Don’s Expert Answers: Small Mulberries

Question From:
in Leppington, Sydney New South Wales

Nature of problem:
Small Mulberries

Type of Plant (if known):
Mulberry Tree

Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself):
I always get small Mulberries.

Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type:
Soil is clay. But when planted about 0.25M2 or more of garden mix mixed in a wheel-barrow sided hole.

How often do you water the plant:
When berries are on I try to leave my dripper on 24hrs once per week to soak it.

How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:
I guess in summer 10. It does get some light shade from surrounding trees . But in summer time that’s probably the only reason it’s alive.

How long since you planted it:
7 or 8 years

Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
Every year I put on about 4 shovels of cow manure and then cover with mulch at the start of spring.

Is the plant indoors or outdoors:

Is the plant in a pot or in the ground:

What other treatments have you given the plant:
Put some sea sol in a watering can at the start of spring and randomly when I happen to buy it.

Upload photo if available:

Other Comments:
What I’ve tried:

Take about half them off hoping others would get bigger
Excessive watering.
This year I gave it a big prune in winter as well possibly took out 1/3 of the tree

thanks for your help,

bye for now


Hi Kerryn, What time of the year did you take that photo? If it was any later than early Spring, then you have a real problem. That plant is very sparse indeed. The key thing for all gardeners with fruiting or growing problems its to dig some holes nearby. Use a garden trowel to dig 4 x 10cm deep holes within 50-60cm of the trunk to see whether the soil is wet or dry. My suspicion is that it might be a dry, water-repelling soil. If dry, use Seasol Super Soil Wetter. The soil that you purchased may be no good. Most soils sold in Sydney are based on alluvial silt which is a very poor soil indeed. Even if organic matter was added, within 2-3 years the soil will perform badly. If so, you could dig the tree up next Winter and move it elsewhere. Good luck, Don.