Protecting Fruit from Birds

Protecting your orchard from birds is no small task. They want your fruit just as much–if not more–than you, and city living means fewer edible plants to offer them nutrition. Cherries, blueberries, and grapes are their most common targets. We’re in the midst of cherry season and now is also the time to think about … Continue reading Protecting Fruit from Birds

Tent Caterpillars in Orchards

Emerging from a spider-web like tent of white silk and often seen on wild black cherry trees and those of apples, pears, plums and peaches, tent caterpillars are a common orchard pest that can defoliate entire trees in a growing season. Tent caterpillars, as they are commonly known, are members of a family of Lasiocampiadae moths who … Continue reading Tent Caterpillars in Orchards

Oriental Fruit Moth Alert!

  The first Oriental Fruit Moths of the year often appear on our peach trees in early May. Although it is also known as Peach Tip Moth, this pest also affects other stone and pome fruit, and it can cause significant injury to the crop. Oriental Fruit Moth (OFM), also known as Peach Tip Moth, have 4 -5 … Continue reading Oriental Fruit Moth Alert!

Thinning Fruit Trees

This is a reminder that now is the time to thin out fruit on your trees, new and old! FOR NEW FRUIT TREES, planted last fall or this spring, you should remove all the young fruitlets (yes, those little baby fruit have to go). You can use hand pruners or your fingers to pinch them … Continue reading Thinning Fruit Trees

Beneficial Insect Releases for Orchards

Beneficial insects are thought of as any insect that assists in pest control or pollination, without harming humans, plants, or pets. Many organic gardeners will rely on beneficial insects as an alternate or complementary method of pest control, rather than using pesticides. It should be noted that using pesticides can kill all kinds of insects … Continue reading Beneficial Insect Releases for Orchards

Peach Leaf Curl

Check your peach trees! We’re getting a lot of reports and questions again this spring about peach leaf curl on trees around the city. This is a fungal disease that causes leaves on peaches and nectarines to pucker and curl, turning from reddish to yellow to gray and then falling off. It can sometimes also … Continue reading Peach Leaf Curl

Kaolin Clay Sprays for Fruit Trees

Kaolin clay sprays are an important organic orchard strategy used after petal fall to repel many types of pest insects and protect trees from sunburn and high temperatures.  Kaolin clay repels pests by making the fruit tree an unsuitable environment for certain insects to land, feed and lay eggs. The tiny clay particles serve to … Continue reading Kaolin Clay Sprays for Fruit Trees

Compost Tea Sprays for Orchards

Compost tea sprays are one of the best means to improve the health and productivity of orchard trees.  There are three primary application times: 1. Early spring applications of compost tea as a soil drench are used to boost orchard soil life and fertility, resulting in healthier, more resilient and productive fruit trees. 2. Foliar … Continue reading Compost Tea Sprays for Orchards

Dormant/Horticultural Oil Sprays

Dormant Oil, also known as Horticultural Oil, is an oil that is mixed with water and a solvent such as soap and is sprayed on fruit trees and berry bushes and help to control the overwintering eggs of insects. This insects include red mites, spidermites, scale insects, pear psylla, aphids, white flies and other soft … Continue reading Dormant/Horticultural Oil Sprays

Unwrapping Figs and Pomegranates and Winter Dieback

Spring is on the way!  In the garden, it’s time for seeding the first cool season crops.  In the orchard, it’s now safe to unwrap your figs, pomegranates, and other less hardy plants from their winter protection. WINTER DIEBACK.  For the second year in a row, we had a very harsh winter in terms of … Continue reading Unwrapping Figs and Pomegranates and Winter Dieback