December in the Orchard

blistermiteonpearsSummer pests are on the rise. Keep an eye out for unusual leaf shapes or colours (a stitch in time saves nine.) If the comfrey beneath your trees starts to wilt get out there with the hose quick smart! Make sure your fruit trees don’t dry out especially at this time of developing fruits. If you don’t have time then focus on the new trees at least. Stressed out, unhappy trees will not provide big, juicy crops (sorry ‘bout that folks!).
Here’s some things you may be experiencing:

  • Blister mite (pictured): pears. Red blisters on the leaves, rolled leaves, red tinges – spray with Tui Eco oil fortnightly till symptoms desist.
  • Cherry Pear Slug: plums and pears. Holy leaves and slimy black slugs under leaves. Toss wood ash or flour over the tree. It sticks to the slugs and dries them up. For bad infestations also work Neem granules into the soil.
  • Woolly Aphid: grapes and apples. Clumps of cotton wool looking aphids. Spray fortnightly with Neem and for bad infestations work Neem granules into the soil.
    Aphids: citrus. Clusters of black, green or brown insects, curled leaves, yellowing leaves, black soot. Treatment as for woolly aphid.

Give all your fruit trees a seaweed foliar feed this month.

…. and when all is said and done grab a pillow and a blanket and lie down under your best fruit tree for a summer doze.