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Posts Tagged ‘bonide all seasons oil’

Peach totally engulfed by brown rot

Believe it or not, I followed my own advice this weekend!

All Seasons Oil will smother the overwintering egg cases of tent caterpillars.

All Seasons Oil will smother the egg cases of tent caterpillars.

I sprayed my fruit trees with Bonide All Seasons Oil. I have mentioned in many of our February and March newsletters and advised countless garden center customers that a late winter/early spring application of horticultural oil is one of the most important sprays to protect your fruit trees. It’s important because it smothers insect eggs (like tent caterpillar eggs) and overwintering insect pests (like codling moth larvae, mealybugs, and scale) by forming a coating of oil over them. It can also smother fungal spores and reduce the incidence of certain fungal diseases like rust or powdery mildew.

But have I ever sprayed it in our little orchard? No – at least not until this year! If it’s so important, why didn’t I do it? Well, my excuse was that whenever I had “time” to spray, the wind was blowing too hard or it was raining or I didn’t have the spray on hand or I missed the timing or …

Mealybugs cause damage to foliage and fruit.

Mealybugs cause damage to foliage and fruit.

In all honesty, it was more because it was so much trouble to mix up enough spray to cover all the fruit trees. Our little hand sprayer had to be refilled several times by the time we were finished. A few years ago, we got a backpack sprayer that held more and I used it for a while but even that had to be refilled quite a few times to cover all the trees and I never did manage to get that initial spray of horticultural oil on the them.

This year for an early birthday present, we bought ourselves a 16 gallon sprayer that can sit in the trailer we pull behind our mower. Best of all, it has a 12 volt pump that is powered right from the mower battery! Wow! I can tell that this new sprayer is going to revolutionize our fruit growing just like Uncle Bill’s old Troy-Bilt tiller revolutionized my vegetable gardening.

Brown rot ruins my peach crop.

Brown rot ruins most of my peaches before they have a chance to ripen.

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The sprayer is made to attach to an ATV but Eric built a frame out of treated lumber that holds the tank and keeps it from moving around in the cart. Perfect!

We tried it out with the All Seasons Oil this weekend and it worked like a charm! We made up 9 gallons of spray which was the perfect amount to cover all the trees. So quick and easy!

I’m determined to keep up with the spraying this year so maybe we’ll get some fruit that we won’t have to share with the bugs and diseases!

Brown rot on a plum

Brown rot on a plum

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At the top of my list is battling brown rot on our peaches. Every year, because I haven’t sprayed a fungicide, we watch as our peaches (and plums) become swallowed up by this dreaded disease. Brown rot is a common fungal disease that affects stone fruits like peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries. It can be devastating to a fruit crop and can destroy most or all of the fruit on a tree in a relatively short period of time.

Mummified peaches hang from one of my peach trees.

Mummified peaches hang from one of my peach trees.

Sanitation around the trees is one of the most important ways to try to reduce the incidence of this disease (and many other fungal diseases that affect fruit trees) because the fungal spores overwinter in plant debris and on mummified fruits that hang on the tree and fall on the ground. Even with careful cleaning and raking, treatment with fungicides is often necessary to help control brown rot especially if the disease has infected your trees in the past. To be most effective, it is very important to begin spraying for brown rot before infection occurs.

More information about brown rot

Black rot beginning to infect grapes.

Black rot beginning to infect a
bunch of grapes.

So … this weekend we’re going to fire up the sprayer again (weather permitting) to spray Bonide Liquid Copper fungicide on the trees and our grapes.

Bonide copper fungicide is a broad range fungicide approved for organic gardening that will help control a host of diseases in our orchard including brown rot on the peaches and plums, black rot on our grapes, and cedar-apple rust which affects our apples every year even though we have planted resistant varieties.

Cedar-apple rust infects some young apples

Cedar-apple rust infects some of
our young apples

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I really think we’ll be able to keep up with the insects and disease this year! We’re even thinking of getting a two more peach trees and maybe another plum!

Now I’m just hoping that we don’t get a late frost that wipes out the blossoms!

Here’s to a “fruitful” year!

Until Next time – Happy Gardening
and Happy Spring!

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