Fruit for clay soils in NZ, by Aleena La'ulu

Fruit for clay soils in NZ, by Aleena La'ulu

FRUIT YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF
FOR CLAY SOILS

NITROGEN FIXERS
Carob, Seratonia siliqua

EROSION CONTROL
Carob, Seratonia siliqua
Mulberry, Black: Morus nigra, White: Morus alba

GOOD SHELTER/WIND BREAK TREES
Carob, Seratonia siliqua
Elderberry, sambucus spp.
Feijoa
Fig

GENERAL GUIDE LINES FOR PROPAGATION
For propagating from seed
Usually done in Spring. Use a good seed raising mix and plant seed in early spring. The best place to keep your planted seed for the first few weeks or until small shoots appear is in the hot water cupboard. Water regularly so they don’t dry out. Plum and apricot stones can just be left outside in pots, plant heaps as they may not grow. Just leave them and see what happens.
For propagating from cuttings.
Usually done Autumn. Take more cuttings than what you want or need. If you have too many successful cuttings you can always give them to friends. When taking cuttings from fruit trees in general they are hard wood cuttings around 20cm in length. Dip the end to be planted in Manuka honey. And plant into a good propagation mix outside in pots. Water regularly if it isn’t raining much.

Note on the following information on trees: Fruiting times given are for Golden Bay.

Apricot, Prunus armeniaca
Produces crop in 3-4 years, January to February. Prefers free draining, limey soil. Grow on myrobalan plum or peach rootstocks for wet or heavy clay soils. Prefers cool area, hot, dry summer and chilling winter. Low chill varieties are available. Protect frost tender flowers. Height 4-6 metres, space 5-6 metres apart. Bud and graft on rootstock. Self fertile but a pollinator is recommended. Companion plant with clover.

Babaco, carica petagona
Produces crop in 2 years, fruits December to January. Adaptable to many soils including clay. Needs full sun and warmth. Very frost tender though cold tolerant. Small shrub to 3 metre height. Space 1.5 to 2 metres apart. Propagate from cuttings. Self fertile. Where conditions not fully subtropical, can be grown in greenhouse/glasshouse.

Carob, Seratonia siliqua
Takes 9-15 years to bear fruit from a seedling. 5 years from graft, cutting. Fruits from May to July. Prefers a well-drained sand or clay soil. Enjoys hot summers and mild winter. Slightly frost tender. Full sun, drought and wind tolerant. Grow 5-10 metres in height. Space trees five metres apart. Propagate by seed, bud, grafting. A pollinator is necessary. 1 male to up to 20 female.. Good tree for shade, wind break. Soil improver, fixes nitrogen. Good for erosion control and shelter.

Elderberry, sambucus spp.
Produces crop in 3 years. Fruits from March to April. Grow in a wide range of soils including moist, heavy, chalky and poorly drained soils. Needs plenty of nitrogen and high nutrient levels. Prefers a cold winter, warm summer. Shade tolerant. Can be exposed. Small tree/shrub height to 3 metres. Space 4 metres apart. Propagate by cuttings in winter. Self pollinating. Good windbreak, easy to grow.

Feijoa
Evergreen. Can reach up to 5 metre tall with similar spread. Prefer well drained humus rich soil, add plenty of compost to heavy clay soils. Propagated by cuttings or seed.

Fig
Produces crops within 3-4 years. Can fruit twice a year. Can grow up to 9 metres dependant on variety. Brown Turkey is a good variety. Different varieties can be evergreen and deciduous. Do not grow figs next to nitrogen fixing plants and trees as they don’t like too much nitrogen. Usually 2 crops per year. Self pollinating tree. Vigorous, invasive root system, do not grow near water pipes and next to concrete paths. Propagate from cuttings around 20cm long from 2 year old wood.

Gooseberries
Deciduos. Fruits within 3 years. Grows to around 3 foot, I metre tall. Not fussy about soil type. Copes well with shade. Not bothered by wind. Propagate by cuttings or seed. Companion plant with Tomatoes and Tansy.

Grapefruit, Citrus paradisi
Produces crop in 3 years. Fruits from end of June to the end of December. Prefers light, deep, rich, friable; well drained soil. Moist but not water logged. Has shallow feeder roots; on "trifoliata" rootstock tolerates heavy clay. Enjoys warm summer, mild winter with full sun. Protect from wind and sun. Small tree 3-5 metre height. Space 4-6 metres apart. Propagation, root stocks usually trifoliata, bud mid summer, seeds. Self fertile tree. Hardy, vigourous tree. Use only well composted, rich mulch around the tree. Companion plant with guava.

Guava, Psidium cattleanum
Crops in 2-3 years. Fruit from April to June. Grows in most soils (prefers loam), good drainage, lots of nourishment. Shallow feeder roots, doesn't like drying out. Keep mulched. Prefers warm, frost free situation. Hardy tree but needs wind protection for optimum fruiting. Shrub, grows 1-3 metres. Space 3-5 metres apart. Propagate by seed, bud onto seedling rootstock. Self fertile. Companion plant with grapefruit and marigold.

Jujube (Chinese red date plum), Ziziphus jujuba
Crops in 4-5 years, 15 years from seed. Fruit April to May. Grow in most soils. Prefers hot, dry summer, cool winter. Height 4-9 metres. Space 2-4 metres apart. Propagate by seed or graft.

Lemon, Citrus limon
Crop in 2-3 years Fruits through out year. Prefers light, deep, rich friable, well drained, moist but not waterlogged soil Has shallow feeder roots; on "trifoliate" rootstock tolerate heavy clay. Hardy tree prefers warm summer, mild winter with full sun and shelter from heavy frost and wind. Grow 3-5 metre height. Space 4-6 metres apart. Propagation: Rootstock (usually trifoliata), bud mid summer, or seed. Self fertile. Needs well composted, rich mulch. Companion plant with guava.

Mandarin/Tangerine, Citrus reticulata/Citrus nobilis deliciousa
Crops in 2-3 years. Fruit from July to October. Light, deep, rich friable, well drained soil. Moist but not water logged. Has shallow feeder roots; on 'trifoliaa’ rootstock tolerates heavy clay. Hardy tree prefers hot summer, mild winter with full sun and shelter from wind and frost. Requires more heat than oranges. Small tree 3-6 metres height. Space 3-6 metres apart. Propagate by bud. Self fertile tree but a pollinator in desirable. Needs well composted, rich mulch.

Medlar, Mespilus germanica
Produces in 3-6 years. Fruit from April to June. Prefers deep, well drained loam or clay, with plenty of moisture. Needs temperate climate. Does not need full sun. Small tree 3-5 metres, space 4 metres apart. Graft (Quince rootstock), bud, self fertile. Pick when hard, ripen in storage until flesh very soft and brown.

Mulberry, Black: Morus nigra, White: Morus alba
Produces within 3-6 years. Fruit from November to beginning of January. Thrives on good soil, free draining, moist adaptable to almost any soil. Prefers temperate to subtropical climate. Height between 4-8 metres. Plant 6-7 metres apart. Propagate by cuttings or seed. Self fertile tree. Easy to grow, disease free. Good for soil erosion (extensive roots)., trellising (with grapes)

Pear, Pyris communis
Fruits within 3-6 years. Fruits January to April. Prefers deep, fertile, well drained, clay-loam soil but is adaptable. Enjoys cool, damp, shady sites; pear rootstock, more hardy to wet soil. Prefers warm summer, cool to cold winter, light spring rain. Hardy, tolerant of wet and dry conditions. Height between 10-15 metres. Space trees 6-10 metres apart. Propagate by bud or graft. Diverse planting of varieties is ideal for pollination. Variety of rootstocks, select those which suit your needs.

Quince, Cydonia oblonga
Fruits in 3-5 years. Fruits from March to May. Prefers heavy well drained clay soil, but tolerates damp and light soils. Hardy tree, enjoys warm summer, mild winter. Height 3-5 metres, space 3.5-5 metres apart. Propagation by graft, layer, cuttings. Self fertile tree.

Tangelo, Citrus reticulatax paradisi
Fruits within 2-4 years, producing September to December. Prefers light, deep, rich, friable, well drained, moist soil. But tolerates heavy clay soil on "Trifoliata" rootstock. Enjoys warm summer, mild winter. Full sun, shelter and heavy frost protection needed. Height 2-6 metres, space 4-6 metres apart. Propagation: Rootstock (usually trifoliata); seed (taller plant) or cutting (bushy plant), or cutting (bushy plant), bud mid-summer. Rich mulch important. Companion plant with Guava. Self-fertile tree.

Passion fruit, Passiflora spp.
Fruit, 3- 5 years. February to April harvest. Adaptable to most soil types. (1 metre deep preparation of soil with manure is ideal). Frost tender, needs sheltered spot. Plant vines 3-6 metres apart. Propagate by seed or mature wood cuttings rooted under mist. Self fertile vine. Short lived. Needs a fence or trellis.

Written by A La’ulu

Entered by Aleena La'ulu