a better way to spray

digit(ID/WA)August 22, 2009

This might be a better way to spray your flowers. It seems to work for me.

This time of year, the red spider mites move in on the dahlias in a serious way. Thrips can so mess up gladiolas that the flowers won't even open. Earwigs can destroy buds during any month of the growing season. Any bugs on any flower can wreck its cosmetic value. And, cosmetic value is all that a flower has going for it (poor thing ;o).

Flowers present a special problem for insecticide use. We worry about "leaf burn" when spraying plants in bright sunlight. The problem must be worse with every foot in altitude. And, I've seen a fruit tree drop every leaf when sprayed with soap at the wrong time of day. But with a flower - you burn the petals - - easily! It isn't such a great trade-off to rise to your plant's defense only to lose the flowers that you were hoping to enjoy. And, just about any spray that I've used has burned flowers.

My past technique has been to spray as close to sunset as I can schedule. What I've been doing lately is to spray right at mid-day . . . !!

The difference is that the plants are well-watered, dried a little, and then sprayed.

It takes me quite a few hours to complete my irrigation chores. It usually doesn't take long for the plants to dry during the growing season - - then I spray.

The flowers have had almost zero burn doing things this way.

I'm not talking about "hosing them down" first. I've done that for years - washing the spider mites off dahlia plants and then spraying. I suppose it helps the burning some. But, I'm talking about a thorough soaking of the soil as you are probably doing once or twice a week, anyway. Spraying immediately after with no concern about where the sun is in the sky has worked for me.

Just my 2â on the subject . . .


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david52 Zone 6

I have a nasty spider mite infection on my holly plants. Boy, if I try this, and my plants get sun burned, I'll be shaking my fist in a nor'nor'west direction. Or, if it does work, I'll give a friendly wave :-).

On the same subject, last year about this time my winter squash was getting hammered by squash bugs, and so I dug out my jug of expensive organic pyrethrum and mixed up a gallon and hit the squash plants in the morning. About a week later, all the squash I sprayed turned white on the west side - it seems that there is some sort of petroleum based carrier with the stuff that stayed on the plants just long enough to work with the sun to ruin the fruit.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 10:52PM
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Well, David, you can spray after running the irrigation and right at sundown, both. That would be the belt and suspenders way of doing things . . .

Spraying anything practically anytime that the sun is shining must be risky business in Colorado.


(¿wonder where that Ä came from between the 2 and the cent sign?)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 12:36AM
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david52 Zone 6

Here, with tomatoes, I have to be really careful not to disturb the leaf 'umbrella' if they're covered on the plant. If they're already exposed, its ok. But uncover one, its toast.

Yesterday we noticed that the apples on the west side of one of the younger trees were half ripe where the sun hit them, half not-ripe on the east side of the fruit. So we just ate the west half:-) Which reminds me.....

About 30 yards out the bedroom window we have a dozen fruit trees, right now with apples ripening up and ripe peaches, so a fair amount of wind fall and spoiling fruit on the ground. Further down the hill we have a cat tail swamp where reside umpty thousand red-wing black birds. This cat tail swamp is the egress point into the '52 estates if you are a deer, raccoon, fox, or a coyote. So, last night, just about all night, we had one of those critters wading and rustling through the cat tails, setting off all the RWBB squawking, then up into the orchard to munch. Then another critter doing the same thing, and then another, and another. All culminating in a big snarl / growl chorus as they fought over the last rotten peach or something. So I shined a flash light. A whole lot of eyes out there.........

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:18AM
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