About Sharon Watt

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Sharon Watt has created 183 blog entries.

TreeCropper 111


Contents 2  From the editor 3  President’s report 6 NZTCA Conference 2020 8 Celebrating Gorse 13 Luther Burbank 15 Honeyberry Research update 19 Kaputahi Community Orchard 25 Edible hops 28 Rainy day reading 30 Foraging in a forest 34 Chestnuts: pests and disease 39  Pips & Pieces 40  Subscriptions

TreeCropper 1112022-12-06T16:59:23+13:00

TreeCropper 110


  Contents 2  From the editor 3  President’s report 4  South Island VP 5  Emails 7 Lucuma & green sapote grafting 10 Fig pruning 12 Dick Roberts Photography Competition 15  Soil Moisture Update 16  Black garlic 20 Citrus selection 23 Codling moth 31 NZTCA history 33 Barberries in the kitchen 36  Pomegranates and pineapples 37  Pistachio trials 39  Pest: flowering currant 40  Chestnut Q&A 47  Pips & Pieces 48  Subscriptions

TreeCropper 1102022-11-21T14:31:25+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Tamarillos


By Anna-Marie Barnes This article was originally published on New Zealand horticulture has a reputation for turning obscure fruits into success stories. From Chinese gooseberries (now recognised far and wide as kiwifruit) to feijoas, it seems we can take a species little-known outside of its native range, cultivate it successfully in our amenable climate, make it a domestic favourite, and then more often than not, turn it into star on the international stage. The tamarillo, Cyphomandra betacea (syn. Solanum betaceum), formerly known as the tree tomato, or ‘arbol de tomate’ in Spanish, fits neatly into [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Tamarillos2023-02-15T14:35:11+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Loquats


By Anna-Marie Barnes This article was originally published on You’ve probably heard gardeners and self-sufficiency enthusiasts talk wistfully about the ‘hungry gap’ as winter turns to spring. In terms of fruit and vegetable production, the late winter and early spring months can be deceptively sparse, as the cold-weather crops finish or bolt to seed and the new-season crops are in their infancy. This is particularly applicable to the fruit crops – citrus has its heyday and then declines, rhubarb fills a gap, then the early strawberries pop in, but the hefty summer crops of stonefruit [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Loquats2023-02-15T14:33:47+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Rhubarb


Rhubarb and patience can work wonders – German proverb By Anna-Marie Barnes This article was originally published on When is a fruit not a fruit? When it’s a vegetable, of course! A vegetable, you say? In botanical terms, rhubarb is indeed a vegetable, as it is the herbaceous stem portion that we cook and eat, as opposed to its actual fruit, which by strict definition is the ‘mature, ripened ovary of a plant, including the contents of the ovary’. Conversely, this means that many things we term vegetables are actually fruits – think the squash-pumpkin [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Rhubarb2023-02-15T14:31:46+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Almonds


By Anna-Marie Barnes This article was originally published on This month, we’re going nuts for almonds. Although this versatile member of the Rosaceae family does not provide a crop to harvest in September, it is a cheerful harbinger of spring, among the first of the fruiting trees to flower (somewhat profusely) in late winter and early spring. As such, I think it deserves an early spot in the productive-crops calendar and a place in your garden. Nuts are increasingly in the nutritional spotlight, and consumer demand is high, in accordance with the current trend towards [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Almonds2023-02-15T14:36:38+13:00

TreeCropper 109


  Contents 2  From the editor 3  President's report 5 Field trip - oaks & natives at Woodend 9 Wineberries 12 Rowan 15 Caigua or Slipper Gourd 20 Kiwifruit for home gardens 22 Fireside secrets: drying wood 27 Field trip - capers & quandongs 31 Growing flowers commercially 36 Index issues 101 -108 38  Chestnut cheese research 39  Pips & Pieces 40  Subscriptions

TreeCropper 1092022-11-21T14:30:25+13:00

TreeCropper 108


  Contents 6 From the editor 4 President’s report 6  Correspondence 7  Turning vodka into gin 8  Wildwood mushrooms 12 Chinese toon 14 Early exotic fruit recipes 19 Re: Attack on fig tree 24 Tips for grafting avocados 28  DIY grafting guard 29  Field trip to Hautere Plain 32 Conference 2022 36  Photo competition deadline 37  Johnson Grass 40 Guaviyu 43  Honeyberry harvest 44  Crown shyness 46  Membership changes 47  Pips & Pieces 48  Subscriptions

TreeCropper 1082022-11-21T14:30:20+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Beyond the Meyer lemon


By Anna-Marie Barnes This article was originally published on I’d like to survey every backyard in New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and count up all the lemon trees. I reckon you’ll find one more often than not, and chances are those trees will usually be the ubiquitous stalwart of the hardy citrus tribe, the Meyer lemon, and not without good reason. The section I grew up on sported a very large, very old Meyer. Upwards of forty years old and a good five metres in diameter, the tree formed a centrepiece in our [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – Beyond the Meyer lemon2023-02-15T14:34:41+13:00

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – The Humble Choko


By Anna-Marie Barnes This article was originally published on This month, it’s time for something completely different as we step away from the ordinary and take a look at the much-maligned but eager-to-please choko. You may or may not have heard of this strange pear-shaped “is it a fruit, is it a vegetable?” Those in New Zealand’s northern climes are perhaps more likely to be familiar with this outlandish member of the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. Maturing in late autumn to early winter, and with good storage potential, it is a handy substitute for cucumbers [...]

Your Backyard Fruit Bowl – The Humble Choko2023-02-15T14:36:11+13:00
Go to Top