Mid-Winter Update

This week the pumpkin that was growing in the wisteria fell and started to rot. I think it was probably the last few nights of frost. But I can’t be sure.

The nectarine is about to break out into foliage again after the last few weeks reprieve. I will be watching it closely as it got really bad leaf curl last year before I could get to it.

Handy sprays for the garden

WA Ag Dept spray pdf – very useful.

The chickens have really got into digging around their straw yard and the soil is looking very rich and dark. I plan to shovel some of it out into the garden once there is room for me to put it somewhere! The ground is covered up nearly everywhere.

The native wisterias are really starting to open their flowers up now and are looking great.

The self-sown tomatoes appear to have been knocked back a bit by the frosts and chill of this past week. I took cuttings to strike this afternoon so that I can transplant them into the aquaponics when ready rather than start from seed. I have other seeds from last summer that I will sow for heirloom stock.

Notes found on Leaf Curl treatment.

Here is the story, as discovered by one university in a very good, large study done back in the early eighties, so listen closely:

lime sulfur and oil, applied as per label in December or late November when leaves are about 90% off the tree, gives about 95% control with a single spray. Follow up with another spray about mid February just before they break leaf and you can get about 99%.

Everything else is pretty much a waste of time. Bordeaux gives no better control than plain water, and micronized copper sulfate tribasic formulations (Microcop, etc) only give about 90% with the very best results, usually not that good more like 75%, and believe me, you DON’T want to be applying copper around your garden on a regular basis. You can’t get rid of it and it can cause endless grief in micronutrient land.

Note that this is NOT what most references will say, but field trials clearly showed that lime sulfur and oil was vastly better than any other treatment.

The simplest and oldest solution is the most effective. Most curl problemsreally come from not getting out there at all to spray.

It is really more of a twig disease. The young, unhardend leaves, and only those leaves, get infected as they push past the spores overwintering in the scales. It only grows when the average daily temperature is within a certain range. So you don’t “cure” it by picking off all the bad leaves. The leaves produced under warmer conditions will be free of it anyway. And I haveactually seen it come back when cool conditions returned. And it can kill twigs and young branches when it gets bad and you don’t treat it from year to year. And the spores can last several years resting before they activate and infect. And so you have to spray EVERY year, you will never get rid of it.

I’ll give this a go I think.

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