July 2013 Fruit Tree Care
Codling Moth If you have codling moth traps, hang your second trap now. The second biofix will be the day you catch moths for several days (should be around July 1.) Then monitor the hi/lo temperature each day and use the degree day chart; at 200 to 250 hrs, treat the larvae to a pesticide brunch.
Water If you have a drip system, you will want to monitor and probably adjust the system to water more/longer as the weather heats up. Again, don’t over water; check the soil below the drip line of the tree to determine if you’re watering properly.
Aphids…great crop of them this year! Spray leaves with a jet of water to knock them off. Repeat as necessary.
Caterpillars Start watching for leaf rollers and other caterpillars. These caterpillars will start on the edge of the leaf and roll it up to form their cocoon. When you notice these, use Bt to control them. Bt (short for Bacillus thuringiensis) is a bacterium that does to caterpillars what contaminated water does to gringos, only worse. It is a certified organic product. Buy the smallest container on the shelf as you only need about 1 tsp per quart. Also, buy a small spray bottle to use exclusively for Bt; wash out the spray container after each use—the bacteria multiply and can create a real stink after a week of confinement. Bt works on all leaf-eating caterpillars. Follow label instructions.
Check your cherry trees for pear sawfly damage (upper surface of leaves eaten away exposing the vein works of the leaf. I you have to look hard to find a damaged leaf, no problem; if you look at the tree and think “YIKES!” you will need to take action. Use Sevin or other approved pesticide; the organic option is the clay dust spray.
If you have tomatoes, spray them with Bt the last weekend in July as the will emerge around the 1st of August.
Summer has arrived. I’ve harvested my lettuce, peas, garlic and fava beans; I’m replacing them with green beans and yellow snap beans. Tomatoes are 2 ft high and blooming, peppers are just recently in; okra is a few inches tall.
mgj revised 06/25/2013