All Articles

Soil life: bacteria
Soil life: bacteria

In this article we introduce soil bacteria, which are tiny single-celled organisms and by far the most numerous of all the soil microbes. A teaspoon of healthy soil can contain up to 3 billion bacteria—roughly equivalent in mass to 5 big dairy [...]

Soil moisture monitoring
Soil moisture monitoring

When watering your fruit trees, the aim is to keep enough water in the soil so the roots always have access to water, without letting the soil get too dry or too wet. This week we explain how to use tensiometers,  a simple water monitoring too [...]

Soil protozoa
Soil protozoa

Protozoa are the next step up the food chain from the single-celled bacteria and fungi. The most common ones that exist in our soils are flagellates, ciliates, and amoeba and, on the scale of these things, are quite large (mostly 0.1–0.5 mm!). [...]

Soil tests: Do I need them
Soil tests: Do I need them

There are lots of things you can test your soil for, but unless you have a specific reason to do so, it’s not usually worth spending much money on it. There are a few simple tests you can do at home, plus three main types of diagnostic tests y [...]

Spotlight on Apple Dimpling Bug
Spotlight on Apple Dimpling Bug

Apple dimpling bug can cause deformities of apples, pears, and nashi fruit, but doesn’t affect the internal quality of the fruit. Read article in: Spring Week 6.

Spotlight on Bacterial Canker
Spotlight on Bacterial Canker

Bacterial canker is one of many diseases that can cause gummosis in stone fruit trees, particularly apricot, peach, and nectarine. It can be useful to learn the difference between the different causes, to best  target your treatment, though f [...]

Spotlight on Bacterial Spot
Spotlight on Bacterial Spot

Bacterial spot is reasonably common on plums, less so on apricots, peaches and nectarines. It is more common on susceptible varieties in coastal areas. Read article in Autumn - Week 11.

Spotlight on Black Spot (Apple Scab)
Spotlight on Black Spot (Apple Scab)

Black spot (also called Apple scab) is a fungal disease of apples and pears which causes small black lesions on fruit and leaves. If the infection is severe, fruit can be badly deformed and unusable. Prevention is easy when you know what to do [...]

Spotlight on Blossom Blight
Spotlight on Blossom Blight

Blossom blight is one of the main reasons (other than frost) that you may never have picked any apricots from your tree. It’s a fungal disease, and most seasons is preventable by using the right organic fungicide, at the right time. Read arti [...]

Spotlight on Codling Moth
Spotlight on Codling Moth

The classic “grub” in apples, codling moth larvae, is one of the most common and destructive pests of apples around the world. By understanding its life cycle, monitoring, and treating it with vigilance throughout the season, it’s possible to [...]

Spotlight on Freckle
Spotlight on Freckle

Yet another fungal disease of stone fruit, freckle doesn’t look great but in all but the worst cases doesn’t affect the fruit under the flesh. Read the article in Spring - Week 5.

Spotlight on Fruit Fly
Spotlight on Fruit Fly

Fruit fly is a problem pest in many parts of the world, and there are many different species involved. The main pest in Australia is Bactrocera tryoni, or Queensland fruit fly (QFF), which is found in parts of Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and th [...]

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