Questions Bugging Gardeners This Week
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO PRUNE FRUIT TREES ALONG THE WASATCH FRONT?
As a general rule of thumb, the best time to prune all
fruit trees is after the harshest part of the winter has passed.
WHAT FRUIT TREES SHOULD BE PRUNED FIRST?
All fruits need to be pruned before the sap starts to
flow in the spring. We need to start with the hardiest varieties (such
as apples, pears, plums and apricots). Peaches and nectarines should be
saved until the last. We have found that peaches that are pruned before
the last hard freeze will have significant damage due to the cold.
WHEN DO I PRUNE MY GRAPE VINES?
Grape vines are some of the hardiest plants along the
Wasatch Front that we have to manage. We still need to have them pruned
prior to the major sap flow in the early spring. All grapes should be
pruned by mid to late February along the Wasatch Front.
WHAT ARE THE BEST KINDS OF TOOLS TO USE FOR PRUNING FRUIT TREES AND
(1) LOPPERS for the big branches, up to 1 inch.
(2) HAND SHEARS (BYPASS) for the small branches less
than 3/8 inch.
(3) PRUNING SAW for the bigger branches over 1 inch.
(4) CHAINSAW for any branches over 5 inches.
DON'T FORGET - Your thumb is one of the very best pruning
tools to be used during the summer to remove the young suckers and water
sprouts before they reach 4 inches in length.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PESTICIDE APPLICATION DURING THE SEASON?
Applying the delayed dormant oil just prior to the blossoms
opening is the most important pest control for the whole season. This
is for all fruit trees, grape vines, berries -- anything that might have
scale, mites, or other insect eggs on the trunks of the trees.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO APPLY THE DORMANT OIL SPRAY ON ALL FRUIT TREES
AND GRAPE VINES?
The dormant oil spray should be applied prior to the
opening of the buds. As the buds begin to swell with our early spring
high temperatures, apply the dormant oil which includes oil, a fungicide,
and an insecticide all mixed at the recommended label rates (be sure and
follow the label).
Q. My roses have a white, powdery substance on them. What is it and
what can it be controlled with?
A. This is powdery mildew. Keep water off of the plants.
They do best in full sun, or in morning sun so the plants dry off if they
get any dew on them. Use a fungicide to prevent mildew on new growth.
Benomyl, funginex or Daconil can be used. If you want to try a home remedy,
here is one:
Powdery Mildew Control
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon insecticidal soap concentrate
1 gallon water
Spray on all leaf surfaces
Q. When can I spray for the cherry fruit fly?
A. Wait until the cherries start to get a straw
color or a little pink to them. We have not caught any cherry fruit flies
yet. Check with our TeleTips for more details.
The number is 370-8455 and can be called 24 hours a day.
Q. My apple trees have some branches that look dead and the leaves look
like they have been burned. What caused it?
A. This is fire blight. The only thing that can
be done now is to prune out the affected parts. Cut the branch at least
12 inches below the affected area and sterilize the pruning tools between
cuts with commercial strength Lysol.
Q. How can I control grasshoppers?
A. There are several baits that can be used. One of them
has a disease in it that will control grasshoppers. If there is a vacant
field near your home, it will be very difficult to control them.