JUICY: Sweet peaches are great to have in the garden.
JUICY: Sweet peaches are great to have in the garden. nata_zhekova

Hit leaf curl stone dead

Stone fruit are one of summer's delights and picking your very own fresh peaches, nectarines, plums or apricots is very achievable, even in small backyards or on sunny patios.

For peach lovers, look out for dwarf varieties such as Pixzee in the Trixzie miniature fruit tree range. This is a delectable yellow-fleshed peach, with full-sized fruit on a self-pollinating tree that reaches about 1.5 m tall and wide. Its compact size means it's great for growing in a pot, but is just as happy out in the garden.

When planting a new bare-rooted or potted stone fruit tree, improve the soil in the planting hole with some Dynamic Lifter to provide the newly establishing tree with gentle slow release organic nutrients.

Distorted and discoloured foliage on stone fruit trees like peaches, nectarines and plums is caused by a fungal disease called leaf curl. The tree ends up looking awful and in severe cases it reduces the tree's ability to photosynthesise, which in turn can affect plant health and fruit yield.

Leaf curl disease spores lurk in bark crevices and around leaf buds during winter, waiting to infect the newly emerging foliage in late winter and early spring. Leaf curl is a disease that needs to be prevented by killing the disease spores before they infect the new leaves, as the damage done by leaf curl is irreversible.

It's easy to break the leaf curl disease cycle by spraying stone fruit trees during winter with lime sulfur. Lime sulfur will also control other diseases like freckle, rust and shot hole which hide on fruit tree stems during winter.

Spray all stems and the trunk thoroughly before new foliage emerges. This will help give fruit trees a disease free start to spring so they can concentrate on giving you a fantastic harvest.



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