Stone fruit, sometimes referred to as summer fruit, includes apricots, cherries, plums, nectarines, and peaches. all of which grow in most parts of New Zealand, but getting reliable yields year on year is not always easy due to changeable weather at critical times, and pests and diseases. Notwithstanding these challenges, gardeners cannot resist trying because stone fruits are so delicious.
Success with stone fruits depends on a number of factors:
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- Selecting the appropriate variety for your region
- Fine dry weather during flowering to maximise pollination
- A spray programme to control devastating fungal diseases in particular leaf curl, shot hole, and brown rot.
Correct pruning to maintain continuous fruiting wood each year.
Stone fruit can generally be pruned to the desired shape. There are dwarf varieties for all species except plums, although there are some varieties less vigorous that form a small tree.