As the name suggests, dwarf fruit trees provide gardeners with an opportunity to grow pint sized versions of the real thing – but what do they need to thrive?
Given our largely warm and sunny climate, it should come as no surprise that Australia is a nation of fruit lovers. While banana takes out the top gong as our most beloved variety, our many climates are great for growing a wide variety of fruits such as berries, melons, stone fruits, and citrus species.
In line with the rapid rise of the humble vegetable patch thanks to two years of being stuck at home, it should come as no surprise that a growing number of gardeners are expressing interest in growing their own fruit as well.
If that sounds like you and you’re ready to level up from the likes of strawberry plants or passionfruit vines, then growing dwarf fruit trees in your backyard or even balcony may provide the answer – but where do you start?
The Basics Of Growing Dwarf Fruit Trees At Home
Once they have grown to their full mature size, the average fruit tree can reach anywhere between two and eight metres tall. While that may not be a problem for some owners, many gardeners take issue with the wait time. As an example, stone fruit trees alone take a whopping three to four years to mature and start producing fruit. Thankfully, dwarf fruit trees provide an alternative.
Contrary to popular belief, dwarf fruit trees don’t grow pint sized fruit. Instead, they are simply a smaller version of a traditional fruit tree, and are created through grafts onto dwarf rootstock. This ultimately changes the overall height of the tree in question, without sacrificing the size or the quality of the fruit.
Although most dwarf fruit trees don’t grow any taller than two metres, the major perk of adding them to your home or garden is the fact that they’re not only easier to harvest, but they have a much faster maturity time and start bearing fruit in as little as one year.
When selecting a dwarf fruit tree, climate is crucial. Many stone and pome fruits have a ‘chilling requirement’ – meaning that they need a certain amount of hours in an environment below 7˚C each year to set fruit. However, it’s worth noting that chilling requirements do vary – apples have the lowest temperature needs, citrus and other subtropical fruits don’t have any such requirement.
Before planting, gardeners need to source a sunny spot, have good soil and a commitment to looking after the dwarf fruit trees throughout the year. Aim for at least six hours of sunlight, and with shelter the plants from strong, cold or salty winds. Consider adding a plant probiotic like Biotic Booster prior to planting as a means to get your soil in tip top shape, and plant the trees on a raised mound to improve drainage.
A layer of mulch under the canopy helps keep moisture in and weeds out. Not only will this layer help to keep your soil at its best, but it’s also a great way to improve moisture retention while encouraging the distribution of organic matter.
Protecting your dwarf fruit trees against any unwanted invaders is crucial if you want a decent harvest. Although healthy soil is one of the most effective ways to proactively fend off pests and diseases, tackling weeds is a whole other story. Using chemicals on fruit is a big no-no, especially if you plan on consuming your harvest – so what’s the alternative?
Introducing A Safer Way To Spray
Bioweed is an organic, non selective weed killer that works fast on contact with the weed, in order to rapidly desiccate and burn even the most stubborn of plants. It can be used anywhere around the house including garden beds, veggie patches, paths and driveways, and is safe to use around children, animals and even native wildlife.
The best part? Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.
If you’re on the hunt for a pet friendly weed killer, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely – check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.