Fabulous figs

Whether you love purple, brown or green skinned figs, they’re a delicious sweet fruit to grow at home, with fruit maturing during late summer and autumn.

Figs are hardy, deciduous trees that can grow up to 5 m tall or there are dwarf varieties that are much smaller, around 1.5 m tall, that are perfect for smaller gardens and pots. You can also espalier figs across a wall, so they take up very little space.

They like a warm sunny spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. Most figs are self-fertile so don’t need another fig to produce fruit.

Growing Tips:

  • Potted and bare rooted figs are available for planting during winter.
  • To give your new fig a great start, enrich the soil in the planting hole with some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food and water in well after planting.
  • In cool areas protect young fig trees from frosts and keep the soil moist, particularly during the fruiting season.
  • Reapply Yates Dynamic Lifter every 6 – 8 weeks from spring to autumn to help promote healthy growth and a great harvest.

Eureka!


Although harder to find than Meyer lemons, Eureka lemons (Citrus limon ‘Eureka’) are well worth growing as they are thin skinned, have minimal seeds and the fruit is large, juicy and acidic.

One of the advantages of Eureka lemons is that although winter is their peak fruiting season, in warm areas they can produce fruit almost year-round, so you’ll always have tasty lemons on hand.

Eureka lemon trees can grow up to 5 m tall, however can be trimmed during winter to a more manageable size. Lemon trees can also be grown in pots, which helps to limit their size.

Growing Guide:

  • When planting a new Eureka lemon out in the garden, choose a warm spot with well-drained soil that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine a day and enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some Yates Thrive Natural Blood Bone with Seaweed. 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 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 winter while fruit are continuing to ripen.
  • Moisture and nutrient stress can adversely affect the quantity and quality of the harvest so although the weather might be cold, don’t forget to give your citrus trees some TLC.
  • Feeding is as simple as diluting 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive Natural Citrus Fruit Plant Food Concentrate into a 9 L watering can and applying over the root zone each week.

Pest Watch:

  • 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 is hard to spot, 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 Natures Way Organic Citrus, Vegie Ornamental Spray Ready to Use, on both the upper and lower leaf and stem surfaces, will help keep scale under control. It’s based on natural pyrethrin and vegetable oil and is certified for use in organic gardening, so is ideal for gardeners wanting to use organic methods of insect pest control.

 

Raspberry x Blackberry


What do you get when you cross a raspberry and a blackberry? A loganberry! They’re named after the horticulturist James Logan, who accidentally created this new hybrid. The fruit have a slightly elongated shape like a blackberry but are a dark purplish red colour, similar to raspberries.

Loganberries are soft, tangy and juicy and can be used in desserts, crumbles, cakes and drinks as well as turned into richly coloured jams and jellies. Or perhaps loganberry glazed pork chops? And of course, loganberries can be enjoyed fresh with lashings of cream!

Loganberries are an ideal berry for growing at home, as they’re hard to find in supermarkets and green grocers as they don’t transport or store well. No transport issues when they’re growing in your backyard! The berries might not even make it back into the house.

Loganberries grow best in cool to warm temperate zones. They are a ‘brambleberry’ which grow on canes up to 1.5 m tall. To make maintenance easier (and promote a better harvest), loganberries can be grown up between 2 wires on a T-shaped trellis. Look out for thornless varieties of loganberry, which will create a much less painful berry growing experience! During autumn, cut back to ground level the canes that have borne fruit, leaving fresh, newer canes to grow and provide fruit next summer. Do this each year to avoid the canes getting messy and out of control.

Loganberries prefer a slightly acidic, moist rich soil. Before planting, improve the soil with a concentrated source of rich organic matter like Yates Thrive Natural Blood Bone with Seaweed and then reapply around the root zone every 8 weeks from spring to autumn to promote lots of healthy cane growth, a strong root system and lots of plump, juicy berries. Yates Thrive Natural Blood Bone with Seaweed is also boosted with New Zealand seaweed, which encourages strong root development and improved plant health.

Fruit protection tip: birds will enjoy loganberries as much as you, so some bird netting may be required to protect your developing crop.


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