Sarah Frater teaches fruit tree pest management at community garden party

Photo is of Matai Community Garden party from 24 March.

Photo is of Matai Community Garden party from 24 March.

Codling moth in your apples? Leaf curl on your peaches? A rare chance to workshop with fruit tree master Sarah Frater is coming up on 28 April in Raumati South, as part of Kāpiti Coast District Council’s community garden parties programme. 

Sarah will be at MOA community orchard for a free workshop that includes pest and disease management. MOA community orchard provides a chance to examine which trees are doing best in local sandy conditions, and discuss common issues. Sarah will look at seasonal pruning, which rootstocks are best for various soil types and locations, which varieties of tree make compatible pollinators, and which types do best in local conditions.  

Sarah supplied most of the trees for the Jeep Rd orchard that was first planted in 2011. The orchard is now coming to fruition with good crops of plums, peaches, and apples. But pests like codling moth and pear slug are an ongoing issue, says orchard co-ordinator Cree Hatfield.  

“There’s been a lot of codling moth in the orchard, so we’ll certainly be asking Sarah about how to manage that. We’re thrilled for this chance to benefit from Sarah’s wisdom gained over decades of working with fruit trees, without having to travel to her Edible Gardens Nursery near Palmerston North.” 

Watering has also proved an issue with establishing the trees, especially in dry summers. The orchard group will be on hand to share waterwise techniques like deep pipe watering, creating mulch pockets, and providing effective shelter. 

The workshop is part of the Council’s Community Garden Parties series that celebrates local knowledge on waterwise gardening, food growing, and community building through free workshops, activities, and festivities. From zucchini sizzles to wheelbarrow races, fruit tree pruning demonstrations to pou whenua making to wildplay, the parties will be happening in seven gardens across Kāpiti throughout April. 

For more information on the programme, see



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