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Healthy citrus means a healthy you

It’s the vitamin C from citrus fruits that keep us healthy in winter, so it’s important to look after those budding crops during autumn.

Yates Horticultural Communications Manager Angie Thomas says citrus trees need a good, deep soaking once a week. “To grow abundant juicy crops and maintain healthy green foliage, feed with Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food,” she says. “It’s ideal to use on all citrus and feeds through both the roots and the leaves. Potted citrus need attention too, as dry or hungry trees will drop their developing fruit. Generous sized containers need a good soaking at least once a week and smaller pots more frequent watering. Little and often is the key to feeding potted citrus.

 

Plant for next season 

Strawberries may be a summer fruit, but April is the time to plant them to ensure lots of sweet red fruits when the warm weather rolls around again.

Angie says strawberries are a reliable and rewarding crop to grow at home.

“Sweet red fruits are produced on neat compact plants which grow happily in raised garden beds, in the garden, in pots or even hanging baskets,” she says. “The foliage is attractive too, making strawberries a pretty choice to use as a border plant or along a pathway and they happily spill over low walls. Potted strawberry plants are available from nurseries or via mail order now.

“Established healthy strawberry plants will also produce runners or side shoots, with baby strawberry plants attached, so you might get some from friends or family. Growing a couple of different varieties will maximise the pollination of the flowers and extend your harvest.

“As with any productive plant, preparing the soil by digging in some handfuls of Dynamic Lifter encourages better plant health and harvest. Plant the strawberry plants or runners with the crown (where the leaves and roots join) just at ground level – they dislike being buried to deeply. Strawberries like mulch, which also keeps the fruits clean and off the ground where they might rot, so use lucerne, pea or sugar cane straw around the plants. To keep strawberries productive, feed plants regularly with Thrive Flower and Fruit Soluble Fertiliser. It’s easy – just apply using a watering can.”

We all love bowls of these delicious juicy fruits in summer picked straight from the plant. Unfortunately, so do the birds – so it might be necessary to net the plants when they begin to fruit.

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Phyllis Stylianou

Phyllis Stylianou is a journalist with 35 years’ experience as a reporter, sub-editor and editor. Writing is the great love of her life (after her family) – as is renovating old homes and building new ones (which she’s embarking on again!) So writing about everything to do with building, renovating and gardening is her passion.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.