In with the new gardening year (and out with the pests)

peaches on treeIt’s looking like a good fruit year this year. If we can keep the birds and pests and sunburn at bay. I had my first Anzac peach yesterday – white fleshed, juicy, sweet, furry, aromatic, summer-in-a-bite. All that curly leaf control, BD 500 and compost, weeding, mulching, summer pruning and fruit thinning, netting and watering has paid dividends.

The pears and apples are looking good as well. Only the codling moth and pear slug (and birds) can put a downer on the potential harvest. I try and squish any of the slugs I see on the pear trees, but the codlings are a trickier one; they have a couple of life cycles in a season and overwinter in the ground. We had a bad infestation last year and didn’t get round to putting the cardboard and sticky traps on the trunks so just hoping the small birds and other predator insects have done some damage in the meantime. Peter Cundall offers some hints to treating them right now – he’s always worth a google for this sort of info.

BoysenberriesOur loganberries look sick and didn’t fruit well after lush growth in spring. We suspect Raspberry Bushy Dwarf Virus (RBDV) but my call to DEPI crop testing went unanswered before Christmas so I’m hoping to get a sample to them in the new year. We may have to remove and burn the vine and hope the other brambles haven’t caught it.

Anyway, best wishes for a new gardening year and hope that your fruit trees bear well and that you can keep them healthy (as well as your other valuable perennial crops) and watered through the coming dry couple of months. Shadecloth, as well as bird netting may be the order of the day, these days. A note on that, and fruit trees, can be found here: fruit_nut_production (a US publication but NCAT produce some fine resources for smaller growers).

The January garden notes are also posted. Enjoy your harvests.

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