How To Care For Your Fruit Garden

The Fruit Garden

If you own a productive fruit garden each month will bring its own set of jobs to complete.

 

Pruning, feeding, watering, planting, training, and harvesting are activities that can bring immense satisfaction as you watch your efforts pay off. Unlike vegetable gardening where crops are cleared annually, the fruit garden matures over years, resulting in a continually productive plot.

Early spring

General

  • Apply a mulch around fruit trees, nuts, and bushes as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
  • Control aphids on various fruits but don’t spray when in blossom.
  • Get on top of weed control if not done in late winter and continue through to summer.
  • Repot or top-dress container-grown fruits if required.

Tree fruits

  • Protect almond, peach, apricot, and nectarine blossom from frost, but make sure insects can access blooms or else hand pollinate flowers.
  • Carry out formative pruning of newly planted stone fruits if the weather is dry.
  • Protect cherry blossom from frost.
  • Apply nitrogen feed to plums, cherries, cooking apples, and pears as they’re hungry feeders.

Soft fruits

  • Pollinate strawberry flowers under glass by brushing over them with your hands.
  • Plant cranberries and lingonberries.
  • Mulch raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and lingonberries with well-rotted farmyard manure (not mushroom compost).
  • Apply high nitrogen feed to blackcurrants.
  • Prune blueberries.
  • Apply sulphur chips to beds of blueberries, lingonberries, and cranberries if required.
  • Plant cold-stored strawberry runners.
  • Sow seeds of alpine strawberries.
  • Untie canes of black and hybrid berries that have been bundled together in cold districts for the winter, and train into arches before the buds burst.

Vine fruits

  • Never prune grapevines in early spring to avoid sap “bleeding”.

Nuts

  • Prune cobnuts and filberts if this was not done in late winter.

Mid spring

General

  • Avoid using insecticides on crops in flower.

Tree fruits

  • Last chance to plant bare-root fruit trees, and ideally plant container-grown forms too.
  • Liquid feed fruit trees in pots with a balanced feed.
  • Graft fruit trees.
  • Start applying apple and pear scab controls.
  • Deal with aphids, apple sucker, pear sucker, pear midge, caterpillars, and powdery mildew.
  • Protect plum and pear flowers from frost but allow insects to access them.

For more information please visit: Grow Your Own Fruit