Plant Care and Pest Control
Care of Plants After Planting
- Weed Control – Most important if plants are to grow quickly. Weeds shouldn’t be allowed to grow within one metre of plant for the first year. After this, keep area out to drip line (i.e. width of foliage) free of weeds. Mulch will control weeds.
- Fertilizing – Plants will respond to feeding. Regular 6 monthly feeds will in most cases be adequate. On the farm we use Scotts Osmocote Exact (Slow Release).
- Mulch – The use of organic mulch is very important for healthy plants. Any organic material can be used, e.g. lawn clippings, straw etc. Hay, especially soybean stubble is excellent. As mulches break down they will feed the plants with valuable nutrients. Always keep any mulch back from the base of the trees and only to a depth of no more than 50mm out to the drip line.
- Watering – Setting up a permanent under plant sprinkle system is well worth considering. Frequency and amount of watering will depend on a number of factors, but a good watering once a week is a good guideline. It is important to water plants more regularly for the first 2-3 months during the establishment period. Depending on the soil and/or drainage, 9 litres every 2 days for a 45-100 litre tree is a good guide line with proportionately more for larger trees. To determine the drainage rate, fill your hole with water prior to planting the tree and gauge how long the water takes to drain away. You can adjust your watering regime according to this knowledge.
- Pruning – This invigorates the plant and encourages new fruiting wood and often leads to more dense foliage. Pruning to shape a plant must be done regularly and often. Note – If fresh mulch is used, apply a higher rate of nitrogen fertilizer than recommended, until the mulch is aged, where-upon normal rates apply.
Controlling Common Pests
We at Logan River Tree Farm use very little chemical control for insects and disease. We rely upon natural means, i.e. birds, natural predators, and hygienic practices to name a few.
When required to control unusual attacks of most insects we use a half/half mix of Rogor and White Oil, which enables us to control the numbers back to a level where-upon natural means can manage.
Always check for Borers if trees are looking wilted. You would find very small holes in the trunk and probably sawdust like material at the bottom of the tree.
With soil borne problems we use systemic insecticides and fungicides. We recommend that you consult horticulturists at your local plant nursery if a problem manifests itself, as there are many products available and most are ‘specific’ to a target problem.