Author Article Archive - iguanawebco – Page 2


General Maintenance Of Gardens

  • Wait until after May 15-20 to plant warm season crops and annuals
  • Protect warm season crops with covers if temperature falls into low 40s (floating row covers, hot caps, cardboard boxes)
  • Set out nesting boards for mason bees, drill holes 5/16th inch in diameter, as deep as drill bit (3-4 inches)
  • Watch for aphids, distorted leaves or honey dew, control with fish oil or soap
  • Get to know aphid predators
  • Watch for scale insects
  • Protect new plant growth from slugs, use traps or bait

Plant Specific

  • Thin carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, and onions to about 3 inches between plants (eat thinnings)

Fruit Tree, General

  • Watch for scale insects
  • Spray for scab and mildew if weather moist for 6-8 hours, time dependent on temperature
  • Record bloom dates for all varieties
  • Thin fruit as soon as the fruit begins to swell
  • Monitor weeds for stink bugs and fruit for lygus bug damage

Fruit Tree, Specific

  • Apple and pear, set traps, pheromone or water/molasses for codling moth in apples and pears (see Appendix A for specifics)
  • Apple and pear scab, because of apple and pear scab behavior, if the weather is going to be dry for several days, spray the ground and old leaves with water to cause the scab spores to be released, since it is dry they will not germinate, thus reducing the scab potential when it rains and the tissues are moist
  • Apple and pear: Pink through petal fall; apple maggot; sticky red sphere traps with attractant
  • Apple and pear: 14-28 days after full bloom: codling moth, monitor with traps, timing is critical then control with Ryania & fish oil, Bt, codling moth virus, Trichogramma release monitor. Ryania, Bt, and codling moth virus all can be applied in a single spray
  • Apple and pear scab and mildew: 14-28 days after full bloom:
  • Bordeaux mixture, lime sulfur, sulfur, caution: lime sulfur, disrupts predatory mite populations
  • Apple: post bloom – continue monitoring weather for conditions favorable to scab, fire blight, powdery mildew – continue monitoring codling moth trap and check fruit – continue to examine shoots and leaves for aphids, leafhopper nymphs, tentiform leafminer and parasitism (April and June)
  • Cherry, set pheromone traps for cherry fruit fly
  • Cherry, brown rot, powdery mildew, apply wettable sulfur or Bordeaux mixture
  • Cherry, cultivate under tree to discourage brown rot, apply sulfur 20-10 days before harvest
  • Cherry fruit fly, try predatory nematodes under trees [if soil temperature 60°F (16°C)], keep soil moist, rotenone 5% (Caution: Broad Spectrum Killer) 7-10 days spray from mid-May to harvest.


General Maintenance Of Gardens

  • This month ends bare root planting season
  • Don’t use organic mulches until soil has warmed (early July)
  • Hang new bird nests
  • Record last frost date
  • Keep adding compost, while keeping pile moist, and covered
  • Weed dandelions as they bloom, remove at least top 4 inches of root, less chance of root re-growth
  • Keep up slug and snail patrol
  • Control foliar diseases by using compost spray on roses, apple, pear, cherry, any plant

Plant Specific

  • Since flowers and fruits are nutrient sinks, remove flower heads from daffodils, tulips, rhododendrons, and azaleas
  • Do not fertilize azaleas and camelias until after they stop blooming
  • Plant cool crops of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower before end of April
  • Plant beets, chard, collard, kale, kohlrabi, parsnips, radishes, spinach, and turnips in April
  • Plant potatoes and peas in straw bed (pull straw away, drop potato, cover with straw, maintain straw 12+ inches) prepared last September
  • Start tomato and pepper seeds indoors, plant in six to eight weeks
  • Currant worms may appear on gooseberries and currants, spray with pyrethrin or rotenone if found (CAUTION: Broad Spectrum Killers).
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs (azalea, forsythia, rhododendrons) just after they flower
  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs before they start to put on new growth
  • Lawns, check for European crane fly larvae (called leather jackets), remove 1 square foot of lawn and count leather jackets, if 25 or more use beneficial nematodes

Fruit Tree, General

  • Check trees and shrubs for tent caterpillars, control by pruning out in evening or morning, can use Bt for control if caterpillars are young
  • Graft fruit trees
  • Start looking at plant leaves and stems for insect problems
  • Non-bearing limb? Try “scoring” a knife cut made on the underside of such a limb about ten days after bloom may activate latent buds
  • Spray fruit trees for fungal diseases such as scab, mildew, and brown rot (all fungi), recommend compost tea
  • Mildew spores cannot germinate when there is free moisture and may be killed; plantings with overhead sprinkler systems or frequent water sprays have reduced incidence of powdery mildew.

Fruit Tree, Specific

  • Peaches and nectarines, set pheromone traps or mating disruption lures for Oriental Fruit Moth, first part of April
  • Apples; PRE-PINK: codling moth, begin monitoring with traps, pheromone or water molasses, or Isomate-C. Scale, aphids Safer’s Insecticidal Soap, lacewing, lady beetle release – release early before population build-up
  • Apples; PRE-PINK: control ants with Tanglefoot barrier on trunk
  • Apples; PRE-PINK: apple scab, mildew; compost tea, lime sulfur, sulfur
  • Apples; PRE-PINK: monitor environment for scab
  • Apples; PRE-PINK: leaf rollers, leaf miners; Monitor with pheromone traps, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) when present
  • Apples; bloom (first bloom to petal fall) – monitor weather for conditions favorable to scab, fireblight, bacterial blast, powdery mildew, spray with compost tea
  • Evidence that compost teas control scab, fireblight, bacterial blast, and powdery mildew
  • Apples; bloom (first bloom to petal fall) – in mating disruption orchards, put pheromone dispensers out
  • Apples; bloom (first bloom to petal fall) – continue to examine shoots and bloom for aphids – use soap sprays
  • Apples, pears, plums, peaches; earwigs are predators, to increase the number of earwigs in the canopy, hang clay flower pots, upside-down with tie through the drain hole, stuffed with straw, earwigs will hide here in the daytime and patrol your tree by night (if you do not have earwigs, place straw stuffed pot near compost, check during daytime to see if you have earwigs in pot, if so hang in tree)


General Maintenance Of Gardens

  • Plant cool season crops, lettuce, cabbage, onions, kale, chard,
  • If soil is workable (i.e., form ball of soil in hand and drop, if it cracks open soil is workable)
  • Avoid large-stemmed, more than 1/4 inch diameter, transplants, smaller seedling more likely to develop properly
  • Be sure to rotate crops when planting garden
  • Spread compost over garden and orchard area
  • Fertilize spring bulbs as early in spring as possible
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after blooming
  • Look for scale and aphid eggs, if found, oil spray
  • Fertilize evergreen shrubs and trees
  • No room, try container gardening
  • No room? Plant edibles among flower beds

Plant Specific

  • Prune blueberries, gooseberries, and currants and fertilize
  • Trim heather after bloom
  • Divide dahlia tubers if you did not do so last fall
  • Plant perennial crops, horseradish, asparagus, shallots, chives, and strawberries
  • Plant dahlia tubers and gladiolus corms, stagger planting for longer bloom season
  • Fertilize blueberries, raspberries and cane berries, suggest liquid fish or manure
  • Fertilize ever-bearing strawberries now, then monthly during the growing season. Liquid fish or manure suggested
  • Spread compost over lawn 1/4 inch deep.

Fruit Tree, General

  • Top work grafting can be done now
  • Make sure labels on plants are readable and not girdling limbs
  • Watch for webworms and leaf rollers, if present spray with Bt
  • Sticky traps are available for leaf rollers

Fruit Tree, Specific

  • Spray apricots and other fruit trees (if diseases have been a problem) with copper or lime sulfur plus spreader/sticker at bud swell and repeat once before petal fall
  • Peaches should be pruned at bloom or soon after so that pruning can be adjusted to remove a portion of the crop that would require expensive hand thinning later
  • Cherry, brown rot, powdery mildew, Coryneum blight; Wettable sulfur or Bordeaux mixture or fixed copper 53% Fixed copper, 1 oz metallic copper/ gal water, cultivate under tree to discourage brown rot, also compost tea spray
  • Cherry, control ants with band of Tanglefoot around tree trunk
  • Apple, pre-bloom (Green tip to pink bud) – examine shoots for aphids, leafrollers / fruitworm/ pandemis /tussock moth caterpillars –
  • Monitor weather for conditions favorable to scab, powdery mildew, and bacterial blast, Compost tea spray recommend.


General Maintenance Of Gardens

  • Good time to repair and build trellises, arbors and other plant supports
  • Control lawn moss with ferric sulfate
  • Need a soil test? Now is a good time, check out Soilfoodweb for organism counts, they are important for healthy soil

Plant Specific

  • Prune and train grapes in first week of February (will not “bleed”), make cuttings from one-year-old wood with a minimum of two nodes
  • Prune summer flowering shrubs such as butterfly bush, escallonia, hydrangea, and rose-of-Sharon, roses
  • Prune blueberries and currants
  • Plant perennials, rhubarb, asparagus, and horseradish
  • Start seeds 5-7 weeks before planting of cabbage, broccoli, collard, and kale
  • Start lettuce seeds 3-5 weeks before planting outdoors
  • If soil workable, direct-seed sweet alyssum, bachelor buttons, calendula, clarkia, godetia, sweet peas, snapdragons and California poppies
  • Plant garden peas

Fruit Tree, General

  • Plant bare-rooted fruit trees, berries, and roses if soil is not frozen, the earlier the better.
  • Prune fruit trees.
  • Clean up any plant residue, fallen fruit, dead branches, leaves, prevents disease.

Fruit Tree, Specific

  • First week of February, third spray (copper or sulfur) for peach leaf curl on peaches and nectarines (same as December), you may also use this spray on pears to control pear scab – NOT on apples, apple scab does not over winter on the tree
  • End of February first part of March – dormant oil spray to kill over wintering insect eggs on all fruit trees
  • Cherry; Coryneum blight, fixed copper 53%, 1 oz metallic copper/ gallon of water or Bordeaux mixture
  • Peach brown rot: plots treated with composted lawn clippings, tree prunings, and leaves showed no evidence of brown rot in two pickings in a row in 1994, brown rot affected 20 to 24% of fruit in adjacent research plots treated with manure composts and fertilizers at typical levels


General Maintenance, Gardens

  • Good time to plant bare–root trees and plants if soil not frozen
  • Good time to purchase winter flowering shrubs, Cornus mas (cornelian cherry), Mahonia bealei (leather–leaf Mahonia), Sasanqua camellias, Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet), witchhazel, and Sycopsis sinensis
  • Western Oregon – gather branches of quince, forsythia, flowering cherries, bring in for early bloom
  • Add to compost pile wind–down branches and pruned limbs (if not diseased), should be chopped, the smaller the better
  • Inspect fruit in storage and remove those that are decayed
  • Check stored bulbs, corms and tubers; bad spots on dahlia tubers can be cut out and dusted with sulfur, compost rest with any decay.
  • Clean and sharpen tools
  • Start all motor-powered equipment at least once a month(lubricates all parts)
  • build Mason bee nesting blocks, 5/16th inch holes drilled into 4X4 or 2X4 will do, attend Home Orchard Society event for more details, bees may be purchased from HOS Arboretum Chapter
  • In sunny cold areas, wrap or paint young tree trunks to prevent sunscald
  • Check trees and shrubs for vole and field mice damage, remove plant growth from at least 18″ from trunk, trap if required
  • Got moss? Probably too much moisture, shade, soil compaction, and/or low fertility (see F 13 Organic Lawn Care)Moss and lichen on trees and shrubs is a sign of clean air so leave alone
  • Make 4 season plan (spring, summer, fall and winter) for your garden
  • Make a plan of your current plants in your garden and gradually plant to convert to an edible landscape

Plant Specific

  • Check spruce trees for small green, spruce aphids on last season’s needles, if you do not control now – too late when you see damage in spring
  • Plant peas, sweet peas and potatoes in straw bed (pull away straw, drop seed on soil, cover with straw) prepared in September (see September)
  • Fertilize perennial vegetables (artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb) with well–rotted manure

Fruit Tree, General

  • Prune fruit trees if not too cold (below 45°F, cut out and dispose of any diseased wood, use spreaders on fruit tree branches as needed.
  • Collect scions for grafting, label, and place in airtight plastic bag, keep in dark, moist, cold (33°F) space
  • Look for mite eggs, aphid eggs, San Jose scale – dormant spray if not done in December

Fruit Tree, Specific

  • Spray cherry trees for bacterial canker; use copper fungicide and spreader/sticker
  • Mid–January, second spray (copper [at least 50% or not effective] or sulfur plus spreader/sticker) for peach leaf curl on peaches and nectarines (same as December)

HOS just got a new website!

After 11 years of supporting and maintaining HOS’s online activities, head webmaster Steven Reid will be taking a step back to focus on new opportunities. Steven’s contributions have been profound and we are very thankful for his efforts getting us this far.

Steven will be missed but we are in very good hands. This new website is just the beginning. Check back often for new information, updates on the latest HOS events, and a growing community-driven support forums.

In Praise of the Tripod Orchard Ladder

I know you’ve seen them, and have likely used one, but do you own a Tripod Orchard Ladder? My first memory of such a ladder is that of my Father climbing a tall 3-legged Wooden Monster at a U-pick cherry orchard. He’d toss down fat black Bings to us kids scrambling below.

My frst climbing experience with such a contraption was in the magical orchard of a past friend, Helen Webb, of Yamhill. She’d insist that I maneuver her 12 foot heavy, awkward wooden ladders so their hinged leg always aimed uphill. I then learned to set that extending leg. While standing on the bottom rung, you give the entire ladder a shove forward, in order to break through any hidden gopher or mole holes. Helen had picked cherries throughout her life, accumulating years on these ladders, so I respectfully listened and learned. Quickly gaining an appreciation of their stability, I also realized the necessity of a Tripod Ladder in my Orchard.

Until then, I’d used my four-legged folding stepladder to prune, thin, and harvest my varied collection of fruit trees. Though four legs may appear safer than three, I’d long ago lost track of how many times I’d bailed off that collapsing stepladder! Next project: hunt down and purchase an 8 foot Aluminum Orchard Ladder. They weren’t cheap, even 15 years ago; but that ladder has paid for itself several times over! I’ve used it to: hang wallboard; prop lumber while building a trellis or outbuildings; hang bird houses & swings; and paint the house from a hillside… It’s a marvelous freestanding platform that shows no ill effects from living year-round in our orchard and quickly became one of my most valued tools.

Countless times I’ve been eager to step into a pruning project while visiting a neighbor, family, or friend only to realize my life would soon be in danger as they’d inevitably haul out their prized 4-legged step ladder. I’d do my best… but highly recommend they invest in a real Orchard Ladder. With that recommendation; two of them have recently done just that. After their repeated Thanks,”they now wonder how they’d ever gotten along without one.

If you don’t already have one, do yourself (and your helper) a favor; buy an Aluminum Tripod Orchard Ladder. Their size range varies from 4 to 16 feet, usually increasing by two foot intervals. I inherited a wooden 12 footer, I try to preserve it with linseed oil just as my Grandfather had, but I much prefer my short & light Aluminum Buddy! My 8-footer seems the ideal size, it’s a Tallman brand (made in Hood River, Oregon). It’s of excellent design & quality. Though most I’ve seen work well, I prefer a straight extending pole leg; as opposed to some designs curved near the top.

Today’s hunt for such a ladder should be much easier. I’d suggest an online search, or try Teufels Nursery Supply. Never mind the expense- what’s a re-set collarbone worth these days? And an Aluminum Ladder should last forever,” your heirs may not fight over it, but it just might save one of their lives. Just remember: set those twin legs parallel to a hill, aim that third one uphill, check for gopher & mole tunnels… I can hear Helen now!

Editors Note: Warning! Ladders can be a major cause of injuries. Please be very careful whenever you use a ladder and be sure to read and follow all instructions and warnings on the ladder.

Pome News, Spring 2005

Box Elder Bugs

Joanie Cooper has been bugging me for some time to find a way to control box elder bugs. These are the ones with the red edge to their wings and which congregate in the fall around most buildings.

Note color of the building they migrate to and then paint some old plywood, poster board or similar material with a similar color (yellow or white work well) and coat it with petroleum jelly, tanglefoot, or some very sticky material. Place the trap where ever the box elder bugs are swarming. Place similar traps wherever box elder bugs are trying to get inside buildings. When your traps are full just scrape the box elder bugs off and recoat the trap.

A home remedy to get rid of box elder bugs–30% dish soap and 70% water in a spray bottle. The spray is a contact poison and will kill box elder bugs.

Place nontoxic diatomaceous earth or boric acid powder in the cracks and crevices around your home to prevent box elder bugs from entering. To be effective these material should remain dry.

Diatomaceous earth: Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is an abrasive powder made from the mineral remains of singlecelled aquatic algae. It is like glass slivers and kills by abrading and dehydrating crawling insects.

Another deterrent is to spray WD-40 around windows and other entryways.

Why do box elder bugs come into our buildings? Because our buildings mimic the caves, tree cavities, or other protected spaces where the insects normally congregate to overwinter.

Good Luck!