Starting with dormant oils, these 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
in-season use. Superior oils will also provide control of the mites
The first regular spray of the year is applied when
the green tissue is a half-inch out of the bud. The spray used by
homeowners usually consists of a multipurpose fruit spray — and
sulfur if needed for powdery mildew. Multipurpose fruit spray has
been reformulated to include malathion, captan and carbaryl (methoxychlor
was eliminated from the old mixture). This same mixture would be
used when the fruit buds are in the pink stage, when fruit buds show
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.
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.
[to top of second column]
As expected, things are really bunching up due to the cold
weather during most of March. Spring seeding should be done between
March 15 and April 1 for the best chance of success. The reasons for
the early date are the heat and the long germination time for
Kentucky bluegrass. It can take up to a month for bluegrass seed to
germinate. This means an April 1 seeding might germinate May 1. Then
add six to eight weeks for it to become established. This could then
be close to July 1. Usually we tend to get hot weather by then.
Let's start with the basics. The normal seedings are a blend of
Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fine fescue. The fine
fescue is much better in shade, and the perennial ryegrass will
provide quicker cover. The seeding rate is generally 4 pounds per
1,000 square feet in bare dirt seedings. Use 2 pounds per 1,000
square feet in overseeding thin lawns.
Of course this can run into some real money when doing very large
areas. Many rural seedings are done more on the basis of a pound per
1,000 square feet. There are almost 44,000 square feet in an acre,
so you can do the math on this one.
If you seed grass seed, you can't use a crabgrass preventer.
If you do plan to use a crabgrass preventer, time it so it is on
about the time the forsythia blooms. This would be the approximate
soil and air temperature needed for the crabgrass to germinate.
April 1 is a good guess, but this date can vary widely with the
weather. Many crabgrass preventers last for only four to eight
weeks, so plan on repeating the application in June anyway.
University of Illinois Extension]