stayin ahead of the game - pomme notes
I'm very happy with the progress of my 5 year-old hobby orchard this year. I've managed to nail the timing just right with most of the sprays. PC in particular has been very bad and I lost the majority of my apples the last two years to PC b/c of ill-timed sprays. I nipped PC at just the right time this year, though, and CAR sprays, too. I did have some bouts with FB but not too bad, and I did have to remove one 5 year old Blacktwig on bud 9 due to some disease. The branches were turning black and dying but it was fireblight. All that said...I'm expecting my first significant apple harvest this year, if I can stay on top of it. One other disease I have noticed in years past is rot on the apples beginning about mid July. Its hard to tell from pics on various websites if its black or brown rot, but I do think it is one of them. My question on that is, can I use the same fungicide spray for it that I used for CAR (Rally SP)?
I get the usual leafhoppers, mites and jap beetles but they seem to be failry easy to contend with. I'm reading about a second "cycle" of PC that I may need to gear up to spray for. Can anyone touch on this subject? Also as far as coddling moth, I put the fake apples out a couple years ago and never found any signs of them. I think this may be unusual, though, as most folks say CM is just as prevalent as PC, correct?
I'm pretty excited about one tree in particular, a Smokehouse on mm111. I lost most of my trees on mm111 to collar rot b/c of my wet/ heavy hardpan under my friable loamy topsoil. But this Smokehouse seems very healthy. Its my largest tree, and stands about 16'. I learned that in years past, I pruned this tree much too heavily during my usual February pruning, overstimulating it with a tremendous amount of new growth, so much so that it never even blossomed. I held off on pruning it this past Feb and now it is loaded with apples. Lesson learned; it IS possible to overprune in dormancy.
One last thing, I ran out of the parafin-based dormant oil early March when I did that spray. I had to use what I could get my hands on and it happened to be Volck Oil Spray, which is not parafin-based. It seemed to work better than the parafin-based spray I have used the last 5 years. Can anyone confirm the same experience?