Hello, friends of the co-op! We want to tell you about a course we’re running (starting next week) that’s all about “when” to look after your fruit trees. It’s just as important as knowing “how” to look after them.

We’ve learned the hard way that knowing the right timing for different jobs makes a big difference in keeping your trees healthy and producing lots of fruit. Having a plan to follow also really helps to reduce your stress levels!

It took us many years of getting the timing wrong to put a reliable plan together. It helped us hugely when we were running the orchard, and has formed the basis of being able to mentor the lovely Orchard Keepers into running things.

We’re running a course (starting next week) called Learn.Plan.Succeed: Create Your Fruit Tree Action Plan to teach you all about it.

Why are we running a planning course?

We know that many of you are passionate about growing your own fruit.

Before we leased the orchard we stood at weekend markets every week for years and had many conversations with home growers. We’d hear stories of their successes, and (more usually) tales of woe. We got lots of questions about how to look after their trees.

One thing stood out to us.

People invariably asked us questions about what to do after the problem had already occurred. By then it’s usually too late to do anything about it.

It made us realise (on top of our own experience) that timing is just as important as the techniques you use. Whether it’s pruning, pest control, or thinning, doing those jobs at the right time can make a huge difference to whether or not you get to pick any good fruit!

Having a plan helps even when things don’t work out

Unfortunately, even the very best planning can’t change the weather. Sometimes (like last spring) the weather gods are against you, and extreme weather wrecks your crop.

If you’re part of the Orchard Keepers CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) you’ll know what we’re talking about. Their fruit crop has been so severely impacted this season that they had to scale the CSA back dramatically. We’re feeling their pain because we know first-hand the devastation of losing large amounts of fruit.

However, even when you have a terrible year, having a plan in place is useful. We’ve noticed that fruit growers large and small tend to blame themselves when things go wrong. It’s an easy trap to fall into.

And it is always a good learning exercise to ask yourself if there was anything you could have done differently.

But it feels so much better after disaster strikes to know that you did everything you could, and at the right time to boot!

We’ve been able to reassure the OKs that even though there’s always more to learn, at least they know the outcome wasn’t a result of their neglect. They had a plan and followed it, but there was just too much rain. In fact, it was one of the wettest and coldest springs on record, and that’s saying something!

What’s in the course?

The online course starts next Tuesday, February 14, and will run over 3 evenings. If you can’t make it to every session you’ll be able to watch the replays. During the course, we’ll explain the best times for all the jobs to do with your fruit trees and help you fill out your individualised plan.

You’re welcome to ask questions during the live sessions, but it gets a bit lively so no promises that we’ll see them all and have time to answer them on the spot! You’ll also get to ask questions in the dedicated Facebook Group we’ve set up for participants, and then we’ll hold a final Q&A session to make sure all your questions are answered.

This is a great chance to get a solid plan in place for your fruit trees. Click the link below to sign up, and we hope you can join us!

Cheers from Katie and Hugh


Session 1: Tuesday, February 14, 7.30 pm (AEDT)

Session 1: Thursday, February 16, 7.30 pm (AEDT)

Session 3: Monday, February 20, 7.30 pm (AEDT)


Online (3 live sessions)


  • $37
  • Free for Grow Great Fruit members


Click here to book your ticket