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Treat your garden now to prevent weeds and bugs

Mountain Garden Nursery

 

Red spider mites are just one of the common insects you can prevent by using dormant spray.

Pre emergent or post emergent

A pre emergent herbicide is a product that prevents seed germination. So if you are trying to prevent weeds from growing, put down a product like "Amaze" or "Weed Impede" which will nullify weed growth. Early in the season right after you have weeded an area would be the ideal time to apply. It will not kill anything that is already germinated, so it is great around plants and saves so much money. Figure what it would cost to pay someone to weed that for you. It's so much better to get this down early so that doesn't happen.

A post emergent herbicide takes care of existing weeds. So a product like "Monterey Remuda" is great to kill grasses and weeds already germinated. You can put the two together and spray but there is a product that is already mixed for you, "Monterey 2 in 1", has "Weed Impede" and "Remuda" combined so you kill what is up and prevents seeds from germinating all summer long. You just have to remember not to touch anything you want to keep. Use in non planted areas (driveways, walkways, fence lines, and vacant areas, etc.) I use it all the time and it works. Remember, it is always better to prevent weed growth than to deal with them after they are growing. It usually is a time and money saver.

Dormant Oil Application to Fruit Trees

For home fruit growers the time is here to make annual dormant oil application on selected fruit trees and small fruit species. This is probably one of the most important sprays that can be applied to fruit trees, and one of the least toxic of all spray materials for the homeowner to handle. Dormant oil is a refined petroleum product formulated for orchard tree use. It has been in use for well over a century in commercial orchards, and is still regularly used today. It is classified as an insecticide, and acts by coating overwintering insects hiding in tree trunk and limb bark with a suffocating layer of oil. A second type of dormant spray material is Liquicop to kill overwintering fungus.

The two most important insect species suppressed by dormant oil sprays are red mites and scale. Both are common pest problems in fruit trees. Important to remember is that oil sprays will suppress, but do not always totally control these insects. Additional sprays of insecticides will likely be necessary to control these and other insects during the growing season. However, dormant oil decreases the insect populations by killing overwintering adults and eggs, and thus slows seasonal build-ups. This makes it well worth the extra time and cost.

Dormant oil is regularly used on apple, pear, plum, quince and crab apples. It is also recommended for use on currant and gooseberry bushes. As the word "dormant" implies, this spray should be applied before the buds swell or before new growth starts in the spring. If applied after growth starts, the new tissue can be damaged. Application should be done when temperatures are above freezing (35-45F), and when the weather forecast calls for non-freezing temperatures for at least 24 hours after application. For our area December through February are good target periods. It is important to make thorough coverage when you spray, taking care to spray bark crevices and cracks where insects may be overwintering. Dormant oil can be purchased at any garden center, and is relatively inexpensive.

Peaches, nectarines, apricots and to an extent plums, do not often require an oil spray. However if mites have been a problem in the past, then a dormant oil spray is suggested. More important for peaches and nectarines is a dormant spray containing a copper based fungicide for control of peach leaf curl disease.

For plum pocket disease in plums, apply chlorothalonil (sold as Daconil). Apply these sprays at any time during the winter, but before the buds swell for the new season.

Mountain Garden Nursery is your local garden center located at 503 Curry St. in Tehachapi • (661) 822-4960. They are open Mon. through Sat. 8:30 to 5 p.m. and Sun. 10 to 3 p.m.

 
 

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