Plants – Kitchen Garden Plants – Fruit



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Kitchen Garden Plants - Herbs
Kitchen Garden Plants - Herbs Guide
Kitchen Garden Plants - Fruit
Kitchen Garden Plants - Fruit Guide
Kitchen Garden Plants - Vegetables
Kitchen Garden Plants - Vegetables Guide
Kitchen Garden Plants - Organic Farming

To grow fruit successfully you mainly need ample sunlight and watering, wind-protection and pruning knowledge. Planting holes, soil preparation and mulching is the same as for trees. A good fertilising programme would usually be spring- and summer applications of magnesium sulphate and a mixture of 2:3:2 with 3:1:5.
The additional application of liquid seaweed helps fruit to keep longer.

Plant container-grown fruit trees a couple of hours after soaking the tree, the planting holes and soil. Plant the tree to the same depth of the stem’s soil mark, or with the bud union above soil level. Soak thoroughly again after planting. When planting bare-rooted trees, prepare a squire hole large enough for its root system. Leave the tree in water and shade during preparation. With the guidance of a straight stick, placed across the hole, plant the tree with the bud union a little above the soil level. Spread the roots out evenly and comfortably, while filling in-between with soil. Firm down gently and soak thoroughly. See Trees for further planting details.
When planting an orchard space the following fruit trees correctly:
Deciduous trees - 4,5m spacing; Grape vines - 1,8m spacing; Granadillas - 3m spacing of trees and 4m spacing for north-facing rows; Raspberries - 75cm spacing and 2m spacing for north-facing rows; Youngberry- and Boysenberry trees - 2,5m spacing for trees and 2,5m between north-facing rows.

Spraying
programmes are needed to control the pest and disease attacks on fruit trees (see GARDENING INFO for more on PESTICIDES and FERTILISERS). The pests and cures are discussed under individual fruit texts.

Pruning
encourages the tree to develop more fruiting wood. Individual trees need different fruiting wood and observation in this regard is necessary for correct pruning. Fruit trees obtained new with two or more leaders, should be cut back to 18cm above the separation point. Make the cut above an outward pointing bud in the same way as when pruning shrubs. When dealing with a single stemmed tree, cut back to 40cm from the ground and plant. After it produced more stems, pick the strongest three or four and remove the rest. The idea is to ultimately shape your fruit tree to a cup-shape, enabling the sun to reach the centre. Inward growing stems and branches should be removed, as they appear and at origin point.


The next winter pruning will be the shortening of the leaders’ new growth. Choose an outward growing bud for the cut, leaving two thirds of the new growth. The following year’s pruning should be that of lateral shoots, keeping in mind a cup-shape. Cut these back, but leave those well spaced and strongest. Prune these again at the leaf falling season to half their length. Ensuring a cup-shape, sturdy branches and a balance between its top size and root growth will be the aim of pruning during the first three years, after which the tree types will indicate pruning specifics.


Peach and nectarine
trees fruit only on new or young wood. Prune back branches that have already fruited, during winter, towards new shoots close to their bases. The producing of new wood will ensure fruiting.

Apricot and plum
trees need about three years to settle, before which annual pruning of leaders, by a third, is necessary. Also cut away water-shoots and unwanted, weak of badly spaced shoots. After settling, prune to maintain good, symmetrical shape and balance of top and root development.

Apple and pear
trees are mainly pruned during midwinter, and apple trees need additional pruning after flowering. Prune away unwanted growth to two buds until a balance is achieved. Sometimes there is lush foliage but no fruiting; the reason for this is an in-balance of top and root development. Cut back the vigorous main roots during autumn and the situation will neutralise in time. Eventual pruning will be to correct the lengths of wood necessary for fruiting, determined by the tree.

Blackcurrant bushes
are pruned during winter and produce fruit on young wood. The tree will therefor need to constantly produce new growth for fruit bearing and frame-pruning is nonessential. Cut new plants back to at least two to three buds from above the ground.

Raspberries, boysenberries and loganberries
are pruned at the end of winter to encourage the growth of laterals on the canes, on which the fruit is borne. The canes’ cutting length depends on the growing rate.

Training trees as espaliers, cordons and palmettes
you’ll need a wall, trellis, pergola or matching structure. Prune and train branches for maximum cropping space.

Fruit Fly Tip:

Trap fruit fly by making holes in the sides of a plastic cool drink bottle. Dice an old pineapple into little cubes and place in the bottom of the bottle. Sprinkle appropriate poison over. Hang this bottle in fruit trees that are susceptible to fruit flies.

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