Fruit Trees

oct17-avo-main

Grow your own avocados

There has been a lot of media attention on avocados lately, predominantly around smashed avocados on toast apparently being responsible for millennials not being able to afford housing. What’s the solution? Grow your own avocados!

Avocados are mainly grown in warm areas of Queensland, New South Wales’ north coast and south western Western Australia, however several avocado varieties are reasonably cold tolerant, so can be grown in a wide range of climatic zones.

Here are a few important tips when it comes to growing avocados at home:

  1. Avocados need moist but well drained soil. Poorly drained soil can quickly lead to root rot and plant death.
  2. Choose a sunny, sheltered site that is protected from frost and wind.
  3. Avocado flowers contain both male and female organs which open twice over 2 days. When the flower first opens it’s female, when it re-opens on the second day it’s male. The timing of this flowering classifies avocados into either A or B types.
  4. Planting 2 different varieties (from an A and B type) will help improve pollination and fruit set.
  5. Smaller A varieties that are great for growing in backyards include Wurtz (A), dwarf Haas (A) and Pinkerton (A). B varieties such as Bacon, Fuerte and Sheppard tend to grow into larger trees however can be pruned to keep them at a manageable size. Dwarf varieties of avocados can be grown successfully in large pots. Grafted plants will fruit earlier than seedling trees.

Fruit tip: avocados will not ripen on the tree. Pop a too-firm avocado in a paper bag with a banana for a few days to help it soften.

Avocados perform best when planted into soil that’s been enriched first with a concentrated source of organic matter like Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.

Yates Dynamic Lifter will help improve the quality of the soil, encourage earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms and provide the tree with gentle nutrients as it establishes. Reapplying Yates Dynamic Lifter every 6 weeks from spring to autumn will help ensure the trees have enough nutrients to promote healthy foliage and a great harvest.

Mulching around the root zone with an organic mulch, such as bark chips, will help reduce moisture loss and add further organic matter to the soil as it breaks down.


Fruit Fly Control

Nectarines, peaches, apricots. avocadoes, guavas, mango and papaya are just some of the fruit that can be affected by fruit fly.

With fruit developing during October, now is the time to start baiting for fruit fly. Queensland and Mediterranean female fruit flies make a small hole in fruit and lay their eggs. These eggs hatch into maggots which ruin fruit.

Together with good garden hygiene (which includes removing fallen fruit from the ground and destroying any fruit fly affected fruit) home gardeners can help protect their crops from fruit fly by baiting with Yates® Nature’s Way® Fruit Fly Control.

It contains a protein and sugar bait which fruit flies can detect from several metres away and spinosad, an insecticide derived from naturally occurring soil bacteria which kills fruit flies.

Yates® Nature’s Way® Fruit Fly Control should be applied as a band or spot spray onto the trunk or lower foliage of trees or plants while the fruit are still small and before they have changed colour.

There is no need to spray the actual fruit. It’s important to re-spray the plants each week (or sooner if there has been rain) to maintain effective protection.


Comments

This area is for general comments from members of the public. Some questions or comments may not receive a reply from Yates. For specific gardening advice visit Ask an expert Alternatively you may wish to contact us.

Annual Garden Calender