Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Yates.com.au

THE last month of spring is time to start preparing the gar­den for the hot sum­mer weather ahead.

Nurs­eries carry a wide range of trop­i­cal fruit trees and vines dur­ing Novem­ber, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Best cli­mates to grow trop­i­cal fruit in­clude: sub trop­i­cal, tem­per­ate or warm coastal ar­eas with long warm grow­ing sea­sons or a shel­tered mi­cro­cli­mate.

In­cor­po­rate hand­fuls of or­ganic plant food to en­rich the soil be­fore plant­ing.

Many fruit plants are or­na­men­tal as well as pro­duc­tive, so con­sider us­ing fei­joa as a hedge, cof­fee for screen­ing, macadamia for pri­vacy or mango and av­o­cado trees for shade.

A vig­or­ous pas­sion­fruit vine will cover a sunny fence quickly and fruit within 12 months. Most trop­i­cal fruits need lib­eral wa­ter­ing and reg­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tions of an or­ganic based fer­tiliser which is for­ti­fied with ex­tra nu­tri­ents for abun­dant fruit. CIT­RUS CARE CIT­RUS trees are set­ting their fruit for next sea­son’s crop and wa­ter stress can lead to fruit drop, so they’ll need a good deep soak­ing once a week if there isn’t ad­e­quate rain­fall.

An ap­pli­ca­tion soil wet­ter around the root zone will help get the wa­ter down where it’s needed, by break­ing down the waxy, wa­ter re­pel­lent layer that can de­velop on the soil sur­face.

Lucerne hay, pea straw or sugar cane mulch spread 50mm deep over the root zone can help re­tain mois­ture in the soil.

Keep watch­ing for early signs of cit­rus leaf miner, as the adults lay their eggs on young fo­liage and lar­vae bur­row into the leaves.

Pas­sion­fruit is rich in di­etary fi­bre and an­tiox­i­dants.

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