August: Caring for your fruit trees

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There are a few important jobs in the orchard this month.

If you had a serious case of blackspot or leaf curl you may be considering a lime sulfur spray. Get this on this month. Please don't use lime sulfur on apricots. Or for less serious cases of the same problems as above, you could use copper. If you had blister mites then spray your pears with Tui eco oil.

This is probably the hardest cut you’ll make, but the most important. Cut your new tree at about hip height. Do this whether your wanting a vase shape or a single leader. If the main branches start here they’ll be reachable when fully grown (instead of beginning at shoulder height and ending up in the moon).

For those of you who have been in my orchard, all my trees started this way. It doesn’t kill them! Just starts them off beautifully. This plum was pruned thus and here it is the following spring, shaping up nicely. Infact if you saw it now (3 years on) all your fears would be allayed.

I dose them with Roksolid and a bit of gypsum. Compost, rotten manure, seaweed are all fab feeders.  If you didn’t get them released in autumn then do free them from the grass before it really gets growing in spring. If you don’t have comfrey beneath your trees then newspaper and mulch will be important. Get something grunty around your strawberries like rotten manure or compost. Give your citrus and passionfruit a booster too. I use Roksolid for this, or rotten manure or compost. Topped off (of course) with a generous serving of mulch.



In the Vegie Patch  |  In the Kitchen



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