Tui Garden

Fruit Gardener's Diary - January

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January is one of the main fruit harvesting times. Be patient before you pick fruit - it always tastes best when allowed to fully ripen on the tree or plant.

Pick

Nectarines, Passion Fruit, Cherries, Blueberry, Strawberries, Raspberries, Apricots, Peaches, Plums

Plant

Unless you are prepared to be vigilant in keeping the soil moist over the summer months it’s not ideal to plant larger fruit trees in mid summer.
New batches of strawberries can be planted.
Remember, fruit requires a position in full sun. Shelter from prevailing winds is preferable.

Tasks

Water

  • In dry periods keep berries, lemons, citrus, grapes and kiwifruit watered. Summer is the time when the fruit is forming.
  • Keep the soil moist and water all fruit trees through dry periods.
  • Add Saturaid to help soils hold onto water.

Thinning

  • Remove excess apples from apple trees (this is called thinning) in some cases apples produce too much fruit and if left on the tree will limit the size and quality of ripening fruit.
  • Thin multiple clusters down to 2 or 3 apples per group.
  • Trim any long runners back to the centre of the strawberry plants, this will force the plant to produce more flowers which equals another batch of fruit.

Protect

  • Aphids, whitefly and scale insects may be about, spray with Tui Insect Control for Fruit & Veges to eradicate.
  • Birds can be a real problem eating fruits as they ripen, cover with netting where possible.

Weeds

  • Keep orchards and the areas around fruit trees weed free.
  • Only use weed sprays that are non-residual near fruit trees.

Stake/Espalier

  • Taller growing berries such as boysenberries, blackberries and other scrambling berries will require staking or wires to grow along to keep fruit up off the ground.

Mulch

  • Add a layer of Tui Mulch & Feed around the base of fruit trees, this will enable to soil to maintain moisture throughout the summer and keep the area weed free.
  • As the mulch rots down it adds nutrients to the soil as well.