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Fruit in the Home Garden -Autumn

With most of the stone and pip fruit now harvested, the attention turns to Citrus that have been steadily forming on the trees throughout the Spring and Summer. Keep a lookout for Scale insects ant the diagnostic “Sooty Mould” that forms as the result of their infestation. Spray with White Oil twice at a four week interval, If the infestation is really bad, it may be necessary to add some pyrethrin to assist in killing the scale insects.

March is a good time to apply fertiliser around all Citrus trees to improve the size and the sweetness of the resultant fruit. Giganic is ideal and should be applied around the drip line of the tree. If dogs have access it is advisable to lightly fork it in after application.

If the crop is heavy, it may be necessary to thin out the fruit or provide support so that branches are not broken by the excess weight.

Suggested varieties for this area:

Plums: Satsuma, Mariposa (these two should be planted together as they cross pollinate to produce heavier crops). Santa Rosa is self fertile but improves if Mariposa is used as a pollinator. Frontier is another good variety.

Apricots: The old Moorpark is still a widely grown favourite, plus Trevatt, Hunter & Earlicot.

Nectarines: Goldmine, Arctic Rose and Anzac are all white fleshed and freestone. Flavortop is an excellent yellow fleshed freestone variety for eating, cooking, drying or bottling.

Peaches: Anzac is early maturing and freestone. Redhaven and Golden Queen are well proven favourites with the late season Golden Queen excellent for bottling.

Growing Citrus

Citrus varieties grow well in the Warragul & Drouin area. In fact they are probably the easiest and most rewarding of all fruit to grow.

Recomended Varieties:
Lemons: Lisbon, Eureka and Meyer
Oranges: Washington Navel, Valencia
Mandarins: Emperor, Imperial, Afourer (also known as Murcott)
Limes: Tahitian, Kaffir, Australian Limes.
Grapefruit: Marsh, Ruby.
Cumquats: Marumi, Ngami, Variegated

NOTE: Double grafted trees with two varieties can save space as can those grafted onto dwarf rootstock.

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Next Meeting Monday 27th May 2024.

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