Plant a Mini Orchard


Pride of Place - It's a great time of year to grow citrus & fruit trees

Feijoas, blueberries, apples or citrus? There are so many options when it comes to choosing fruit trees and shrubs to fit into smaller spaces! If you’ve got the vision, we’ve got the know-how.

Follow our simple guide to planting and caring for fruit in your backyard to enjoy the ultimate mini orchard.

3 Steps to growing a Mini Orchard


Choose your fruit trees

Select varieties of fruit trees that you like to eat, and that are suited to where you live – check your local garden centre for top recommendations in your region. We’ve selected a hardy, easy care range of trees and shrubs to plant, that are easy to keep on the smaller side:

  • Feijoas (a couple of different varieties to enhance pollination - discover feijoa varieties here)
  • Dwarf citrus (e.g. mandarin, lemon, lime)
  • Blueberries (select a combination of varieties of the same type to ensure good cross pollination - discover blueberry varieties here)
  • Dwarf apple trees

Once you have selected your plants, it’s time to prepare the soil – the better the soil, the better your fruit plants will grow.

Once you have selected your plants, it’s time to get the soil prepared – the better the soil, the better your fruit plants will grow. If you’re starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil.

Then you can add a layer of Tui Citrus & Fruit Mix, a high quality mix containing the right blend of nutrients to provide your citrus and fruit trees with the best possible start and sustained growth throughout the season.


The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away.

  • Soak plants in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic before planting to help prevent
    transplant shock and encourage healthy growth.
  • Dig a hole approximately twice the depth and width of the root ball of your plant
  • Place your tree in the hole ensuring the tree is no deeper than it was in the container or bag.
  • Apply Tui Performance Naturals Citrus & Fruit Fertiliser around the dripline of your tree.
  • Water well after planting.


Feed your fruit and they will reward you with a bumper crop. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your fruit plants will grow to their full potential.

Feed your fruit trees every three months during the key growth periods of spring, summer and autumn with Tui Performance Naturals Citrus & Fruit Fertiliser.

Don’t forget to water your fruit trees – especially over the warm summer months as fruit forms. Water deeply and regularly. Well watered, well nourished fruit will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.


Prune if you need to for either a desired shape, to remove any diseased stems, or to improve air circulation. Leaves are the life of the tree, so don’t cut unnecessarily, particularly before the tree has matured

Remove any fruit that forms in the first season after planting. This is to allow the tree to establish a strong root system and framework of branches, rather than putting a lot of energy into fruit development.

Shopping List

When should I plant
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Harvest in 2-3 years

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Plant a Mini Orchard Comments

  • My grounds have possibly heavy metal inn them. I want to make raised gardens but will I need to put the gardens on to plastic, and is there a way that I can keep the gardens watered while we are away in the summer.

    Frances Burton

    • Hi Frances, suggest you put weed matting under the raised garden beds to allow water to soak through, but not for the roots to penetrate the poor soil. Installing an irrigation system on a timer will help water you garden while you are away in the summer, or you could ask a neighbour to help keep plants watered. Applying Debco Saturaid soil wetter is also a good idea and mulching with Tui Mulch & Feed. 

      Tui Team

  • When I planted citrus I put diluted worm juice around them all and now they have new leaves and most are flowering. If your plants have yellow leaves put a tablespoon of Epsom salts in a bucket of water and stir until dissolved and then pour around tree. They really love it and is a cheap way to encourage growth.

    pat madigan

    • Hi Pat, this is a great tip for citrus. Thanks for sharing and happy spring gardening!

      Tui Team

    • Can you tell me why citrus fruit dont fruit, they seems to have lots of blossom, but I end up with nno fruit, year after year.


    • Hi Althea, it is a positive sign your citrus trees are blossoming. Unfortunately sometimes fruit trees fail to produce a crop. More often than not, the problem is due to a lack of pollination. This can be caused by bad weather during flowering (wet, cold and/ or windy) or lack of bee activity. Other causes of poor cropping can be reasons like the tree being too young to produce fruit, not growing healthily due to pests, disease, poor nutrition or lack of watering. Feed in spring and summer with Tui Citrus Food and regularly check for signs of pest and disease. Water well, particularly over the summer season. To increase fruit production next season, sprinkle Tui Sulphate of Potash around the base of the tree in autumn. This provides a boost of potassium – the most important element for the development of flowers and fruit. Apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic regularly to give trees an overall boost. All the best ^Tui Team

      Tui Team

  • this would be very good

    Shirley Dawes

  • I love your advice. I really not a gardener as hate bugs. If there were no bugs I'd probably like to get out in the garden. Also please what trees do locusts go for so I can avoid them. They scare me and I hate their noise.

    Lynn Rhodin

  • I am enjoying reading all your ideas for better gardening.

    Laurie Andrew

    • Hi Laurie, that's fantastic to hear and we appreciate your feedback. Happy gardening :) ^Tui Team

      Tui Team

  • Loving this site. Extremely helpful.

    Coral Robben

    • Thanks for the feedback Carol :) 

      Tui Team

  • How far apart should I plant apple and pear trees when creating an orchard at home?


    • Hi Bev, it depends if they are standard size trees or dwarf trees. For standard apple trees plant 10 metres apart and for dwarf apples plant 5 metres apart. Standard pear trees plant 6 metres apart and dwarf pear trees plant 4.5 metres apart. 

      Tui Team

  • I have just bought some of the Tui garden citrus and fruit fertiliser. Is it OK for strawberries too, as I have these planted around my citrus and when planting a new fruit tree e.g: apple and pear, do you put it in the hole or around it after its planted? Thanks Cherie

    Cherie Benton

    • Hi Cherie, is it our Tui Enrich Fruit, Citrus, Tree & Shrub fertiliser? If so yes it is suitable for strawberries as well. When planting fruit trees, you can add the fertiliser to the soil when planting - 30g per plant and mix thoroughly into the soil. Happy fruit tree planting ^Tui Team 

      Tui Team

    • It's just called citrus and fruit mix, we put it in the hole when planting the tree, hope this is OK?!

      Cherie Benton

  • I have managed to grow a Pacific Rose apple tree from a seed that was germinating in the apple I was about to eat. It is now about a foot high and doing well in my greenhouse. When should I plant it outside and will it fruit?


    • Hi Jane, you can plant your apple seedling out now. However, it won’t be a Pacific Rose apple as to keep it true to variety it needs to be grafted on to rootstock. Your seedling will be an unknown variety and you won’t know until it fruits whether it is worth keeping or not. If you want to experiment you could (once the tree is a 50cm – 1m high) graft a known apply variety on to the tree. 

      Tui Team

  • Can you recommend a dwarf apple variety that is suitable for growing in pots please?

    sarah willsher

    • Hi Sarah, dwarf apple blush babe and dwarf apple autento are both great options for pots and containers.

      Tui Team