Home fruit spray schedules
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It seems like quality fruit must
be sprayed at the recommended intervals. For apples and pears, we
start with dormant oils, which need to be applied before buds swell.
Dormant oils are usually needed only every two or three years to
provide control of scales and mites. Sure, the populations will
build up in the off years, but they should remain relatively low if
the three-year program is followed. Superior oils are lighter-grade
oils that won’t cause as much burn damage during late spring or even
for in-season use. Superior oils will also provide control of the
mites and scales.
The first regular spray of the year is applied when the green
tissue is one-half-inch out of the bud. The spray for use by
homeowners usually consists of a multipurpose fruit spray (and
sulfur if needed for powdery mildew). Multipurpose fruit spray
has been reformulated the last year or two to include malathion,
captan and carbaryl (methoxychlor has been eliminated from the
mixture). This same mixture would be used when the fruit buds
are in the pink stage -- when fruit buds show color. After that,
persistence and consistency pay off as you spray with the same
mixture about every 10 days until we get to within two weeks of
harvest. In our area, we need to continue spraying this late
because of apple maggot and sooty blotch.
This spray schedule
will also control borers on apples and pears, if you also
thoroughly spray the trunk and main limbs of the trees. On
young, non-bearing fruit trees where borers have attacked, you
can spray the trunks every two weeks during June and July with a
multipurpose fruit spray.
The spray schedule for peaches, nectarines, apricots and
plums varies a little bit. The dormant spray for them uses
captan fungicide. This is the only spray that controls leaf curl
and plum pockets. The next spray is with captan when fruit buds
show color, followed by captan at bloom. When the husks begin to
pull away from the base of the fruit, we would then spray with
sulfur, captan and malathion. This mix would then be used every
10 days or so to within a week of harvest.
For borers on the peach group, you can spray or paint the
trunk only with carbaryl (Sevin) on June 15, July 15 and Aug.
15. We walk a tightrope with the loss of some of the
insecticides since carbaryl can cause fruit drop or thinning on
the peach group and some apples.
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Finish up pruning
deciduous trees and shrubs. Buds are beginning to swell on early
species. Evergreens should be done in June, flowering shrubs
after they flower, and oaks and trees with high sap-flow rates
(such as maples) in December.
Get prepared for
the spring turf preparation season. The recommended dates for
seeding, dethatching and aerating run from March 15 to about
Start your own
transplants. The rule of thumb is to allow about six weeks
before you want to set the plants outside. We are in zones 5b to
6a, with the division running through Springfield.
Look for spruce spider mites. They
begin by mottling needles. They are a major cause of dead areas
in spruce tree foliage. Treat with a miticide if needed.
University of Illinois Extension]