August in the Orchard

earlydaffsThe earlicheer are flowering beneath the fruit trees and the daffodils are pushing their way through – in another month the orchard will be pretty as a picture!

Copper spraying time is here for those of you that had either blackspot on apples or leaf curl, brown rot or bladder plum on stonefruits. (Only spray if you had a problem.) As soon as the buds start to move spray them with liquid copper, and then again in a fortnight. Keep a sharp eye on them as it all happens very fast and before you know it you’ve got blossom and have missed your opportunity!

This photo is Dan’s Early plum – see how the buds are starting to open, changing to a soft round shape and turning white/ pale green? Compare to the closed buds on the later plums which are still spiky and dark brown.

plum blossom

Give your citrus, rhubarb and strawberries a dose of rotten poo and cover with mulch. As your deciduous fruit trees wake up, give them a dose of Roksolid to support good vigour for the coming season.


  1. Susan Bigelow says:

    Hi kathy,
    many thanks for your beautiful news letter, that inspires me to do better, and learn much.
    I was wondering why my beans weren’t surviving in the garden, now I know it was too cold for them 15 degrees you said hmmm..I put in peas too, but none came up!,but then I think the slugs and snails may have got them.As for the seedlings in the garden centers and shops, they do suggest to us unskilled ones, that its time for them to be planted out ..why else would they be available?? Am I too late to spray the kindergarten apple trees for cooper spray? the coddling moth got them all last year, and year before, what and when and how do I control that, so our children can eat them this year? I am so grateful for you words of wisdom and helps that connect not just to me as a gardener, but touch a deeper part of noticing and being grateful for life’s abundance.keep up the great work Kathy. Love Susan Bigelow.

    • Hi Susan

      Nice to hear from you!
      Peas do very well in the shoulder season. To avoid the slug and bird problem sow them in toliet rolls. Fill the roll with potting mix and stand in a container that fits them all nice and snuggly. Sow peas and cover. Moisten and leave till they sprout (peas will rot if over watered) Once they have four or five leaves plant them toliet roll and all in the garden. This avoids transplant shock and a bigger seedling will beat those pests! Although I recommend scattering some Quash slug bait to be safe.
      Copper does nothing for codling. Codling moth management has a couple of layers to it. Prevention – cleaning up all fallen fruits and using chooks to scratch out overwintering grubs. Management – pheromone traps hung at eye level in your trees late winter early spring to catch moths on the wing. These traps need to be managed to work – ie check them and when the sticky paper is full replace it. Note the first male moth trapped and a fortnight after that spray Dipel to kill the hatching larvae and spray again every 5 or so days for the next 3 weeks. For the Dipel to work the larvae must eat it so be sure to cover the leaves well. Use the traps for a counting lesson! – make a record of when the first moth lands in it and when the peak of the moth season is. This will help you manage your pest well.
      Late summer any larvae remaining will travel down the tree to hibernate. At this stage you can either make sure your chooks are living beneath the trees or make bands of corrugated cardboard and wrap them round the tree trunk. The larvae will cosy up in here until you remove them mid winter and burn them.
      Apples with codling are still perfectly edible, just cut out any rotten bits. The only thing is they dont store because of the holes.
      happy gardening days
      best regards