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Spring into the fruit orchard

Spring is a crucial time for fruit trees and there is plenty to do with them if you want to ensure a good harvest later in the year. Here are a few tasks that need to be undertaken.

Keep an eye on the blossoms and fruit. I know people are keen to cover their trees, but the pollinators need to do their thing, so let them do that before you cover up. Why not also consider growing pollinator friendly plants in the area. Or even set up a beehive. Beehives can be a lot of work if you want to extract the honey, but if you just want the bees around, then it is not such an onerous job to keep just one, or two hives!

Like everything else, pests and diseases like warmer weather and aphids, fruit flies and funguses like brown rot, will start to become active. Sprays and chemicals are often used, but as you and your family and friends will be eating the fruit, here are some more natural remedies.

  • Before the tree blooms, spray with a mixture of Neem oil and water to deter insects and fungicide.
  • Set fruit fly traps up to attract the females, before the tree fruits
  • Prune off diseased or damaged branches. You may feel like it's not the right time, but getting rid of it is better than keeping them and attracting diseases.
  • Mulch to retain moister and deter weeds.

Feed the trees in early spring, before the growth spurt, using organic fertiliser. Then do it again in about 7 weeks. Apply about a handful per sq metre evenly around the outer edge of the canopy and water in.

And then just keep an eye on it, and water deeply, especially when dry.  

Then it won't be long until you are rewarded with the fruits of your labor.