Fruits With Pips

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Fruits with Pips is a blog about a passion for nature and a passion for fresh–simple and healthy foods. The meals are simple, yet delicious. Fruits With Pips is a growing collection of bioactive compounds found in fruits with edible seeds. It’s our mission to help consumers make healthy food choices based on the scientific information we present.

Growing Pip and Stone Fruit

Fruit trees used to be present in every garden in New Zealand. Although it can be challenging to find space in today’s smaller gardens, they can fit with careful selection. Most fruits have dwarf variations or versions that don’t require much room. As a space saver, these can be espaliered (taught to grow flat) against a fence. This makes it possible for a variety of fruits to be disseminated throughout the season.

Fruit trees want a warm, sunny position in the yard, so think about kinds that are appropriate for your region when selecting fruit trees.

Because they have a broad appeal, are simple to consume, and ripen over a long season, pip fruit like apples and pears have always been the most well-liked fruit. They taste wonderful, are vitamin-rich, and are often simple to grow. They are also quite beautiful trees when they are in bloom in the spring.

Stone fruits with a wide range of tastes, including cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums, are also favorites.

While stone fruit does not keep as long as pip fruit, it is still possible to schedule a spread of harvest dates due to the variety’s wide range of maturities.

Most fruits now come in dwarf variants, which are perfect for small spaces.

How to Care

 Planting

Pick a spot that is warm, sunny, and protected from severe winds. Stone fruit and pip trees can flourish in the majority of soil types, however clay soils require raising plantings and a lot of compost. When planting, carefully spread the roots over the slightly mounded dirt at the bottom of the hole.

The best time to buy ‘bare root’ pip and stone fruit trees is in the winter. Nevertheless, you may also buy them in pots most of the year. Although the major planting season is winter, they can be planted at other times as long as they are given regular watering.

Mulching


It is strongly advised to use this technique since it keeps the soil moist and controls weed growth. The trees will significantly benefit from a covering of mulch, compost, or something similar applied to the surface in October to reduce moisture loss.

Feeding and Watering


Fruit trees benefit from an annual dressing of lime or gypsum in August, followed by an application of ‘Tui’ General or Citrus and Fruit Tree Fertiliser in September.

Many fruit trees can withstand considerable dry periods, but watering will greatly improve the result. Ensure soil does not dry out after planting, but be careful not to overwater (only if a dry spell follows planting – do not overwater as root rot could result).

Over the Spring to Summer period, water regularly to ensure plant does not dry out while establishing in its first year.

Pests and Diseases

Fruit trees are vulnerable to numerous diseases and pests. It might pay to select alternate fruits that are unaffected if specific pests and illnesses are highly common in your area.

Codling moth, aphids, mites, black spot, and powdery mildew are among the pests that attack apples, pears, and quinces. Some recent types may withstand black spot.

The Oriental Fruit Moth, aphids, leaf curl, brown rot, shot hole, and rust are among the pests that prey on stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots).

Most diseases are minimised with a winter clean up spray using Growsafe Freeflo Copper and Growsafe Enspray 99, followed by early season sprays of fungicide prior to and just after flowering. To battle these pests and illnesses, spray an oil, such as Conqueror Oil, after pruning. For fungal illnesses like black spot, use Copper Hydroxide or Champ DP Copper.

In our Garden Care section, under Pest and Disease Control in Fruit, you may find the spraying schedule.

Pruning


Pruning is divided into two stages. 

1. Pruning to shape in the young stages. When planting, select 3 or 4 strong branches and reduce by 2/3 to outwards facing bud. Remove all other growth 

2. Pruning for continuous fruiting and maintaining shape of established trees. Pruning to shape is dependent on the variety and to some extent the shape you want. 

Basically there are three shapes:

Vase shape – The traditional open centre with 3 to 4 main leaders for framework.

Central leader or pyramid – A more modern method as it takes less space and trees can be kept narrow. Ballerina apples are very suited to this method. 

Espalier – An ideal method of training and pruning where space is limited.

Helpful Tips
  • Focus on pruning to the shape you want.  
  • Always remember that the strongest new growth will come from the first bud below where the pruning cut is made. In general prune to regulate growth, allow light in, encourage flowers and fruit.
  • Generally prune in Winter.
  • In years 1 and 2 prune hard to make sturdy framework and shape the tree.
  • Pruning for continuous fruiting is important once the tree has established. This is relatively easy once you know where the fruit will form. 
  • Apples, pears, quinces, plums, and apricots fruit on the same spurs for several years. New spurs form as old ones die.
Apples


Bear fruit on spurs and 2 year old + laterals. Allow lateral branches to develop uncut until buds form, then trim back about 2/3 each year. Thin out some if tree becomes overcrowded

Apricot


Also bear on laterals and spurs. Treat the same as apples.

Plums


Bear fruit on 1 and 2 year old laterals. Require little pruning. Thin and trim back as required to maintain tree at reasonable size.

Cherries


Fruit on spurs on 2 year old wood. Require little pruning, apart from trimming and thinning. Prune in Autumn to encourage new growth but don’t cut out all previous year’s growth.


Peaches and nectarines


Peaches and nectarines fruit on one year old wood. That is, the wood grown last year will carry fruit this year. When pruning, do not cut this wood out, but shorten it only and/or remove only some of it. 

Peaches and Nectarines laterals fruit for one season only. Prune to produce new laterals each year. 

Pollinators


Many plums, and some cherries and apricots require another variety to be grown nearby to ensure pollination. Check with your garden centre advisor for pollinator varieties.

Pome Fruits

Pome fruits is a general term for those plants which lack a stone inside the fruit and instead have a set of seeds known as pips. These fruits are derived from a thickened receptacle.

The most common pip fruit trees in Spain are: apple, pear, kiwi, quince, loquat, etc.

There are several signs that can be observed in a crop that demonstrate the lack of some of the necessary nutrients for the correct growth of the plant:

Macronutrients in pome fruits

Nitrogen:

Nitrogen deficiency usually appears in mid-summer. It manifests itself as a reddish colour in the tender stems of the bark. The apical leaves will lose chlorophyll and the edges will retract. Finally, there will be irregular ripening of the fruit.

Phosphorus:

Phosphorus-deficient plants have straw-green leaves with dry edges and tips. They produce scarce quantities of flowers and fruits. The pulp of the fruit displays brown soft areas. In advanced stages, soft fruits are observed with brown spots on the surface.

Potassium:

When the potassium supply to the plant is not sufficient, the branches begin to weaken. The leaves take on a reddish-brown colour and their edges bend towards the shaft. Finally, the fruits will have a lighter size and colour.

Magnesium:

A deficit of magnesium in the plant will be manifested as necrosis and spots in the leaves, in addition to loss of chlorophyll at the edges. The fruits will also have a smaller size and impaired resistance.

Microelements in pome fruits

Zinc:

Zinc deficiency may be identified by a loss of chlorophyll in the leaves (except in the central vein), which will also become narrower and bend their edges towards the shaft. The leaves will form a rosette and mottling will appear on the central pod. There may also be abnormal bud development.

Iron:

Iron is essential to the plant; any lack of it will cause the leaves to lose chlorophyll and take on a yellowish colour, and result in falling of the apical leaves. In the basal leaves, some brown spots will appear and will necrotise.

Manganese:

Symptoms of manganese deficiency may be more pronounced in early spring. The tree will stop growing. The leaves will lose their chlorophyll between the lateral veins, which will lead to premature falling of the leaves.

Copper:

The tree will acquire a stunted appearance due to the lack of copper. A yellowish colour will appear on the apical leaves and the tips of the shoots. In addition, the leaves will fall off, leaving the bare buds which will die and dry out.

Boron:

Boron deficiency in pip fruit trees is characterised by a necrosis in the nervation of the leaves, which will turn reddish. In addition, the flowers will dry out and the buds will fail. The fruits will be deformed and cracked, with consequent premature falling.

Growing Fruit Plants from Seed

People start planning their vegetable gardens and perusing all the seed catalogs during the chilly winter months. They recall the excellent apple or pear they purchased from their neighborhood farmer’s market.

Pink Lady apple seedling. Steven Brown, Flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0)

What about planting the fruit’s seed to develop into a tree that may be used in their garden? Unfortunately, fruit does not contain seeds that can grow into fruit trees. The seeds you take from a plant will grow into plants that are hybrids of two different species. The young plant will be of the same species as the parent, but because it is “heterozygous,” its fruit and vegetative parts could not appear or taste exactly like the parent. The pollen (male organ) from one plant and the flower (female organ) of the tree that produced the fruit come together to form the seed.

Therefore, either grafting or budding techniques must be used to vegetatively grow all fruit plants. To create a tree that will bear exactly the same fruit as the one you enjoyed, you can buy rootstocks from specialized nurseries to graft a bud or shoot of the female plant onto. Commercial fruit farmers select particular rootstocks because they result in plants with particular traits, like smaller trees or trees that bear fruit early.

But let’s say you are unable or unwilling to buy the rootstock you desire. The seed of the same kind of fruit can be used to create your own rootstock, allowing you to cultivate your own rootstock.

All common tree fruit seeds, including those of the apple, pear, peach, and cherry, need to be chilled before they will sprout and grow into new plants. After the fruit section is fully ripe, a period of freezing known as dormancy or after-ripening takes place. The embryo grows at this time until it is mature. The following two systems could complete the necessary after-ripening.

Method One: Refrigerator

The fruit you intend to reproduce should have its seeds and/or pits removed. Remove all fruit parts that are stuck on, then let the seeds dry naturally. After that, put them in a glass jar or another appropriate container and top it with a loose-fitting lid or cover. Until mid-January, keep the seeds aside in a cool location.

Seeds need to be after-ripened. By fruit type, this period’s duration varies (Table 1). The success of germination will also be influenced by the temperature at which the seeds are kept. Seeds should be kept dry and at the proper temperature in a container that is well sealed. If the temperature is regulated, most seeds can be kept in airtight containers for up to a year. Use an airtight container, and be careful to. Avoid exposing the seeds to any climacteric fruit—those that release ethylene gas—if utilizing your home refrigerator.

Apple, banana, pear, apricot, peach, plum, nectarine, blueberry, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, avocado, guava, passion fruit, and plantain are some examples of climatic fruit. If seeds have never been exposed to the cold, combine them in mid-January with either moist (not wet) peat moss, sand, or shredded paper towels. Replace the lid on the jar and add the mixture back in.

Put the container and seeds in the fridge until the final significant spring frosts have passed. At least 60 days should pass while the seeds are stored in the refrigerator. Furrow a seedbed made of garden soil as previously mentioned in early April and sow the seeds there. Maintain a moist but not soggy soil. Avoid using fertilizer.

Table 1. After-ripening requirements for certain fruit tree seeds

Tree TypeEffective Temp.Best Temp. (°F)Days Required
Apple40 – 5040 – 4170 – 80
Apricot40 – 504560 – 70
Cherry33 – 504190 – 140
Peach33 – 5045120 – 130
Pear33 – 414060 – 90

Method Two: Outdoors

In the fall, prepare a garden-soil plot like you would for sowing any other kind of seeds. Create a furrow that is no deeper than one or two times the seed’s longest dimension. Add a thin layer of soil over the seeds, then sprinkle a few inches of sand over the row. Sand will stop the soil from crusting, which would otherwise limit germination.

Next, place a wire screen, or hardware cloth, over the row—be sure that all of the edges are pushed several inches into the soil and that the ends are closed. This stops squirrels and chipmunks from removing the seeds. Keep a watchful eye out for newly sprung seedlings in the planted area in April of the following year. Remove the wire screen as the seedlings develop to avoid limiting them.

When to prune pip and stone fruit trees.

bolg image

When to prune pip and stone fruit trees.

For deciduous fruit trees to produce fruit well, pruning when and how to do so is crucial. The best time to prune pip and stone trees is in the fall, but wait until all the leaves have fallen so the tree has time to absorb the nutrients.

Knowing whether your tree bears fruit on growth from the previous year or older is crucial. By doing this, you’ll avoid eliminating the trees’ capacity to bear fruit by cutting off all of last season’s growth! Peaches typically generate fruit from growth from the previous season. The European types of plums frequently develop fruit on older semi-permanent spurs, unlike Japanese plums like Satsuma, which mostly bear fruit from the previous season’s growth.

Pruning fruits like plums, nectarines, apples, and peaches into the shape of a vase or goblet will improve ventilation and boost pollination. Additionally, this approach lowers fruit production and keeps fruit at a low level for simple plucking.

Crossing branches should be cut off, as should any dead or diseased wood. Always use sharp tools and prune back to an outward-pointing bud.

To control weeds and improve the soil surrounding your trees, use mulch.

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