Seasonal changes

There is beauty in all the seasons on our farms. As we find ourselves in the last month of autumn, we will soon see the leaves turn into hues of yellow and orange. This is a sure indication that our fruit trees are ready for a good winter rest after giving us another successful harvest this year.

The typical pattern is that the leaves stay green and keep doing their job while the tree still has fruit on it. Once the fruit has been picked, the tree will rapidly start to go into winter dormancy. At this time, the tree starts to withdraw all the nutrients from the leaves back into the buds and bark. The first sign of this happening is the leaves changing colour.

The Pink Lady harvest that started in April has been slowly winding down in May. The colour was much better than last year because of leaf thinning during April. This leaves only Cripps Red to be harvested during the remainder of May, after which we will continue with post-harvest fertilisers and foliar feeding. It’s really just a case of topping up. The trees have already started the process of storing nutrients in their buds, bark and roots. This stored nutrition is what they will draw on next spring when they wake up and start flowering.

Towards the end of the month we will start to remove old and excess branches to ensure good light penetration into the canopy and to maintain the shape of the trees.