Ovens & Murray Advertiser - North East Regional Extra
Spring tasks for best results
AS spring nears you will start to see your fruit trees waking up from their winter dormancy.
The blossom and fresh new leaves are just waiting for the warmer days when they will burst open.
It is an exciting time in the garden, but also a time when extra care is needed to ensure we set trees up for a bumper crop.
Some of the pests and diseases that impact fruit trees need to be treated at very specific times or the window for treatment to have maximum effect will be missed.
The fungal disease leaf curl is a problem in our area. It affects the healthy growth of peaches and nectarines. Ideally, a copper based spray should be used at the time of pruning, when the tree is dormant.
If you missed doing this, spray can be applied when the buds are just beginning to swell and before they burst.
Speak to your local nursery for more detailed advice.
Plum trees are affected by plague thrip and aphids which attack new growth as it emerges, causing deformed leaves and damaged blossom.
Because the affected growth is curled and stunted it is often mistaken for leaf curl and treated as that. Use yellow sticky traps to reduce pest numbers. A registered insecticide will also be necessary to minimise damage.
Spring is the best time to feed your fruit trees because this is when they need plenty of energy to produce new growth and support developing fruit.
Keep the area around the base of the tree clear of grass and weeds, apply fertiliser and mulch well.
Keeping on top of these few tasks in early spring will help you enjoy delicious homegrown fruit.