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About incredible edibles®

... Bringing Your Garden Alive With Fruit

incredible edibles® are brought to you by Tharfield Nursery Ltd and are only available through your local garden retailers. If you local garden retailer does not have the plant you are looking for, get them to order it in for you.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Fruitful reading
Andrew Boylan
Tharfield Nursery Ltd

Tharfield is situated in a cooler microclimate near Tauranga and thus are able to make fair recommendations for most of New Zealand. We are evaluating these plants all the time and will update the information as valuable experience is gained.

How new varieties reach the Garden Retailer

Tharfield Nursery Ltd is working closely with Plant and Food Research to develop and market new varieties of fruit for the home gardener. Plant and Food Research has extensive breeding programs working with many species to develop new varieties for the commercial orchardists, and for the home gardeners. These plants are New Zealand bred for New Zealand conditions.

New varieties released for the home garden are at least five years in trial work before they are classed as suitable for release. Some of the criteria in identifying the characteristics required are

  • disease and pest free
  • healthy growth
  • non-invasive
  • good fruit qualities
  • good yields
  • Sports

Apart from breeding programs, chance seedlings from the hedge or roadside can sometimes make an improved variety. These are known as "sports".

New varieties often arise from these"sports". They are spontaneous and natural mutations where a branch will change one or two basic characteristics such as colour and growth habit. These changes occur at a genetic level, (natural changes, not genetic modification!) and plants propagated from this variant maintain the changed characteristic.

The 'Ballerina' apples are the result of selection and breeding work of an apple "sport" that occurred in Canada in the 1950s. Once it was recognized that this variant was genetic, the original upright growing form was used in breeding.

Tharfield Nursery Ltd is interested in trialling these sorts of plants if they display significant improvements over existing varieties. With trialling programs running now to evaluate new material. Tharfield Nursery hopes to release at least three new cultivars to the market each year.

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