Make a Harvest Calendar

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Captain Kidd harvest

Before you buy fruit trees, make a super useful harvest calendar for a clear overview of the fruiting year. A big help in choosing varieties that stagger the harvest and spread workload.

Before we map it out – lets double check you’re ready to go. Tick off the following steps and set yourself on the path to fruiting glory.

  • First up – have you made a basemap + wishlist? Two crucial bits of info – a wishlist shows you what you want to eat … sounds obvious, but its so easy to ignore this most practical moment (fruit tree catalogues are blimmin seductive!) and end up wasting space on stuff thats not that important or you dont even like! And a basemap brings a solid understanding of your patch of land so you can choose plants wisely, matching them to your environment ergo they’ll flourish and do well.
  • Step two is to organise shelter – its essential!
  • Three, organise your gardens based on all the remaining space within, and amongst other things choose where to put your fruit trees.
  • Step four, and the lucky last step before fruit tree nurseries can have your full attention, is to make a harvest calendar.

Romantic notions of harvesting basket loads of fruit aside, processing a tree load of fruit is a good-sized albeit rewarding, mission. The daily berry harvest (so important for bramble health) is a decent commitment too.

It’s easy to jampack late summer and autumn with loads of fruit – a time to be cautious of if you have a decent sized chunk of land, as its also when the vegie patch is pumping. You’ll see below, how I ignored my own advicešŸ¤­ Do your best to stagger your fruit and thus disperse your storage requirements and workload throughout the year.

Make a simple harvest calendar. If you dont know due dates, use google – the variety + harvest dates + NZ. Waimea nurseries have helpful information. Most fruit tree catalogues do as well.

calendar showing when fruit is ripe in which month
Do you think I went a bit over board in Feb and April?!

You’ll soon see where the gluts and gaps are. Rejig varieties to create good flow. I went a bit overboard with plums and apples – so hard not to!

Once you are satisfied with your plan for a steady fruit supply, I give you permission to go shop.

harvest calendar
Record helpful tidbits of info on your calendar to jog your memory and for those who inherit your garden.