Once we can depend on the milder weather with temperatures staying above freezing, it is time to start some very important projects in the garden. This is particularly true for those who have estab-lished fruit trees such as apples, peaches and pears in the garden, or possibly a bed of roses.
What Product Do I Use?
Dormant oil spray and lime sulphur, sold together as a kit should be applied before the leaf buds begin to break or open, but only while the tem-perature will be staying above freezing for 3 – 4 hours, to allow for thorough drying. The dormant oil spray kills over wintering aphids, spider mites, scale, pear psylla and some other insects on fruit trees, roses and some ornamental shrubs. “Scale” insects are those immobile, bump-like in-sects often found on the trunks of fruit trees and some shrubs such a Lilac and Euonymus.
Lime sulphur is particularly effective in controlling some diseases such as black spot on roses, pow-dery mildew, apple scab and peach leaf curl.
When to Spray
Depending on the weather, late February to early April is the best time to apply a “dormant spray” to fruit trees, roses and to certain ornamental shrubs that are susceptible to insects and diseases.
Applying the Spray
When applying lime sulphur to roses as a dormant spray, be sure to spray all of the stems and the ground around the plants. This spray will help to destroy the over wintering disease. Lime sulphur and dormant oil can also be mixed together to control certain insects. These are both strong sprays and must be applied while the plants are dormant and before the buds begin to break as they will burn tender young growth. To control black knot of plums and cherries, apply a lime sulphur spray just as the buds break.