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Autumn Tasks

As the harvests are finishing and leaves start changing colour, it will be time to start thinking about the Autumn tasks in your home orchard. 

Clean up

Leaf litter is an excellent source of humus for the soil, but can also be a source of disease spores/bacteria. If the leaves are infected with powdery mildew, blackspot or leaf curl (even earlier in the season), these should be raked up and disposed of away from the garden. 

The same applies to fallen fruit or fruit mummies (dried up fruit still hanging on the tree).  Fallen apples are a particularly good haven for codling moth larvae. 

Prune Raspberries 

After harvest, prune raspberries. Autumn fruiting (single crop) varieties are harvested at ground level (or can be mown if your mower is up to it).  Dual cropping varieties (like 'Waiau') need to be pruned more carefully. Older canes should be removed to leave the fresh new canes, as these will produce next Summer's first crop. 

Bug watch

With temperatures still warm in most regions, keep a close eye on late infections of pests like mites, thrips, leaf roller caterpillars and whitefly.