Five steps to a fruitful summer
A couple of hours caring for your fruit trees in winter is well rewarded over summer. Because deciduous fruit trees are dormant over winter, this is the best time to prune as it reduces stress on the tree plus it’s easier to do remedial work when there’s no leaves. There’s nothing better than home grown fresh fruit, preserves and jams. Here’s our tips for how to enjoy the fruits of your labour:
Winter is the time to correct the size and shape of your fruit trees and remove diseased or compromised branches. This assists fruit by allowing sunlight to penetrate the tree.
- Remove all dead and diseased branches and suckers.
- Remove inward crossing branches that block sunlight.
- Shape the tree like a vase and keep the height manageable so you can reach fruit and so it doesn’t become top heavy.
Use a copper-based fungicide BEFORE the trees come into leaf. This will help destroy spores that infest trees in warmer months with diseases such as peach leaf curl. When fruit trees are leafless in winter, copper and lime-based sprays won’t burn their foliage or damage blooms.
Fertilising with cow manure and some blood and bone all around the tree line of your fruit trees will provide nutrients and help encourage a bumper harvest.
Before you mulch your trees give them a long deep water as far out as the tip of the longest branches to encourage healthy growth and fruit.
Mulching will help to reduce weeds, reduce water evaporation and encourage nutrients in the soil.
Our last tip is to net the fruit in summer so you get to enjoy them before the cockatoos and possums.