Winter - Recharge
... To all avid fruit Gardeners

Oh the trials of the weather, a beautiful hot summer then the wet of autumn. Mother Nature loves to challenge us!

Are you ready for winter? I think we are. We have wrapped up the more frost tender plants, started the winter pruning and have a selection of plants ready to plant that do not need protection.

Everything is a lot slower through winter so there is time to plan, get the garden under control, sit back and take it all in.

There are a few fruits to harvest. The garden is not completely bear so enjoy the citrus, guavas and casimiroas - full of nutrients to help fight the winter chills.

‘The Best time to plant fruit trees was three years ago, the second best time is NOW!’

Enjoy your garden.

In this issue

Steve's Words of Wisdom
Strawberries for Christmas
... more
Fiona's Update
Frost Protection
... more
Fruits to Harvest
... more
Guava Highlights
... more
Mouth Watering Recipes - Guava
... more
Guided tours ofincredible edibles® Garden
... more

Steve's Words of Wisdom


Steve our Nursery Manager
(Aka The Don)

Strawberries for Christmas

Winter is a time to prepare the strawberry bed so spring and Christmas is overflowing with the simple pleasures of the strawberry.

Here are some key tips for your Strawberries.

  • Replant yearly or every 2 years
  • Avoid soil previously planted with members of the Solanaceae family - potatoes and tomatoes
  • Plant in well drained rich soil
  • Prior to planting incorporate Dalton’s incredible edibles® Strawberry Fertiliser
  • Choose full sun position with good air flow
  • Ensure strawberry crowns (tops of roots) are planted at soil level or they will rot if buried
  • Mulch with straw to conserve moisture and keep fruit clean
  • Protect from the birds

Choose between the traditional strawberry beds or construct a point of interest. See interesting ideas below.

     
 
 
   
 
         
 
  • Fresh Daily
  • $2.50/punnet from the supermarket
  • Kids play
  • Good source of vitamin B, C, potassium, iron and fibre
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries
  • Strawberries and Champagne

Click here to find out more about strawberries

 

Fiona's Update

Frost Protection

In our gardens last year some of our frost tender plants either died or were hit hard and have spent the summer growing back.
We are upping the anti this year hoping the plants will not loose so much growth so will grow and become larger plants able to withstand the elements.

We have used:

  • A four post shelter structure with plastic on 4 sides (making sure protected from prevailing wind)
  • A thick layer of mulch to generate heat while breaking down. Make sure there is a gap between plant stem and mulch to eliminate burning of stem
  • Frost cloth cover over the top
  • Hay or straw loosely arranged around the plant to add more insulation (this is a trial, not sure if it will help)


Fiona


Thick layer of mulch


Not touching the stem


Hay for insulation
     
Frost Cloth Hat
supported by wire hoops
 

Fruits to Harvest

Avocado Bacon, Fuerte, Hashimoto
Feijoa

Golden Goose, Wiki Tu

Guava Cherry Red, Chery Yellow
Ingabean  
Japanese Raisin  
Olives Ascalano, El Greco, Frantoio, J5, Koroneiki, Leccino,Manzanillo, Pendolino, Picual
Persimmon Fuyu
Pine Nut  
Pepino Bold Gold, Tango™, Ted's Red

Guava Cherry Highlight



Yellow Cherry

Red Cherry hedge

Red Cherry

Question:

A year ago I purchased one of your yellow guava shrubs well matured, and much of the yellow fruit is the size of golf balls. It is nicely established in a square tub 35 cm square and 27 deep on open sunny 1st floor deck (I have no garden).

Some fruit skin has a grey ‘rust' that prevents development. Spray?

Would it be best to leave spraying till the fruit is all gone, and start the spraying then? Also is the tree at more risk of disease in the semi-sheltered position of a deck only half exposed northwards and open to the elements?

Answer:

Your guava has developed a fungal problem. Your best option to help this plant fight this disease is Yates Fungus Gun - broad spectrum fungicide available from your local garden centre. The other alternative is to use a copper fungicide such as Yates Champ DP which you will need to mix up yourself. Use 2 applications 10 days apart. Make sure you follow the directions on the container. Available at your local garden centre. Your position on the deck does not sound a problem. Just make sure it does not get stressed, lack of or too much water. Also regular light applications of fertiliser through the growing season.

Yes spray once the fruit is removed or finished.

 

Question:

Our Guava Red Cherry is not ripening, it is turning into hard little marbles. Can you please tell us what is wrong and how we can fix it?

Answer:

We have had this in the stock garden and we are spraying antifungal with success. It appears to be related to heavy rain conditions at time of fruit set. Affected fruit will not come right and will drop off but the spraying has cleared the problem from the younger fruit.

We did reactive spraying but if it was wet and muggy it wouldn’t hurt to be proactive. Increase ventilation - cut back close growing unwanted foliage or plants and opening up the canopy as this could be contributing to good fungal proliferation.

I have spoken to our spray contractor and he said the only organic fungal spray is Ecocarb. Please follow the directions on the container.

 

Question:

I have a 3 year old Yellow Cherry Guava Tree that last year produced a good crop of fruit that were about the size of a Walnut.

This year’s crop was very prolific in numbers (a couple of 1000 by my estimation) but the fruit was all very small by comparison (size of a marble???), but noticeably smaller than last years - at least a cm smaller this year.

I fed the tree very well using citrus fertiliser both seasons.

Can you offer any reasons and/or solutions to this "problem" as I am contemplating removing the tree!!!!

Answer:

I have had a look next door at our plants and we have some that are carrying a lot of small fruit. If this is the case with this enquiry I am thinking they are small due to the heavy set of fruit. Other plants not set so heavy have larger fruit. I would tend to thin out your fruit next year and they should be larger.

Another factor is maybe a lack of water while the fruit are growing.


   

Guava Yellow suffering from a fungi and wet weather

 

Guava Fruitful Facts

  • Also know as Strawberry Guava because of the flavour
  • Originated from Eastern Brazil
  • Small whitish seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee
  • 3.5 - 7kilos per plant/year depending on growing conditions
  • Related to the Pohutukawa, feijoa and eucalyptus
  • More vitamin C per 100g than oranges
  • Will handle down to -5°C
  • Delicious fresh or guava jelly

Click here to find out more about Guava Cherry

Mouth Watering Guava Recipe

Guava Jelly

1 kg guava fruit, vary degrees of ripeness
1/4 cup water sugar

Boil fruit to soften. Strain thru jelly bag over night.
For every cup of juice add 1 cup of sugar. Boil vigorously until jelly gives setting test.
Pack and seal.

Share with us your favourite recipe or gardening story. Email me on info@edible.co.nz.

Blueberry Pruning


       

New flower buds are formed on late summer growth and these flowers open the following spring and bears fruit in the summer. The most vigorous looking wood bears the largest fruit.

Blueberries only require minimal pruning in winter.

  • Remove dead of diseased wood
  • Weak growth
  • Old twiggy branches
       

Before Pruned on a 6yr old plant

 

       
Removed older stems to open up middle  

After 4-5 years the oldest branches may need cutting back to the crown to encourage vigorous new growth.

Prune to shape may be done at any time.

If heavy pruning (say to transplant) this is best done in winter while the plant is dormant.

   

After Pruned

   

Click here to find out more about Blueberries

Experience the incredible edibles® Garden

incredible edibles® is opening its doors to offer guided group tours of its extensive stock gardens. Contact me today to make your booking to visit the incredible edibles® Garden in sunny Bay of Plenty.

Click here for booking form and/or request for more information.

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Tharfield Nursery Ltd
Phone 07 552 0331

©2013 Tharfield Nursery. Pictures & information provided as a guide only.