Nobody likes finding a worm in their apples, right? Nonetheless, this happens more often than most people think – so much so that apple maggots inspired one of the most beloved artillery computer games series titled Worms. In it, worms fight other worms using crazy weaponry – everything from bazookas to hand grenades – and repeat crazy phrases that make players laugh. However, worms are no laughing matter in real life and when you have an orchard, it is important to protect it against worms and pests.
Several Steps in the Process
Of course, you cannot expect your spraying to come down to one day of the year, have it all done within an hour or two and expect your trees to bear fruits all year long. If you want to take care of them properly, you need to set up a precise schedule, follow the trees’ development and know what to do once the right time comes.
There are several types of sprays most people use at a precisely determined time of the year. The general-purpose spray takes care of most of your pests and diseases and is usually applied in the summer, while spring is ideal for dormant sprays that manage scale plant insect and fungicide that handles scab disease. Finally, use insecticidal spray once the flower petals have fallen in order to eliminate the pests.
Minimize Pests and Diseases with Properly Timed Spraying
When it comes to serious pests and diseases, one spraying a year will hardly suffice, so a few will be needed. It all starts during the winter pruning when you should apply dormant spray that will protect trees from scale, bugs and over-wintering eggs. The procedure depends on the type of fruit you have, but should be done thoroughly and carefully.
Once the trees are in bloom, apply fire blight spray against bacterial diseases that attack apples and pears. After that, when petals drop, it is the right time to use fungicide – what most experts recommend are natural copper-based sprays.
Finally, once the pollination period ends, you should not wait too long to use pest and disease control and are to do it before the hot summer. In order to avoid bees and cause a problem both to you and them, this spraying is best done in the evening or early morning since bees are not as active at these hours.
What to Use?
Depending on the size of your orchard, there are several pieces of spraying equipment you will definitely need. A number of experienced orchard owners use a poly spray tank equipped with a proper spray pump and mounted on a yard trailer that can easily be pulled up and down the orchard. The pressure in these is strong enough to enable you to reach the highest trees, so you will not be forced to use a ladder.
However, most trees are accessible by backpack sprayers and this is the best option for most people because these are suitable for all kinds of trees and much easier to handle. They are always on your back and you do not have to waste your time and energy pulling them behind you.
In addition to these, you have to use high quality sprays and other chemicals, and always buy your products at a trustworthy store. Trying to save a few dollars by buying an unknown brand will only make your pest-related problems worse and you will accomplish nothing but harm your fruits.
If sprayed on time, your trees will remain healthy, prosperous and pest-free. These sprays may not seem as dangerous as Worms’ bazookas and grenades, but are equally efficient.
By: John Stone
Watch this video for more information on spraying fruit trees: