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If you’re growing fruit trees organically, and you want to prevent fruit tree pests and diseases, you may consider using holistic sprays for fruit trees.
We explored the topic in a recent webinar interview with orchardist and author Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard and The Apple Grower. When it comes to holistic sprays for fruit trees, he has developed a unique approach.
Phillips grows organic fruit at his Lost Nation farm in New Hampshire. He avoids toxic conventional sprays that treat the symptoms of pests and disease problems. Instead his approach is to use holistic sprays that support your fruit trees nutritionally and biologically.
For trees to be healthy and able to fight off the scourges of pests and diseases, they need access to key nutrients like trace minerals and nitrogen. His goal is also to support the microbial populations on the plant surface.
So Phillips has devised a foliar spray, which he calls his “Core Holistic Recipe”, that when applied to your tree’s leaves and branches will help boost tree health and its ability to fight off pest and disease problems.
This mix includes:
Phillips uses this spray liberally in the spring, but for him, timing is key.
First application – Early green growth: Spray the trunk and branches of the tree on a warm day in early spring when the buds have “popped” and green tissue starts to show.
Second application – Just before blossoms are revealed: At this point, pink blossom buds are revealed just prior to the blossoms actually opening.
Third application – After petal fall: Drench your tree, it’s leaves and baby fruitlets with the spray just after petal fall until the point of runoff.
Fourth Application – 7 to 10 days after petal fall. Again drench your tree, its leaves and baby fruitlets with this solution.
(Creates enough to spray a backyard orchard)
THIS IS IMPORTANT: ALL ELSE GOES IN TANK BEFORE NEEM OIL, THEN THAT MIX GETS ADDED LAST.
In a 4-gallon sprayer mix:
Shake your sprayer to mix this up and use the spray on your trees until it is used up. When you reapply, you’ll need to mix another batch.
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Susan Poizner is an urban orchardist and the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards. She is the creator of the award-winning online fruit tree care training program at www.orchardpeople.com and the host of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast. She is also an ISA Certified Arborist..
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