NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Growing Tips -

When re­mov­ing large branches from ap­ple or pear trees, cut from the un­der­side first. Cut un­til you get a third of the way up, then prune from the top. This helps pre­vent branches from split­ting and break­ing off, caus­ing dam­age. Ap­ple and pear trees are best pruned in late win­ter be­fore new growth starts. Prune strong branches back by a quar­ter to a third and trim young side shoots, leav­ing 3-6 buds. Prun­ing to just above an out­ward fac­ing bud ensures branches grow out­wards rather than into the cen­tre of the tree. Re­move spindly and down­ward fac­ing branches.

Spray fruit trees

The best way to pre­vent spring and sum­mer dis­eases is to ap­ply a pro­tec­tive fungi­cide spray (like cop­per or lime sul­phur) dur­ing win­ter, when trees aren’t ac­tively grow­ing. This is your last change to spray for dis­eases while your trees are still dor­mant. Be sure to spray your de­cid­u­ous fruit trees be­fore the buds start to swell.

Plant fruit trees

Take ad­van­tage of the best-priced fruit trees of the year by buy­ing up bare-rooted fruit trees now. These come straight from the fields of the grow­ers to gar­den cen­tres, so get in quick be­fore the trees have to be bagged… and price jumps up by about $10 – or more! Soak in a bucket of wa­ter for a few hours be­fore plant­ing.

The moon is full and the ef­fects of that on sprout­ing seeds and young plants is strong. Growth will be weak and spindly. Rest from your labours and stay in­side where it’s warm. Gar­den­ing by the moon Ap­ply warmed liq­uid fo­liar feed to any­thing ac­tively...

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