Spring is here and it’s time to take care of the fruit trees and think about getting the garden started. Fruit trees should have been pruned in the cold of winter but If you didn’t get around to it, you can still do a little pruning before the weather gets hot. Be careful when you fertilize and don’t disturb the soil near the tree trunk. Dig out under the drip line instead.
July is the best time to control codling moth infestation of apple trees by applying a sticky barrier of tanglefoot to the apple tree trunks. It will trap the moth larva, thereby cutting down the moth population next year. You can catch the ones you miss by hanging a can or two of bait in each tree when the apples begin to develop. Use nine parts water, one part honey, one part molasses and a little yeast. Change each week for six weeks.
While it’s still too early to plant, spray your dormant fruit trees with miscible oil. Insects that hatch from eggs the previous fall become more porous in the spring and allow the oil to penetrate. The oil covers the potential pests with a film of oil and suffocates them.
Place a guard of hardware cloth around fruit trees to keep mice from nibbling. Leave an air space next to the trunk, spread a thick layer of newspaper to the drip line of the branches and cover generously with hay.
If you harvest a lot of apples, you have the problem of keeping them fresh for as long as possible. Get them good and cold on the first fall night and store in inexpensive Styrofoam coolers. Apples tend to dry out in the refrigerator, they will retain their moisture stored in these coolers.
To fertilize your fruit trees, loosen the earth around the drip line of the trees and apply fertilizer of choice. Don’t dig near the tree for fear of damaging the roots.
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Published in: Gardening