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 and scales.
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
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 director for Logan, Menard and Sangamon counties]