In the middle of winter it’s all about planting new seasons fruit trees, planting strawberries, harvesting citrus and pruning.
Lemons, limes, mandarins, grapefruit, oranges and cumquats are all ripening and ready for harvest in the warmest of areas. Avocados will begin to ripen in some areas. Feijoa – there may still be a few hanging around to pick in colder areas.Tamarillos.
All deciduous fruit trees can be planted in July, August and September while the plants are still dormant. The widest selection will be available in garden stores now.
Plant NZ Cranberry or Chilean Guava.
Raspberries, Currents, Gooseberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Blackberries can all be planted too.
Lift and divide established Rhubarb crowns.
All fruits require a position in full sun. Shelter from strong prevailing winds is preferable.
- Its strawberry planting time, to ensure a good strawberry crop the plants need to have a period of winter chilling.
- The cold temperature helps stimulate the flower buds which produce the fruit.
- Prepare beds by working soil over with a fork, blend in super sheep pellets, a layer of strawberry potting mix and strawberry fertiliser prior to planting.
- In frost prone areas or for sensitive plants, protect tender fruit trees with frost cloth.
- Move tender fruiting crops growing in containers somewhere warmer for the winter.
- Spray deciduous fruits trees with a winter clean up spray (Lime Sulphur) to remove any lingering pests and diseases.
- Before pruning begins in earnest, sharpen (or get someone else to do it for you) secateurs, saws and loppers.
- Grapes, Kiwifruit, Apples, Pears and apricots.
- Avoid pruning peaches, plums and almonds in winter because it can spread the silver leaf virus.
- These fruits should be pruned in summer to limit its spread.
- Keep orchards and the areas around fruit trees weed free.
- Only use weed sprays that are non-residual near fruit trees.
- Stake all young fruit trees to enable to roots to anchor themselves into the soil for the first few seasons.
- Tie down malleable branches to maintain or establish espalier framework.