Preventing nectarine 'brown rot' and peach 'leaf curl'...
I need to quickly learn how to best prevent and/or minimize nectarine "brown rot" and peach "leaf curl" for this coming year. Thanksgiving is around the corner, so I need to decide on my action plan asap. I have a dozenish peach and nectarine trees that all got "attacked" with fungii this year, due to the heavy spring rain fall (I guess).
I've researched solutions to this issue and have read UC Davis' IPM page, but I guess I need more layman's terms and instructions geared toward a home orchardist. Here are the general nuggets of info I've consolidated:
1 - I should spray dormant sprays 3 times: once at thanksgiving, once at christmas and once around the super bowl
2 - the spray should be a copper OIL (not soap)
3 - mixing the copper oil with a dormant oil might make it more efficacious
4 - I should be thorough about picking up all diseased leaves, mummified fruites etc. to minimize hospitable fungal sites
If infection does occur, I believe that I am to:
- heavily fertilize with nitrogen and epsom salts in summer to encourage a vigorous flush of new, healthy leaves to replace all the "fungii-ied" ones..thereby bolstering the overall health of the tree and helping it shore up its strength for the next winter's exposure. Is this right?
So here are my related questions:
1 - Is using copper oil and lime sulfur considered "organic?" By this I mean, can I still fearlessly feed my children this fruit or must I scrub it thoroughly to remove all chemical traces of said sprays?
2- Do copper oil and lime sulfur work in concert with one another or is it an either/or solution? If it is either/or, is one better for brown rot?
3 - What should a total newbie wear when applying these products to trees?
4 - What concentrations of copper oil and/or lime sulfur should I buy? ...and how much water should I dilute it with?
5 - Can I spray the actual blooms or fruit with either copper oil or lime sulfur or am I rendering the fruit unhealthful for human consumption at that stage?
6 - Is using Tea Tree Oil (2 T per gallon) effective? If this is used before budswell, is it considered the 4th application or does it take place of the 3rd?
thank you for all suggestions, referrals and advice!
----lucia, CA-SF Easy Bay Area, USDA9 /Sunset 15-ish