central leader or pyramid
A more modern method as it takes less space and trees can be kept narrow. Ballerina apples are very suited to this method.

Espalier
An ideal method of training and pruning where space is limited.

Once you have decided on which shape you want then you prune your tree to achieve that. Always remember that the strongest new growth will come from the first bud below where the pruning cut is made.

Pruning for continuous fruiting is important once the tree has established. This is relatively easy once you know where the fruit will form.

Apples, pears, quinces and plums fruit on spurs for several years. New spurs form as old ones die.

Peaches and nectarines fruit on one year old wood. That is, the wood grown last year will carry fruit this year. Hence when pruning do not cut this wood out, but shorten it only, or remove only some of it.  

Grapes, passion fruit, kiwifruit and tamarillo fruit on new current season’s growth, so they can be cut back harder without fear except for kiwifruit, which fruits on new growth, which comes from one year old wood only.
For more detailed information on how to prune fruit trees, CLICK HERE.

                Autumn is the best time to sow a NEW LAWN and rejuvenate an old lawn. Lawns establish better from March to mid April when the autumn rains will soak well into the soil while it is still warm.

                    First remove all perennial weeds, such as couch and dock, with a fork and then with a rotary hoe cultivate a seed bed about 20cm deep. Hollows and high places must be levelled out. Use a long board as well as much tramping with your heals - this will find all the soft spots that would sink and create hollows after the very first rain. A roller is not suitable at this stage for developing a level surface as it will simply roll the mounds and straddle the low bits.

                    Most lawns are sown with fine leafed grass seed such as Fescue and Browntop and this is fine for a show lawn. But for a hard wearing lawn that will take the punishment of family cricket and playful dogs select a lawn mixture that contains some Rye in the mix. Clover is not recommended in a good lawn as it produces a large head of leaves that spread over a largish area in summer then shrinks back in winter, allowing weeds to take over before the clover re-grows.

                    Because the seed is so small divide the whole lot into four parts and sow up and down the area then across as well as diagonally for an even coverage. Rake the seed in very lightly and roll. Moisten each morning to stop the birds from enjoying wonderful dust baths and you will find cats are not fond of digging damp soil either. Moisture is also vital for germination.  When the grass is 6cm to 8cm high it may be cut with a lawn mower set high.

                    OLD LAWNS that are only slightly uneven and have good grass can be transformed into a really nice lawn. Spray out dandelions and daisies and 

                Autumn is the best time to sow a NEW LAWN and rejuvenate an old lawn. Lawns establish better from March to mid April when the autumn rains will soak well into the soil while it is still warm.

                    First remove all perennial weeds, such as couch and dock, with a fork and then with a rotary hoe cultivate a seed bed about 20cm deep. Hollows and high places must be levelled out. Use a long board as well as much tramping with your heals - this will find all the soft spots that would sink and create hollows after the very first rain. A roller is not suitable at this stage for developing a level surface as it will simply roll the mounds and straddle the low bits.

                    Most lawns are sown with fine leafed grass seed such as Fescue and Browntop and this is fine for a show lawn. But for a hard wearing lawn that will take the punishment of family cricket and playful dogs select a lawn mixture that contains some Rye in the mix. Clover is not recommended in a good lawn as it produces a large head of leaves that spread over a largish area in summer then shrinks back in winter, allowing weeds to take over before the clover re-grows.

                    Because the seed is so small divide the whole lot into four parts and sow up and down the area then across as well as diagonally for an even coverage. Rake the seed in very lightly and roll. Moisten each morning to stop the birds from enjoying wonderful dust baths and you will find cats are not fond of digging damp soil either. Moisture is also vital for germination.  When the grass is 6cm to 8cm high it may be cut with a lawn mower set high.

                    OLD LAWNS that are only slightly uneven and have good grass can be transformed into a really nice lawn. Spray out dandelions and daisies and rake or scarify up old thatched grasses that tend to choke out a lot of lawn grass which is often the cause of a thin patchy lawn. Fill in the low areas with soil and tramp, rake, level and sow lawn seed. Scatter some seed over scarified area and sprinkle a little top soil on top of the seed and keep it moist to help the germination.

                If GRASS GRUB has been a problem in the past, attack these pesky pests immediately. Many families of young grubs are silently underground eating the grass roots and it is not until the damage has already been done that we notice the destruction. If damage is already beginning to show sprinkle Soil Insect Killer over the lawn on a mild dewy night.

    rake or scarify up old thatched grasses that tend to choke out a lot of lawn grass which is often the cause of a thin patchy lawn. Fill in the low areas with soil and tramp, rake, level and sow lawn seed. Scatter some seed over scarified area and sprinkle a little top soil on top of the seed and keep it moist to help the germination.

                If GRASS GRUB has been a problem in the past, attack these pesky pests immediately. Many families of young grubs are silently underground eating the grass roots and it is not until the damage has already been done that we notice the destruction. If damage is already beginning to show sprinkle Soil Insect Killer over the lawn on a mild dewy night.