FRUIT Trees. Some weeks it feels like that's the only thing people want to know about. What can I grow, and how do I grow it?
Ipswich in general has a strange climate - in some areas they get continuous black frosts, other areas nothing.
Some areas get rain others don't. Humidity? What humidity?
With such fluctuations in climatic conditions it's hard sometimes to say what will and won't grow in your backyard. All we can do is go with the law of averages.
In theory if you want to grow peaches, nectarines, pears or apples you will need to grow the tropical variety.
Cherries do not generally fruit well here, nor do plums.
Most if not all varieties of citrus grow like weeds.
Most of the berries and grapes will also grow well.
Mangos and avocados do ridiculously well here too.
I bet you're thinking "yeah but I have all of those. I want something different".
What about growing your own coffee plant or tea plant? A dwarf persimmon or custard apple sounds nice.
Macadamias and pecans can be grown too if you are a little nutty.
Olives and figs to go with your evening wine? Chilli and gingers are sure to spice up your life.
Many fruit tree varieties are now available in dwarf form so they can be grown in pots or small yards - no excuses.
As for care and attention I'm sure we all have some stand-by methods or tricks passed down from your grandfather's father for growing fruit trees.
You know me though - I like the simple things in life. Just remember, fruit trees are heavy feeders so they do need a bit more care and attention compared to the rest of your garden.
I fertilise my fruit trees with Organic Link, a complete slow release, organic granular fertiliser, every two months.
When they start to fruit I try to use Triple Boost, a complete organic liquid fertiliser, every fortnight.
After fruiting I will sometimes also give them a feed with Bio Trace, a complete organic liquid trace element mix.
When insects attack it can sometimes be a sign of an unhealthy tree. The same goes for humans; we are all likely to get sick when we are run down.
I usually find a good trim and a hefty dose of Organic Link fertiliser does the trick.
I use a fruit fly trap and eco-naturalure to help combat fruit flies and a pyrethrum based spray to get rid of caterpillars, grasshoppers etc.
Some other nasty insects do attack fruit trees and they will need specific treatment. So always ask for advice from one of the Trevallan girls.
Poor fruit, fruit drop or no fruit on a healthy tree is usually a sign that your soil needs some sulphate of potash. Sulphate of potash can be used in liquid or granular form.
Liquid is fast acting but needs to be done regularly. Granular is slow acting but will last longer in the soil. Which one to use depends on the situation.
This weekend plant yourself an orchard that you can harvest all year long.
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