Why you should pick up fruit from the ground (yes, all of it!)

Why you should pick up fruit from the ground (yes, all of it!)

One of the easiest—but most important—things you can do to control both pests and diseases in your fruit trees is to pick up all (yes ALL) the fruit that falls during the season. We call this practice "orchard hygiene". Apricots rotting on the ground under the tree...

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Did you get the thinning right?

Did you get the thinning right?

As we go about picking in the orchard during the apricot season, we see the end result of the thinning that was done a couple of months ago - where it worked, and where it didn't. Here's a bunch of apricots that were missed in the thinning, and you can clearly see the...

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Soooooo close…

Soooooo close…

For the last 18 months or so we've building a new 'hub' for our farmers here in the Harcourt Organic Farming Co-op. This is how the site looked when we began: As soon as we started the co-op on the farm we knew we were going to need more infrastructure to help the...

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Prevent brown rot in apricots

Prevent brown rot in apricots

It's not uncommon, particularly after rain, to see some brown rot developing in stone fruit like apricots (you might also see it in peaches and nectarines). Notice how the brown rot often starts around a hole? An apricot with brown rot, and holes caused by earwigs The...

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Control your weeds…or not?

Control your weeds…or not?

We love weeds! A lovely mixed patch of weeds Weeds, or understorey plants as we prefer to call them, provide lots of environmental benefits: they shade the ground, provide habitat and food for the bees and soil microbes that are so important for fertility for our...

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How much fruit will a tree produce?

How much fruit will a tree produce?

We're often asked how much fruit you can expect to pick from a fully grown tree, particularly when people are planning their garden and trying to decide how many trees they need to supply their family's fruit needs. Ella picking peaches Summer is a good time of year...

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Why every garden needs plum trees

Why every garden needs plum trees

Prune d'agen plums - perfect for drying Plums are one of the most versatile and delicious fruits, and a great tree to choose if you're a beginner to fruit growing, as they're super easy to grow. Maybe it's exactly because they're so easy to grow that they're often a...

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Did you accidentally prune your fruit off?

Did you accidentally prune your fruit off?

A lovely healthy peach tree - with almost no fruit! Do you have any fruit trees this year that don't have fruit on them? Not sure why? It might be because of how you pruned them. One of the principles of pruning is that the harder you prune, the more the tree will...

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It’s garlic time…

It’s garlic time…

The stars have aligned and today we pull out our 5th crop of garlic! Always a momentous occasion! This time we celebrate with a special treat of mint slices and pub squash! We consulted our oracle--the Brian Keats Astro Calendar--to find the best day for...

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How’s the climate?

How’s the climate?

We've joined the new Mount Alexander Regenerative Agriculture Group (MARAG) and went to an interesting session this week about what's been changing in our climate, and what we can expect in coming years. The presentation was by Graeme Anderson, who's a climate...

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To fertilise or not to fertilise?

To fertilise or not to fertilise?

Crabapple flowers and leaves in spring When your fruit trees start to flower, and produce leaves and then fruit in early spring, they're using nutrients they stored away in their buds and bark back last autumn. But it's a pretty limited supply, and as soon as their...

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Fear and suspicion of insects

Fear and suspicion of insects

Almost every week, one of our Grow Great Fruit members gets in touch saying something along the lines of "help, there's a bug on my fruit tree!" Back before we were certified organic we took a different approach to insects, treating them mostly with fear and...

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