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What to do this week: Summer Prune Stone Fruit Trees

As the peach season comes to a close for the year, it is time to think about pruning.

Pruning just after harvest means that the tree has an opportunity to put on some new growth that will bear fruit next summer, and within easy reach for picking. Keep your trees to a maximum height of 3-4m, so prune them to 2.5m, depending on the variety.


Free-stone Elberta peach needs summer pruning after harvest.


Tall fruiting trees are difficult to cover with a bird net but do give welcome shade. Maybe share those fruit with the birds. When it comes time to prune, remove dead and diseased wood first. Trim inward facing branches to increase air circulation to the centre of your tree. Then shorten all other branches. Trim tall vertical growth. If left unpruned, the tree grows to an unmanageable size.


Spring flowering bulbs.

We plant bulbs in large containers on our sunny courtyard. Spring flowering bulbs should be planted in autumn; any time from April to May. But you need to be quick to get the best choice.Look out for our story on potted bulbs in the autumn addition of the Garden Clinic Magazine due out earlyMarch 2021. It’s too early to plant your spring flowering bulbs but good to order them now. Keep them cool and dry until planting time around Mothers’ Day!Van Diemen Quality Bulbs and Tesselaar have both released their catalogues of spring bulbs. Check out www. (Van Diemen Quality Bulbs) and


Pic caption: Blue Parrot is an exquisite tulip variety, lovely in pots or the garden. Pictured here with trailing blue lobelia, its perfect partner.


Avoid weeds

Remove flower heads before they send seed; clumps of paspalum, summer grass, dandelion and thistle. Remove them just below ground level with a sharp knife or dandelion knife. With sunshine and lots of rain, weeds are prolific at present. A layer of mulch will help.


Deadhead Agapanthus

Prune off finished flower heads from agapanthus before the seeds drop. Some old agapanthus have seeds that can germinate easily and infest our bushland. Most new varieties are sterile e.g Agapanthus Queen Mum (pictured below).