Plants for Free


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Plants for Free

  1. 1. OTHER USEFUL INFO ... Plants for free Some fruits are easy to propagate, and this Also, they can take several years to bear fruit, can save you a lot of money. Make sure you and for all that time you wont know whether propagate from a healthy plant! the fruit is any good! Cape Goosberry and Passionfruit are the exceptions. Grafting and budding These are the methods for propagating most Easy and reliable methods fruit trees, but they are fairly tricky. Find a Instructions for the easiest propagation local workshop to get some experience with methods are in the section Part 3 – Essential them, or check out the instructions on these Plant Info, under the heading of the fruits for websites: which they are suitable. Examples: Grafting • Runners – strawberry TakingCuttingsFromOldVarieties • Layering – blackberry, boysenberry, blue- berry Growing from seed • Suckers – raspberry. This is not a good method for most fruits, as the offspring often arent as good as the parent.Propagating by hardwood cuttings White/ Blackcurrant Blueberry Fig Gooseberry Grape Redcurrant Autumn orBest time Autumn Midwinter Autumn Midautumn Autumn winterCutting 20–30cm Stem section 20–30cm 10–15cm 30–38cm 30–38cmlength (1–2cm thick) with 3 buds Leave all buds Use the bottom Choose stems Leave all buds Choose stems Remove all but on the stem, 2/3 of strong with some 2- on the stem, that are just the top 4 or 5Preparing but remove all shoots of year-old wood and the top 2 thicker than a buds, and allthe cutting leaves the previous at the base leaves pencil leaves seasons growth Insert upright in Insert upright in Insert upright in Insert upright in Insert upright in Insert upright in a trench or pot, a pot, leaving a pot, leaving a pot, to half its a pot, leaving a pot, to half itsPlanting leaving 2 buds 1–2 buds a few buds length the top bud length showing showing showing showing Should have Should be ready Can take more Should be Pot up after Should be roots and 3 or to plant out after than a year to ready to plant leaves and ready to plantWhat to 4 good stems 1 year develop a good out after 1 year roots form in out after 1 yearexpect after 1 year root system summer, plant out next PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE 59
  2. 2. Rootstocks Choose the right rootstock It is the rootstock of a fruit tree that determines Useful information about types of apple how big the tree gets and what soil conditions rootstock is listed below, and the best rootstocks it can handle. This especially applies to apples. for other types of fruit are on the next page. Rootstocks for apple treesAdapted from How to Make a Forest Garden M27 Super dwarf M9 Dwarf M26 Dwarf MM106 Semi-dwarf • Suits well-drained, fertile soils – NOT heavy • Best in fertile, free- • Good on most soils, except clay soils draining soil – cannot poorly drained sites • Fruits well in 2nd year cope with waterlogging • Has a strong frame and roots, • Shallow roots – needs a sheltered spot, • Can be grown without does not need staking – good in permanent stakes, and plenty of mulch staking in sheltered areas exposed areas • Espalier is best – train along a fence or • Semi-vigorous – can be kept wires smaller with pruning • Lives about 30 years • Fruits in the 3rd or 4th year and can be a heavy cropper • More resistant to woolly aphid 60 PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE
  3. 3. Rootstocks Rootstocks for other trees Pear Cherry On heavy, fertile soils, grow pears on quince Choose trees grown on Tangshe rootstock rootstock (grows to about 3m tall). (grows to 4m). Prune to an appropriate size for your section, as a standard tree or as a fan. Apricot, plum, peach, nectarine On heavy soils, use trees grown on plum Citrus rootstock (grows to 4–6m). On dry soils, use Use trees grown on Flying Dragon (grows to peach rootstock (grows to 5–8m). To save 2.5m), or if youre on heavy clay soil, Trifoliata space, you can prune them to size as a standard (grows to 2.3m). tree, or as a fan against a wall. (Apple rootstocks cont.)Adapted from How to Make a Forest Garden M116 Semi dwarf M793 Tall Northern Spy • Better suited to difficult soils (heavy or clay) than other rootstocks • An especially good rootstock for • Vigorous, looks chunkier than the M106, and has a more upright framework heavy clay soils and branches • Suits conditions in Golden Bay • Needs regular pruning, or growing as espalier, to control size • Grows into a large strong tree – • Has good anchorage needs regular pruning, or growing • Fruits strongly in the 5th year as espalier, to keep it smaller • More resistant to woolly aphid and collar rot • Shows resistance to woolly aphid PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE 61
  4. 4. Pests & diseases Tonics for your trees Regular doses of tonic food (e.g. compost, comfrey leaves, seaweed)Pests & diseases help plants resist diseases and survive the effects of insect attacks. Before you turn to toxic chemicals, make You can either put the tonics on the sure you follow these steps to reducing the soil as a mulch, or make a tea out of likelihood of getting pests and diseases in your them: fruit trees: • Put one of the above tonics in a 1. Choose the right kind of fruit, and the right specific variety, to suit the conditions bucket of water, cover it with a lid, at your place. For the varieties that suit and leave it for a few weeks. (It will home gardens, see the Tried & True chart smell terrible!) overleaf. • Put a cup or two of the liquid in a 2. Allow enough space between trees for good bucket or watering can and dilute airflow, and also prune to keep the inside of it with water to the colour of weak the tree open. tea. 3. Summer prune to remove the lush growing tips, so the plants are less attractive to • Pour this over the leaves, or strain sucking insects. the bits out and spray the tree. 4. Keep your plants appropriately fertilised and watered, so they dont become vulnerable to pests and diseases. 5. Attract a range of helpful insects into your garden to control the pests for you: - keep some rocks, logs and long grass on - plant good companions for your trees the property for helpful animals to hide in (see the Companions page) (or under) and live and breed safely.Helpful insectsAnts eat fruit flies, codling moth and some caterpillarsBirds eat heaps of insect pests BUT also your fruitCentipedes eat caterpillars and slugs BUT also ground-nestingHedgehogs eat millipedes, snails and slugs birds eggs, skinks, geckos aphids, scale insects, mites, young caterpillars and the larvae ofHoverfly larvae eat pear/cherry slugsLacewing larvae eat HEAPS of aphids, scale, mealy bugs, mites and whiteflyLadybirds eat scale, aphids, whitefly and mealy bugsPraying mantises eat caterpillars, bugs, beetles, aphids BUT also beneficial insects AND anything else thatSpiders eat flies, mosquitoes, codling moth, caterpillars, butterflies strays into their web!Parasitic wasps invade caterpillars and their larvae eat the caterpillars from the inside62 PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE
  5. 5. Pests & diseases Hygienic habits Good garden hygiene is ESSENTIAL. Not all pests require action from you e.g. • Clean up all fallen fruit, mummies and • Pear leaf slug dries up on a hot day. prunings, as pests and diseases can live on • Beneficial insects multiply when theres them until next season. Remove them from a lot of their favourite pest food around, your property. and sometimes they can restore the balance • When youre pruning, wipe your tools with without your help. methylated spirits or bleach between trees, Some growers do a copper spray at leaf fall and to avoid spreading diseases. again at bud burst to control diseases. • Always read spray labels carefully and Lotions & potions apply as recommended. If you think youve discovered a problem in • Wear protective gear. your fruit trees, first of all find out exactly • Make sure you know what else is living in whats going on: the target zone – even a natural spray can • Is it really a pest attack or outbreak of wipe out both the pest youre targeting, and disease? If its a nutrient deficiency or a also every other friendly insect in the area. problem with the soil, then spraying for • Spray in the morning before many insects diseases wont get rid of the problem! are out and about, and when there is no • Take some samples (in a plastic bag) to your wind so the spray doesnt drift. local nursery to get advice, or compare the sample with pictures in library books (e.g. Dont give up! Managing Pests and Diseases – Rob Lucas) If your trees develop a pest or disease problem, or on websites (e.g. dont give up on your efforts to provide the publications/hortfacts/hfinall.htm). best conditions possible.Controls you can make Problem Solution Blend together 2–3 garlic cloves, 6–12 chilli peppers, 1tbsp cooking oil, 7 cups of water, Sucking insects (e.g. aphids) and a few squirts of detergent. Spray it directly on the pest. Fungal diseases Mix 1tbsp baking soda with 4.5l of water, and spray it on the affected areas. Powdery mildew Mix equal parts of milk and water, and spray it on affected areas. Wrap corrugated cardboard around the base of the tree when its fruiting so the moths Codling moth (apples) hibernate in it. Take it off in early winter and burn it.For more spray recipes see controls you can buyProblem SolutionSlugs, snails, caterpillars Diatomaceous earth – a natural rock-based powderSucking insects (e.g. aphids) Neem oil or sprays based on fatty acids – useful if numbers seem to be building up. Pheromone-based traps that you hang in trees at a certain time of year – they dontCodling moth control the moth, but they help you know if you have a lot and need to take some action Copper or sulphur-based sprays – read the labels, use only as recommended, and wearFungal diseases protective PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE 63
  6. 6. Companion plantsCompanion plants Some plants are known to benefit each other when they grow together. Also, some plants are known to be bad companions, so try to avoid having them near your fruit trees – e.g. grass. Planting good companions under your fruit trees will mean less work for you, as your trees will be healthier. How good companions help The top 10 companions 1. They provide food for: Think about: • bees to pollinate the blossoms • what herbs you like using • predatory insects to eat the pests • what flowers you like • birds to pollinate the blossoms and eat • what other plants like the same conditions pests. as your tree. Examples: Then choose some of these examples: - yarrow (Achillea millefolium) • Bergamot (Monarda didyma) for bees - sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata) - sage (Salvia) • Bulbs (eg snowdrops, daffodils, jonquils, - lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) garlic, chives) to help with soil nutrients - borage (Borago officinalis). • Calendula/marigold (Calendula officinalis) for insects, and as a herb 2. They collect nutrients for other plants in • Fennel (Foeniculum) for insects, and as a two ways: herb • Their deep roots bring up minerals and • Lavender (Lavandula) for insects – good in nutrients to their leaves, which end up drier soils rotting on the soils surface and then the • Lovage (Levisticum officinale) for insects, trees roots can absorb them. and as a herb Examples: - comfrey (Symphytum officinale) • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) for bees, - chicory (Cichorium intybus) and as a herb – good in drier soils - dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) • Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) as a groundcover, • They absorb nitrogen from the vegetable atmosphere and when they die, other • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) for insects plants can use it. • Violet (creeping – (Viola odorata) for bees, Examples: and as a groundcover - red clover (Trifolium pratense) Ideas for specific companions for each type of - lucerne/alfalfa (Medicago sativa) fruit are given in the section Part 3 – Essential - peas and beans. Plant Info. For more information about 3. Groundcovers protect the soil and plant Companion Planting, look at: roots from the sun and heavy rain. Examples: - oregano (Origanum vulgare) - nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) - roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) - strawberries (Fragaria).64 PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE
  7. 7. Varieties to useTried & true varieties for home gardens The varieties listed below have been recommended for home gardens by growers in this region. Theres also a list of more apple varieties, including heritage types, on our website. These lists are a selection only – there are other varieties that also do well. Talk to other organic growers in your area to find out about their successes, or contact the local branch of the NZ Tree Crops Association.Almond CY750, 403, Fabi, Monovale Kiwifruit Hayward Early: Akane, Gravenstein StripeyApple Mid: Priscilla, Prima, Sir Prize Lemon Meyer, Genoa, Yen Ben Late: Liberty, Sturmer, Jonagold Early: Katy Cot, SundropApricot Lime Bearss, Tahitian Mid/late: Trevatt, FitzroyBlackberry Black Satin, Navaho Mandarin Clementine, Encore, Miho for containers Rabbit eye: Tifsblue, Powder Blue Early: SnowqueenBlueberry Nectarine Highbush: Duke, Dixie, Bluecrop Late: Fantasia, Red Gold, Sunglo Washington Navel, Ruby Blood, HarwardBoysenberry Tasman, McNicholls Choice, Mapua Orange Late Early: Burlat, Summit, Rosann Mid: Redhaven, Black BoyCherry Mid: Dawson, Bing, Compact Stella Peach Late: April White, Golden Queen Mid-late: Lapins Early: Williams Bon Chrétien Black: Magnus, Tai Tahi Mid: Princess, Beurre Hardy, ConferenceCurrants Pear Red: Myra McKee, Gloriade de Versaille Late: Beurre Bosc, Doyenne du Comice Very late: Winter Cole, Winter Nelis Early: Apollo, Gemini, Unique Early: Duffs Early Jewel, Wilsons EarlyFeijoa Mid: Kakapo, Wiki Tu Plum Mid: Fortune, Purple King, Greengage Late: Triumph Late: Omega Early: Brown Turkey Mid: Cacak FruitfulFig Mid: Brunswick, San Pedro No 2 Prune Plum Late: Italian, Stanley Late: Lesa, Preston Prolific, French Sugar Early: Himrod, Buffalo, Shuyler Early: Van DemanGrape Mid: Iona, Albany Surprise Quince Mid: Vranja Late: Niagara Early: WaiauGooseberry Invicta, Pax Raspberry Late: Autumn Bliss, Manna Yellow Mid: North Star, Fanal, KellerisHazelnut Whiteheart, Alexandra, Barcelona, Ennis Sour Cherry Mid/late: Montmorency, RichmorencyKiwiberry Takaka Green Tangelo PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE 65
  8. 8. Glossary of terms Terms used in this booklet Bud – a little lump on a shoot that will grow either a leaf or a flower Central leader – a tree trained with one main stem or trunk Cordon – a fruit tree grown as a main stem with spurs but no side branches Deciduous – leaves fall off the tree in winter Espalier – a fruit tree trained to grow with horizontal branches flat against a wall or fence, or on wires Evergreen – has leaves all year round Fan – the shape of one method of growing fruit trees on wires against a wall or fence Forest gardening – using all the space around and under trees, including vertical space, to grow more plants Frost tender – a plant that gets damaged by frost Fruiting arm – a main branch that grows sideways from the leader Graft – fusing a piece of living tissue from the shoot of one plant onto the root system and stem of another plant Grafting union – the place where the new tissue was fused to the rootstock tissue Hardwood cutting – a piece of a plant that is cut at the end of the growing season, when the new growth has matured Head back – cut a shoot back to a suitable bud Lateral – a thin, fruit-producing side shoot Leaders – strong upright stems that sprout from the central stem and form the main framework of the tree – there might be one central leader or several leaders Microclimate – the climate conditions in a smaller area that are noticeably different from the rest of the area Mulch – a layer of organic matter (e.g. straw, compost, shredded material) spread over the soil to retain moisture and suppress weeds Mummified fruit – the shrivelled, brown fruit left on the tree after the harvest is finished Pollinate – pollen is transferred from one flower to another, which fertilises the flower so it can turn into a fruit Prune – deliberately cut the plant in certain places to control its size and shape, and to encourage the development of more fruiting wood Rootstock – the living roots and stem of a plant that has tissue from a different plant grafted onto it to grow into the upper form of the plant Self-fertile – the flowers are fertilised by the pollen from the same plant, which means they dont need a different variety to pollinate them and form fruit Spurs – short, stubby clusters of fruit buds growing on leaders and fruiting arms Sucker – shoot growing from the base of the tree Thinning cut – cut a shoot right back to where it sprouts from the branch or trunk, in order to thin out some of the growth Vase – a tree trained with several upright leaders creating a bowl shape in the centre66 PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE
  9. 9. Further resources Bibliography General websites /2.html Climate Planning Site considerations Growing in containers Planting Training & Pruning PruningFruitTrees.htm Pests and diseases Companion planting Propagation Books Ballinger, R & J (1981) Fruit gardening in New Zealand. Christchurch: The Caxton Press. Baxter, K (2007) Koanga garden guide. Havelock North: EK Body & Soul Publishing. Baxter, K (2008) Design your own orchard. (Rev. ed.) Kaiwaka: Body & Soul Publishing. Beazley, M (1997) The complete book of plant propagation. London: Reed International Books Ltd. Cuthbertson, Y (2006) Success with organic fruit. East Sussex, UK: Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd. Lucas, R (2009) Managing pests and diseases. Nelson: Craig Potton Publishing. Lyle, S (2006) Discovering fruit & nuts: A comprehensive guide to the cultivation, uses and health benefits of over 300 food-producing plants. Auckland: David Bateman Ltd. Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (1986) Aglink information pack: Subtropicals. Wellington: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Pears, P (2001) HDRA Encyclopedia of organic gardening. London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd. Sunset (1975) Pruning handbook. California: Lane Publishing Co. Whitefield, P (1996) How to make a forest garden. Hampshire, England: Permanent Publications. Williams, D (1985) Home fruit growing in New Zealand. Wellington: Government PART 4: FRUIT & NUT GUIDE 67
  10. 10. This Guide is available on: For more information on growing food at home and in Open Orchards go to: ISBN 978-0-473-17487-368