Getting into the spring of things

Courtesy of Yates.

Courtesy of Yates.

DELIGHTFUL: Dahlias bring beautiful bold flowers into the garden during the warmer months. Bay of Plenty Times picture

With spring in full swing there’s so much to enjoy in the garden, whether it’s fabulous flowers or filling your vege patch with delicious homegrown produce.

Grow a Kiwi berry

Kiwi berries (Actinidia arguta), sometimes called ‘hardy kiwi’, produce hairless mini versions of kiwifruit.
If you cut open a kiwi berry it looks very similar to a kiwifruit, with dark seeds arranged in a circular pattern.
The skin is edible and the berry itself has a taste like kiwfruit and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

Kiwi berry plants are vigorous deciduous vines that can grow many metres long, however, can be pruned to a manageable
size and be trained to go across a fence or up and over a pergola. They’re suited to temperate zones and will still
produce fruit without a pollinating partner.

Potted kiwi berries can be planted during spring and mature plants will produce fruit during late summer and autumn.

To promote healthy vine growth and encourage lots of flowers and berries, feed plants regularly with a potassium
enriched complete plant food like Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

Meyer lemons

Meyer lemon (Citrus limon) is a hardy lemon that can produce lots of fruit over much of the year. The decorative yellow juicy fruit is sweeter and less acidic than other lemons such as Eureka and Lisbon so is perfect for juicing. Meyer lemon trees can grow up to 5m tall or around 2.5m for dwarf-grafted trees, which are ideal for growing in smaller spaces and also pots. They’ll grow in all but the coldest areas and do best in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine
a day.

In addition to the bright yellow fruit, Meyer lemons also have glossy green leaves and sweetly perfumed white flowers in spring, so they’re both beautiful and delicious. Spring is an ideal time to plant a new citrus tree like a Meyer lemon. When planting citrus into containers, choose a well drained pot that’s at least 40cm in diameter and use a good quality potting mix like Premium Potting Mix.

When planting a new citrus tree into the ground, mix some Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food into the bottom of the planting hole. Dynamic Lifter improves the quality of the soil and supplies the newly planted lemon with gentle, organic nutrients as it establishes. Keep the new tree well watered, particulalry during its first summer. It’s also beneficial to apply a few centimetres of mulch over the soil (or potting mix) surface, which will help the root zone stay moist. Keep the mulch a few centimetres away from the trunk to allow good air flow and reduce the chance of collar rot disease.
Lemons, like other citrus, are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to support all the foliage, flowers and developing
fruit. While trees are flowering, growing new foliage or carrying fruit, feed every week with Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

Curled citrus leaves

A common question about citrus trees is how to control curled leaves. Unfortunately, once the leaves are twisted the damage is permanent (until the leaves naturally fall from the tree). Early treatment is the key.

The insect pests that often cause these deformed leaves are aphids. They are small sap sucking insects, which can be green, brown, grey or black, that typically congregate underneath vulnerable new citrus leaves and stems, depleting them of important sugars and nutrients. Aphid damage can rin the look of a tree and aphids can also attract the disease sooty mould, which grows on the sugary honeydew that aphids excrete.

Delightful Dahlias

Dahlias bring beautiful bold flowers into the garden during summer. They come in a gorgeous range of colours from whites, buttery cream, yellow and salmon through to bright pink, rich red and multi-toned flowers.

It’s hard to believe one type of plant can have so many flower shapes, which include pompons, anemones, cactus, single and collarette. Flowers can be small or grow to the size of a dinner plate.

Dahlias can also be grown from seed, such as Dahlia Cinderella, which is a compact dahlia that produces a long-lasting display of bold and bright blooms. It’s ideal for massed garden colour, borders and pots, and the plants can continue to perform for years.

Before planting dahlia tubers or sowing seed into a sun-drenched spot in the garden, enrich the area first with some Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser, which will provide the new plants with gentle, slow release organic nutrients as they establish.


With spring in full swing there’s so much to enjoy in the garden, whether it’s fabulous flowers or filling your vege patch with delicious homegrown produce.

Grow a Kiwi berry

Kiwi berries (Actinidia arguta), sometimes called ‘hardy kiwi’, produce hairless mini versions of kiwifruit.
If you cut open a kiwi berry it looks very similar to a kiwifruit, with dark seeds arranged in a circular pattern.
The skin is edible and the berry itself has a taste like kiwfruit and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

Kiwi berry plants are vigorous deciduous vines that can grow many metres long, however, can be pruned to a manageable
size and be trained to go across a fence or up and over a pergola. They’re suited to temperate zones and will still
produce fruit without a pollinating partner.

Potted kiwi berries can be planted during spring and mature plants will produce fruit during late summer and autumn.

To promote healthy vine growth and encourage lots of flowers and berries, feed plants regularly with a potassium
enriched complete plant food like Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

Meyer lemons

Meyer lemon (Citrus limon) is a hardy lemon that can produce lots of fruit over much of the year. The decorative yellow juicy fruit is sweeter and less acidic than other lemons such as Eureka and Lisbon so is perfect for juicing. Meyer lemon trees can grow up to 5m tall or around 2.5m for dwarf-grafted trees, which are ideal for growing in smaller spaces and also pots. They’ll grow in all but the coldest areas and do best in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine
a day.

In addition to the bright yellow fruit, Meyer lemons also have glossy green leaves and sweetly perfumed white flowers in spring, so they’re both beautiful and delicious. Spring is an ideal time to plant a new citrus tree like a Meyer lemon. When planting citrus into containers, choose a well drained pot that’s at least 40cm in diameter and use a good quality potting mix like Premium Potting Mix.

When planting a new citrus tree into the ground, mix some Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food into the bottom of the planting hole. Dynamic Lifter improves the quality of the soil and supplies the newly planted lemon with gentle, organic nutrients as it establishes. Keep the new tree well watered, particulalry during its first summer. It’s also beneficial to apply a few centimetres of mulch over the soil (or potting mix) surface, which will help the root zone stay moist. Keep the mulch a few centimetres away from the trunk to allow good air flow and reduce the chance of collar rot disease.
Lemons, like other citrus, are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to support all the foliage, flowers and developing
fruit. While trees are flowering, growing new foliage or carrying fruit, feed every week with Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

Curled citrus leaves

A common question about citrus trees is how to control curled leaves. Unfortunately, once the leaves are twisted the damage is permanent (until the leaves naturally fall from the tree). Early treatment is the key.

The insect pests that often cause these deformed leaves are aphids. They are small sap sucking insects, which can be green, brown, grey or black, that typically congregate underneath vulnerable new citrus leaves and stems, depleting them of important sugars and nutrients. Aphid damage can rin the look of a tree and aphids can also attract the disease sooty mould, which grows on the sugary honeydew that aphids excrete.

Delightful Dahlias

Dahlias bring beautiful bold flowers into the garden during summer. They come in a gorgeous range of colours from whites, buttery cream, yellow and salmon through to bright pink, rich red and multi-toned flowers.

It’s hard to believe one type of plant can have so many flower shapes, which include pompons, anemones, cactus, single and collarette. Flowers can be small or grow to the size of a dinner plate.

Dahlias can also be grown from seed, such as Dahlia Cinderella, which is a compact dahlia that produces a long-lasting display of bold and bright blooms. It’s ideal for massed garden colour, borders and pots, and the plants can continue to perform for years.

Before planting dahlia tubers or sowing seed into a sun-drenched spot in the garden, enrich the area first with some Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser, which will provide the new plants with gentle, slow release organic nutrients as they establish.


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