Ontario Fruit Growers

I thought it would be a good idea to start regional chat for those of us in Ontario. Hello from Zone 6a. I am still new to this so keeping a close eye out for pests.

I will try to start this with some resources.

For nurseries the Canadian ones are well documented in this post:

Availability of spray materials is also quite a bit more restricted than in the USA. The best general guide that I am aware of comes from BC:
Fruit Spray Guide - BC


I’m in 6a on the US side of the lake in Michigan. Not many here from Ontario that I remember? I used to do a lot of trades with Ontario growers in the good old days. I met them when we all hung out on garden web. I love my wild Ontario yellow cap. Disease resistant large berries a great black raspberry and fully adapted to our zone. I have crossed it many times to get some new fantastic black raspberries.


Not exactly sure what the protocol is in this thread but I’m interested to see where it goes.

A question on my mind is whether to do a dormant spray. I missed getting it done last spring (weather didn’t work out). I didn’t notice any issues because of it… should I wait until I have a reason to do dormant sprays? A neighbour told me that dormant sprays are all he does and he’s had decent luck for several years. On the other hand, I know lots of old apple trees in fence-rows never get sprays and produce lots of decent fruit.
I’m west of Toronto. Anyone in the neighborhood have thoughts?

I’m near Stratford and I use dormancy spray. Aside from some summer bt, and manual squishing, it’s all I use.
It stops almost all the bug issues on my sour cherries and it not only keeps my pears clean but also took care of leaf mites.
If I’d known it also knocks out sawfly larvae, I might have kept our old red currants. As is, I give the all the currants a hit too and they are doing great.

My thoughts are that it’s cheap, easy to apply and low risk and low environmental impact. If it keeps my main fruit bug pests down to under 10%, it’s worth getting a bit stinky one day a year.

@Viridian :

Hi: do you use commercial preparation or home recipe? Marc

I’m using a commercial one. It comes in 2 concentrated bottles and I mix as much as I need and dilute before spraying. It’s basically just oil and lime sulphur.
With the small size of my garden, it’s lasting for years.

Would you mind telling me the name of the product? Up to last year I have been lucky but this last year bugs have finally found my orchard. Will try dormancy oil next autumn. Thanks! Marc

This is the one I’m using, purchased at our traditional garden shoppe. :joy:

Thanks for the info! Marc

My approach so far is to keep a close eye on pests and then treat as they come. So far the most significant pest has been fireblight which I controlled by removing a badly infected quince. Otherwise I have noticed some OFM in my peaches so will be using BTK this summer to hopefully control. Likely at some point will start doing a dormant spray too but once the need arises. I think @Viridian is our most experienced fruit gardener on this forum, I am a few years behind her. Hopefully will be posting about some nice fruit this year!

@Drew51 Ontario adjacent is always welcome! Have looked at the pictures of your backyard as inspiration to my own!

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Thanks for starting this thread Piblarg, been a while since I posted though I check on this forum fairly often. I love the idea of sharing notes with other growers near me.

I’m in Ottawa, zone 5a, going on 4 years with my mini orchard.

I’ve only ever ordered from Whiffletree. They’ve always impressed me with quality, shipping and customer service so I’ve never bothered going anywhere else. So far nothing I’ve ordered has failed to leaf out, though a few plants have struggled. Did note that they had very little stock this year so I put in an order with them very early, they were out of stock on more than half their inventory in only a couple weeks. I’m going to try my luck growing a peach this year (Veteran) even though peach growing is pretty dicey in my zone. More of an experiment than a really serious endeavour.

I use the same dormant spray and lime sulphur kit as Viridian and I only use it once a year in early spring It’s worked pretty well for me overall in that I haven’t really had any major problems with disease or insects (yet). However I did note that all my apple trees had a pretty bad cedar rust breakout in the late fall due to the cold wet weather.

I also have a potted fig that I keep dormant in my garage. It’s about 2 years old now but I noticed today that all the bud tips are brown and withered. Doesn’t seem like a great sign to me, but we’ll see if it comes back to life in the spring. Garage generally doesn’t get much below zero, though my wife did leave the door open for a few hours on one really really cold day and the temp got down to about -15C.

Anyway very much looking forward to spring.

Make sure it doesn’t completely dry out. If garage attached put it close to a wall that is shared with the house. If not attached, the south wall.

Also to all that do not know it takes about 5 years for all pests to find your orchard or garden. One of the last pests to show up for me is some kind of pepper worm. It is bad too, still trying to figure out exactly what it is? I will, and take care of it.
Add flowers and such that attract beneficial insects. At a minimum it keeps bees around.
Btw I’m 25 miles or 39.6 km from Windsor, which would be south of me, straight down from my location.

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Thanks Drew, I did all those things but it still seemed to kick the bucket. I’ve put it outside now so who knows maybe it’ll surprise me and bud out.

How’re everyone’s trees doing? That cold snap last week was pretty brutal here, the buds on my pears, apples and cherries had just started to swell so I’m anticipating some loss this year.

Some dry weather this weekend so I’ll be starting to prune and spray.

Too bad it looks bad. My figs are mostly still asleep. I just took cuttings off of them for others. At this point I can’t tell if any passed. It looks to me though they are fine. Usually I’m trying to keep them dormant this time of year. Forced to give them light as they start growing. But this year they are still sleeping. A very good thing. I’m very optimistic about an excellent fig season. They will remain in storage for at least the next two weeks. I don’t like to take them out till temps are better. These are subtropical trees.
Stone fruit is starting to swell. Everything looking great. I don’t worry about temps being cold as buds can take a lot of abuse.
My garlic is growing well at this point caring little about the freezing temps. Last year the garlic came out super tasty. Good luck to all. I know all are not in such a sweet spot. I really like my environment. Most years all fruit does well. The northeast of the USA always faces late freezes as their season is well underway. That would be very frustrating.

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Buds here are still early so I am not to worries about loss…yet. last year the late freeze zapped most of my peaches. They were early though. I am hopi g for a great year!

No issue with frost damage here. Everything I care about is still dormant. Still a bit of snow where it was piled up. The crocuses just popped up over the weekend and it looks like it’ll warm up this week so starting to get excited about spring. The brassica that I planted inside are all popped up so I’m hoping the ground warms up soon.

3 in one planting with pf ff-11 and tangos peach in bloom


Just an FYI for everyone in range, Whiffletree is having their clearout sale tomorrow!
Our house is on the market so I’m going to have to wait until next year, ( I should wait, but may cave) but there are some deals to be had if you want to get up early.


I actually went there. Got Harko nectarine on St. Julienne A rootstock, semi-dwarf. It was the main purpose of the trip. Also, got medlar Breda Giant, pair of Kolomitka kiwi ( Pasha male and Victor femaile), lingonberry Koralle, yellow raspberry Anne, rugosa roses. I was there around 8 a.m., some people were there before and many trees were already gone. I think Royal City nursery still has some fruit trees left. I got black Tartarian sweet cherry there just recently. They also still have some Romace series sour cherries, Romeo and Crimson Passion

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