News Article for February 27, 2012:
You know that when you go out to get in your tan vehicle and it is green that pollen is in the air and so is spring.
Spring flowering shrubs and trees continue to progress with more blooms. Fruit trees are also waking up from their short winter’s nap and hopefully not too early. It does not take much warm weather to entice peaches and plums to bloom.
One of the problems with growing peaches and plums is the diseases and insects that are prevalent in our warm climate.
If you want to have fruit that is free of worms then you will need to spray. Go ahead and check out your equipment now and get ready.
The first spray can be made when trees are in the pink bud stage up until about 10% of the flowers are open. If you are past this stage do not fret, just skip it.
You will not want to miss your next spray which will start when 75% of the petals have fallen off of the blooms. Spraying is a lot of work because you will need to continue to spray every 10 -14 days until about two weeks prior to harvest. Be sure to mix only the amount of solution that you need for one spraying as the chemicals will degrade quickly when mixed with water and be ineffective.
Most of us just have a few trees and the easiest and least expensive purchase would be to buy retail packaged fruit tree spray that has all the insecticides and fungicides already mixed together. Several companies sell these products and usually call them Home Orchard Spray or Fruit Tree Spray. If you want to be sure you have the right product, check the active ingredient list on the label. You will usually find that they list Carbaryl or Methoxychlor for chewing insects, Malathion for sucking insects and Captan as a fungicide.
If you have a lot of trees you can mix your own spray but you must use all wettable powders(WP) for this to work and sometimes it is hard to find Malathion 25%WP. If you were to mix powders and liquids together you will have trouble getting them to go into solution and will cause a burn on the plant material. The correct mixture would include 2 tablespoons (TBS) of Sevin 50% WP (aka carbaryl), plus 3 TBS of Malathion 25%WP, plus 4½ TBS of Captan 50%.
WP. Mix this in a sprayer with 3 gallons of water and add 6 tablespoons of dry detergent to help the spray adhere to the leaves and fruit.
For more information on these or related topics contact Kenny at 225-686-3020 or visit our website at www.lsuagcenter.com/livingston.