Life’s a peach . . .

The sun-ripened peaches from Sicily

Let’s get cracking on a wonderful year of gardening. It’s time to start turning some of your gardening dreams into reality, whether it’s growing your very first indoor plant or creating a vegetable patch. It’s time to get gardening . . .

Summer peaches

Peaches are a mouth-watering fuzzy- skinned summer stone fruit that come in both yellow and white-fleshed varieties. They can be used in trifles, tarts and crumbles, grilled on the BBQ and tossed into a salad, made into jams and salsa and of course eaten delightfully fresh and juicy.

If you’ve been enjoying supermarket- bought peaches over summer, consider growing some of your very own. You can grow peaches at home if you live in a climate where you receive enough chilling hours. So peaches are best suited to areas with cool or cold winters, however there are some varieties that will bear fruit in warmer climates — look for low-chill varieties.

Peach trees vary in size from medium height trees down to dwarf varieties that grow to around 2m tall and wide, which are perfect for smaller gardens and growing in pots. In addition to delicious fruit, peach trees also have pretty blossoms in spring. They need a spot with at least six hours of sunshine a day and well-drained soil (or a medium to large-sized pot filled with good quality potting mix, like Yates Premium Potting Mix, for pot suitable dwarf varieties).

It takes a lot of energy to produce all that delectable fruit, so applying some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone around the root zone will provide the tree with gentle slow release organic nutrients (plus the goodness of NZ seaweed) and help to improve the quality of the soil.

Peach trees are most commonly available in winter as bare-rooted plants. Choose a variety that’s suited to your climate. Peaches are self-pollinating, which means they don’t require another tree to be able to set fruit. However, if you adore peaches you could think about growing a few different varieties that set fruit at varying times over summer. Plant tags will give you an idea whether it’s an early, mid or late fruiting variety. A few dwarf trees won’t take up too much space and just imagine picking your own sun- ripened peaches all through summer.

Citrus trace element deficiencies

Citrus can be prone to several micronutrient deficiencies, including manganese and zinc. Symptoms of these two deficiencies can be quite similar.

Manganese (Mn) plays a role in processes like photosynthesis. A manganese deficiency shows up as paler leaves with darker veins, usually in younger leaves. Leaves stay their full size, compared to reduced leaf size in zinc deficiency.

Zinc (Zn) a main symptom of zinc deficiency is smaller leaves, often clustered together, on shorter stems. Leaves can also be mottled, with pale areas appearing in between the veins. Zinc plays an important role in plant growth hormones and stem elongation which is why zinc deficient plants can be stunted.

Lovely Lisbons

Lisbon lemons (Citrus limon Lisbon) are thought to have originated in Portugal and are large cold and heat-hardy trees that produce heavy winter and spring crops. The thin-skinned, juicy fruit are highly acidic and Lisbon is a popular variety in New Zealand (sometimes called Yen Ben). Being a sizeable tree (growing up to 8m tall and 4m wide) Lisbon is a great citrus for a large backyard. For smaller gardens, look out for dwarf-grafted Lisbons which reach a more manageable 3 - 4m and can be grown in a medium to large pot on a sunny balcony or deck.

When planting a new Lisbon lemon out in the garden, choose a spot with well-drained soil that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day and enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone. It promotes increased soil organic matter content and water holding capacity, in addition to providing the new tree with gentle slow-release organic nutrients as it establishes.

For potted citrus, choose a pot with good drainage holes (a 40-50cm pot is ideal) and fill with a good quality potting mix like Yates Premium Potting Mix. Keep new citrus trees well-watered as they settle into their new home.

For established citrus, it’s important to keep deep watering and feeding during late summer, as autumn and winter fruit are continuing to develop. Moisture and nutrient stress can adversely affect the quantity and quality of the harvest so it’s well worth devoting extra care to your citrus at this time of year. Feeding is as simple as diluting 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9L watering can and applying over the root zone each week.

Sweet sugary sap that’s flowing through citrus plants is a magnet for sap sucking pests like scale. Scale insects can be brown, white, pink or grey and appear as small raised bumps along leaves and stems. Sometimes the scale are hard to spot themselves, however if you see sooty mould developing on the leaves (a black ash like film) or ants moving up and down the stems then they’re indicators of a sap-sucking insect pest like scale.

Regular sprays of Yates Conqueror Spraying Oil, on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces, will help keep scale under control. Conqueror Spraying Oil is certified for use in organic gardening so is ideal for gardeners wanting to control pests organically.— Courtesy of Yates

Let’s get cracking on a wonderful year of gardening. It’s time to start turning some of your gardening dreams into reality, whether it’s growing your very first indoor plant or creating a vegetable patch. It’s time to get gardening . . .

Summer peaches

Peaches are a mouth-watering fuzzy- skinned summer stone fruit that come in both yellow and white-fleshed varieties. They can be used in trifles, tarts and crumbles, grilled on the BBQ and tossed into a salad, made into jams and salsa and of course eaten delightfully fresh and juicy.

If you’ve been enjoying supermarket- bought peaches over summer, consider growing some of your very own. You can grow peaches at home if you live in a climate where you receive enough chilling hours. So peaches are best suited to areas with cool or cold winters, however there are some varieties that will bear fruit in warmer climates — look for low-chill varieties.

Peach trees vary in size from medium height trees down to dwarf varieties that grow to around 2m tall and wide, which are perfect for smaller gardens and growing in pots. In addition to delicious fruit, peach trees also have pretty blossoms in spring. They need a spot with at least six hours of sunshine a day and well-drained soil (or a medium to large-sized pot filled with good quality potting mix, like Yates Premium Potting Mix, for pot suitable dwarf varieties).

It takes a lot of energy to produce all that delectable fruit, so applying some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone around the root zone will provide the tree with gentle slow release organic nutrients (plus the goodness of NZ seaweed) and help to improve the quality of the soil.

Peach trees are most commonly available in winter as bare-rooted plants. Choose a variety that’s suited to your climate. Peaches are self-pollinating, which means they don’t require another tree to be able to set fruit. However, if you adore peaches you could think about growing a few different varieties that set fruit at varying times over summer. Plant tags will give you an idea whether it’s an early, mid or late fruiting variety. A few dwarf trees won’t take up too much space and just imagine picking your own sun- ripened peaches all through summer.

Citrus trace element deficiencies

Citrus can be prone to several micronutrient deficiencies, including manganese and zinc. Symptoms of these two deficiencies can be quite similar.

Manganese (Mn) plays a role in processes like photosynthesis. A manganese deficiency shows up as paler leaves with darker veins, usually in younger leaves. Leaves stay their full size, compared to reduced leaf size in zinc deficiency.

Zinc (Zn) a main symptom of zinc deficiency is smaller leaves, often clustered together, on shorter stems. Leaves can also be mottled, with pale areas appearing in between the veins. Zinc plays an important role in plant growth hormones and stem elongation which is why zinc deficient plants can be stunted.

Lovely Lisbons

Lisbon lemons (Citrus limon Lisbon) are thought to have originated in Portugal and are large cold and heat-hardy trees that produce heavy winter and spring crops. The thin-skinned, juicy fruit are highly acidic and Lisbon is a popular variety in New Zealand (sometimes called Yen Ben). Being a sizeable tree (growing up to 8m tall and 4m wide) Lisbon is a great citrus for a large backyard. For smaller gardens, look out for dwarf-grafted Lisbons which reach a more manageable 3 - 4m and can be grown in a medium to large pot on a sunny balcony or deck.

When planting a new Lisbon lemon out in the garden, choose a spot with well-drained soil that receives at least six hours of sunshine a day and enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone. It promotes increased soil organic matter content and water holding capacity, in addition to providing the new tree with gentle slow-release organic nutrients as it establishes.

For potted citrus, choose a pot with good drainage holes (a 40-50cm pot is ideal) and fill with a good quality potting mix like Yates Premium Potting Mix. Keep new citrus trees well-watered as they settle into their new home.

For established citrus, it’s important to keep deep watering and feeding during late summer, as autumn and winter fruit are continuing to develop. Moisture and nutrient stress can adversely affect the quantity and quality of the harvest so it’s well worth devoting extra care to your citrus at this time of year. Feeding is as simple as diluting 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9L watering can and applying over the root zone each week.

Sweet sugary sap that’s flowing through citrus plants is a magnet for sap sucking pests like scale. Scale insects can be brown, white, pink or grey and appear as small raised bumps along leaves and stems. Sometimes the scale are hard to spot themselves, however if you see sooty mould developing on the leaves (a black ash like film) or ants moving up and down the stems then they’re indicators of a sap-sucking insect pest like scale.

Regular sprays of Yates Conqueror Spraying Oil, on both the upper and lower leaf surfaces, will help keep scale under control. Conqueror Spraying Oil is certified for use in organic gardening so is ideal for gardeners wanting to control pests organically.— Courtesy of Yates

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