7 min read

How to plant fruit trees in your New Zealand backyard

June, July and August are the best months to plant fruit trees in New Zealand. Planting fruit trees now gives the roots time to settle into the soil. There’s also a much wider variety of fruit trees on sale during winter.
By · June 26, 2024
How to plant fruit trees in your New Zealand backyard

If you’ve ever daydreamed about growing your own fruit in the summer, now is the time to act. June, July and August are the best months to plant fruit trees in New Zealand. Planting fruit trees now gives the roots time to settle into the soil. There’s also a much wider variety of fruit trees on sale during winter.

Here’s how to plant fruit trees successfully in your backyard.

Choose your fruit tree variety

Deciding what type of fruit you want to grow will impact where you should plant them. The bigger your fruit tree will grow, the more space and sunshine your plant will need to be happy and healthy.

If you are short on space, consider growing dwarf varieties of your favourite fruits. Dwarf apple, citrus, olive, guava, peaches and plum trees grow well in containers and pots and are the perfect size for townhouses or small backyards.

What types of fruit can I grow right now?

The type of fruit you can grow right now depends on where you live:

Apples

Grow well between May and September throughout New Zealand and take two to four years to harvest.

Apricot

In warmer climates, apricots should be planted between May and August. If you live on the South Island, avoid planting them in June, July, and August. Instead, either plant your trees now or wait until October or November.

Avocado

Avocados grow exceptionally well in parts of the North Island, like Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Marlborough at the top of the South Island. Unfortunately, most other parts of New Zealand are too cold or not humid enough to support their growth. If you want to grow avocados, August, September, and October are the best times to plant your trees. Avocado trees take 2-4 years to harvest.

Blackberries

Blackberries grow exceptionally well all throughout New Zealand. They also have a long planting season and only take a year of growth before your plants bear fruit. You can plant blackberries anytime between May and November.

Blueberries

Similarly, blueberries are a great fruit to plant wherever you live. They also only take 60-90 days from your plant's first flowers before the fruit is harvested. You can plant blueberries any time of year, from January to December.

Feijoas

Feijoas are a fruit relatively unique to New Zealand. They grow well in any soil. If you live in Auckland or Northland, you can plant feijoa anytime between March and October. For the rest of the country, avoid planting feijoas in June, July or between December and February. Feijoa trees take three to four years to bear fruit that is ready to harvest.

Lemons

Lemons are a must-have fruit tree for your backyard. They don’t take up much space and are ideal for containers or pots. The planting season is between March and May or August and November throughout the country.

Limes

Limes are another must-have for your backyard. Like lemons, they are perfect for growing in pots or containers. The planting season is between March and May or August and November. It can take 2-4 years from planting before your lime tree produces fruit ready for harvesting.

Peaches

The planting season for peach trees in New Zealand is between June and August. Peach trees can take between one and three years to bear fruit. They are best suited to warm and dry climates like Central Otago, Marlborough and the Wairarapa.

Pears

Like apples, pear trees grow well throughout New Zealand. The best time to plant a pear tree is between May and September. A pear tree can take two to four years to bear fruit ready for harvesting.

Plums

Plum trees can be grown all throughout New Zealand. Most of the country's planting season is between June and August. If you are in Canterbury, Otago, or Southland, you can extend the planting season to September. A plum tree takes between two and four years to bear fruit.

Raspberries

Raspberries can be grown throughout the country from Northland to Southland. Plant raspberry bushes between May and November. It takes about one year before your raspberry bushes will begin to fruit.

Strawberries

Strawberries are the ideal fruit to grow anywhere and can be grown in pots or the ground. In the North Island, strawberries can be grown between May and December. The planting season is between July and November if you live in Canterbury, Otago, or Southland. Strawberries are usually ready for harvest 140-160 days after planting.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be grown throughout New Zealand. In cooler climates, like Wellington, Canterbury, Otago and Southland the planting season is October through to January. In warmer climates including Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne you can begin planting tomatoes in September. It can take 60-85 days before tomato plants bear ripe fruit.

How to plant fruit trees in New Zealand

Start by improving the health of your garden soil

High-quality soil is important for the health of your fruit trees. If you are planting your fruit tree in an existing garden bed, start by incorporating organic matter such as sheep pellets and compost into the soil.

Adding organic matter enriches the soil with nutrients that will help your tree grow. You can also add a specific citrus or fruit tree mix to the soil to improve fertility. A pot-plant version of this soil is recommended for container planting.

Check the specifics of the type of tree you are planting

Not all fruit trees require the same amount of space, sunlight or water. Most fruit trees come with planting instructions and it’s important that you check these before you begin. You’ll learn how much space, sun and shade your tree needs. Some fruit trees also need staking.

Soak your tree in plant tonic to avoid shock

Some people like to soak their tree before planting it in a seaweed-based tonic to help promote growth. Seaweed can help the tree adjust to the new soil and offer protection against cold temperatures.

Dig a hole twice the size of your tree

If you are planting your fruit tree in a garden, dig a hole about twice the depth and width of your tree’s root ball. Add some soil mix (a citrus tree mix or a fruit tree variety) into the hole. Gently loosen the root ball with your hands and place the tree ball into the hole. Loosening the root ball helps the roots take hold after planting. Fill the hole with more citrus tree or fruit tree soil mix. Make sure your tree is planted at the same depth as it was in its original container or bag.

Remove fruit during the first year of growth

Remove any fruit that grows during the first year after planting your fruit tree. Removing the initial fruit helps your tree to establish itself and encourages the plant to put its energy into growing rather than bearing fruit (right now). It also encourages better fruiting in subsequent seasons.

Nourishing your fruit tree

Fertilising your fruit tree is important, especially if you’re growing fruit trees in the ground rather than in a pot where drainage, nutrients and soil quality are easier to control. Using a citrus or fruit tree fertiliser in spring and summer encourages growth. Consistent watering, especially during summer when the soil can dry, is also very important. Well-watered and well-nourished trees are also more resistant to insect pests and diseases.

Protecting your fruit tree

Another important step is protecting your fruit trees from the elements, weeds, pests, and diseases. Mulching is an effective way to keep moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing. Apply a 5cm layer of mulch around your tree, avoiding the trunk or stem, as this can lead to rot.

Pruning your fruit tree

Pruning is an important part of fruit tree care, though the timing and necessity of pruning vary by tree variety. Generally, you should remove any diseased, damaged, or dead wood. You can also remove any branches that rub or cross over others. Likewise, thinning out crowded areas of the canopy helps shape your fruit tree, which can help improve the airflow, which is good for the fruit.

What do our customers say?

Read reviews of Wise Move to learn stories from our customers.
$425
Couch
Washington Valley, Nelson
Parnell, Auckland
10
CJ
Reviewed 3 hours ago
Highly recommend using Wise Move and Text A Truck. First class service all the way for a very large couch from Nelson to Auckland.
$110
Queen bed mattress, Dressed
Birkenhead, Auckland
Mount Eden, Auckland
10
Matthew
Reviewed 3 hours ago
Brilliant guys who did a no fuss move for me!
$2,240
Oamaru North, Oamaru
Bell Block, New Plymouth
10
Ravi
Reviewed 4 hours ago
Recommend people to use wise move. There service and communication is very well recommended.
$265
Karori, Wellington
Mount Maunganui
10
Eleanor
Reviewed 4 hours ago
Marshall is an excellent communicator which I could tell from the start and was the reason I chose him to transport the exercycle. He communicated well with the collection point/and delivered it safely to me, and even brought it inside for me. Thanks so much.
$1,256
Storebro CNC Combi Mill
Lower Hutt
Sutton
9.0
Patrick
Reviewed 5 hours ago
Great service. Lower hutt to Middlemarch is 48hrs.
$350
Vauxhall Light Six
Paparoa
Titirangi, Auckland
9.5
Leighton
Reviewed 7 hours ago
Excellent, quick delivery. Communication was an issue to start with. coming through via email and via the wise move web site but sorted.
$550
Auckland
Tokoroa
10
Katrina
Reviewed 7 hours ago
Great service really appreciated there time and effort to get it delivered
$80
Newlands, Wellington
Johnsonville, Wellington
10
Ying
Reviewed 7 hours ago
Efficient, professional and good in communication, will definitely use them again.

For every (wise)move

TradeMe purchase pickup and delivery service across NZ
TradeMe Delivery
Get your heavy-large TradeMe purchase picked up and delivered by our movers anywhere in NZ.
Learn more
Car transport nz
Car Transport
Our professional car transport teams from across New Zealand are the best at what they do.
Learn more
Motorbike transport nz
Motorcycle Transport
Our pros take everything into consideration when ensuring the safety and well-being of your bike.
Learn more
Piano transport
Piano Move
Moving a piano requires the expertise to ensure is kept safe and protected on the road.
Learn more
Furniture removals
Furniture Removals
Our teams will treat your possessions like they would their own, ensuring that the greatest care and diligence is taken.
Learn more
Pet transport nz
Pet Transport
During the transport our teams will ensure full care, well-being and friendliness as if they were our own.
Learn more
Boat transport nz
Boat Transport
Our transport teams will ensure your boats will be delivered safely, efficiently and on time.
Learn more