Grow Notes - April

For Home Orchards

A soil analysis can reveal deficiencies before planting or after symptoms appear. Magnesium is a primary nutrient that helps regulate the uptake of other plant nutrients. If magnesium is lacking, dissolve magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) in water and apply every two months. Use 1 cup dissolved in water for a 5 gallon container or 2 cups of magnesium sulfate per 1” of trunk caliper.

Spring’s warmth brings an influx of insects, bad and good. Avoid applying broad spectrum pesticide sprays that kill the good guys as well. Follow these 4 steps for best results.

1. Positive pest identification is essential. Experienced nursery professionals and agricultural extension agents are valuable resources in insect identification and control.

2. Observe the new growth to see if damage is still occurring; often pests are gone before a gardener notices.

3. Understanding the life cycle of an orchard pest helps determine the most effective control. Organic solutions like traps, barriers, or predatory controls may be alternatives to chemical sprays.

4. If necessary, resolve the problem with an appropriate treatment. After treatment, damaged foliage remains, so look at the new leaves to see if damage is still occurring.


Q&A: How do I keep my fruit trees free of pests and disease?
Q&A: What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for home fruit growing?

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