Friday, March 28, 2014

2014 Dormant Oil Spraying

It is too late to spray this apple.

The apricots are now blooming, so it is too late to do a dormant spray on them. But you can still treat your apples, peaches and nectarines, and pears.

If you had problems with any of these pests last year you can use organic dormant oil on them right now:

  • Aphids
  • Blister mites
  • Brown mites
  • Peach twig borer
  • Pear psylla
  • San Jose scale
Check the oil before you buy it to make sure it is listed as organic. Then mix 5 tablespoons of oil per 1 gallon water and shake it well. Oil is not a "poison," so you need to spray the tree heavily enough that the oil can plug up the breathing holes on the pests. This happens when the entire tree is dripping after being sprayed.

Temperatures should be between 50 and 70 degrees when you spray, and should not go below freezing in the 24 hours after spraying.

Start spraying right now, but you need to stop as soon as your:
  • Apples have buds that are half green.
  • Pears have a cluster of smaller buds bursting through the main bud.
  • Peaches and nectarines show pink through the bud.
Dormant spraying does not help with codling moths or greater peach tree borer.

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