Summer Fruit

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Summer Harvest

Delicious rockmelon sown during spring will soon be ready to pick. It’s time to harvest your rockmelons when the stem begins to break away from the fruit.

You’ll be desperate to taste your beautiful home grown melons however the best flavour will develop if the fruit is left to mature for a few days after picking.

If your rockmelons are not quite mature, then continue to keep the soil moist and feed each week with a fast acting fertiliser like Yates® Thrive® Flower & Fruit Soluble Plant Food, which is a complete plant food that’s rich in potassium and phosphorus to promote fruit development.

Keep a watch for downy mildew and leaf spot diseases on rockmelon leaves. When watering, gently water the soil rather than the leaves, which can help reduce the spread of disease, and apply Yates Liquid Copper Fungicide to help keep diseases under control.

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Large Lisbons
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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 one of the most common varieties grown around the world.

Being a sizeable tree (growing up to 8 m tall and 4 m 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 m 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 6 hours of sunshine a day and enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some Yates Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food.

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 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 9 L 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 Nature’s Way® Pyrethrum & Oil Citrus & Ornamental Spray, on both the upper and lower leaf 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.


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