Preparing for a New Year of Fruit Trees
The end of winter is drawing near and my small apple trees will soon begin to leaf out. Before that happens though, I’ll have some work to do to prepare for the upcoming fruit season. We’ve had a few people ask what to do about their fruit trees and how to keep them relatively pest free the organic way. Here are a few tips.
Before your fruit trees begin to green up, you should apply dormant oil to the trunk and branches. Dormant sprays help to prevent (or control) scale, mites, and psylla (found on pear trees). The main purpose of a dormant spray is to kill the overwintering adults and eggs. For my apple and pear trees, I prefer to use Green Earth’s Dormant Spray Kit.
Spring and Summer Insect Control
As the season progresses, more insects will visit your fruit trees in search of food, shelter, and a breeding buddy. If you want relatively blemish-free fruit by the fall, you will have to be diligent in your organic spraying. At the beginning of the season I create a spray calendar and stick to it (weather permitting). Follow the directions on whatever product you choose.
I like to use Green Earth’s Insecticidal Soap. Now that my trees have grown to a substantial size, I prefer to get the bottle with the hose attachment (it really does make it a lot easier).
Spring and Summer Fungal Control
Finally, you’re going to want to protect your trees from fungal attacks, namely scab and powdery mildew. I have been using Green Earth’s Bordo Copper Spray for the job and I have to say, it has worked wonderfully (I also use it on my tomatoes). You can also use Green Earth’s Garden Sulfur to achieve similar results.
When to Spray
As I mentioned earlier, make yourself a calendar and stick to it but most importantly pay attention to the weather which will always trump whatever your calendar says you should be doing. Don’t spray in the rain and don’t spray when temperatures are going to be above 30°C. Rain will wash away anything you’ve applied and the sun’s rays on hot days can easily scorch recently treated leaves. Spray in the mornings to allow the application to dry during the day.
Green Earth Products
You’ll find a whole host of Green Earth products here. I really do believe in these products and have used many of them on my own farm with great success. Check them out for all of your environmentally friendly garden needs.