I do the same thing. I have two sprayers with schrader valves installed. I only fill them half way up and fill with air. My safety valves start to leak sometimes. They could blow up idf the valves got stuck. I can spray till the fluid is all gone that way without pumping. If I fill it 3/4 of the way I’ll be pumping.
I used the rubber ones you pull through from the inside of the tank. It would be nice to have air out in the orchard.
This is not totally new but for three years I have been able to keep the level of damage from Japanese beetles low using neem. There are other options available and some might be more effective but a few of us prefer a method that is considered organic by many. I mostly spray on demand. When a few shows up I do a limited spray only where they are. When the numbers increase like on my muscadines I do a thorough spraying about every five days. My preferred mix is 2 tablespoons of neem/1 tablespoon dawn/1 gallon of water. I use the over counter neem oil sold at tractor supply. I don’t remember how many times I sprayed but I think it was about five. I think they might be gone for this year as I haven’t seen any for about a week.
Ticks are showing up in larger numbers recently. Got to keep my grass cut lower and pants leg tucked into my socks.
i like neem. i just used neem mixed with a little dog shampoo to kill the feas on my 3 dogs. i use it undiluted. usually kills them all the 1st time and is non toxic if they lick it. just don’t spray it on in the direct sun in the heat of the day or it will burn plants.
For the last two years I have let a couple of my goldrush apples hang on the tree until they reached that deep yellow skin. These apples were among some of the best tasting I have ever had straight from the tree. It was only a small sample but I’m thinking that areas with long hot summers might avoid the sharp acid taste by delaying the picking time. In contrast I purchased a large bag from an orchard that was picked earlier and they were good but needed the waiting period to develop their wonderful taste. I would speculate that the ones picked earlier would last longer than my well ripened ones from the tree. I’m not sure this is a real tip or something to consider if your weather allows the extra time. Have any of you delayed picking and if so were they better tasting?
Dealing with fire ants near the trunk. Most but not all my fruit trees are planted on a mound of varying heights. The ants in most cases tend to establish on these mounds most of the time ignoring other areas. I think they like these spots due to quicker dry out after rains and possibly looser soil. My problem is that I’m sensitive about what I use to control ants while they are carrying fruit that I plan to be eating soon. I might be overly concerned but that is my issue. For the last 2-3 years I have been using a neem/water or neem/water/dawn spray in my orchard and I have started spraying the fire devils mound as I proceed. This is where I want to be careful in my conclusion but the ants are either killed or find other places that they like better to set up house. Sometimes it takes more than one spraying for them to evacuate and after a few weeks they will in some cases come back. What I’m talking about is quick relief for us that wants to be as low impact as possible. Perfect it is not but the neem does seem to offer some relief. I would like to hear how you deal with ants around fruit trees. Any comments are welcome.
Exactly how does one tuck his socks into his socks? haha I couldn’t resist, and as the King of Typo errors myself I am entitled to give you a hard time!
Looks like those less than friendly stinging ants will have a surprise this evening!
@clarkinks This is a followup on the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth on ants. I lightly sprinkled some on a few ant mounds. After 1-2 days some ants were present but after a few more days they were gone. Seems to work well for my needs around fruit trees. Thanks for the tip Clark.
After only a few years of growing fruit I think it is safe to say that ripening charts wont work for some years although they are a good place to start. My Korean Giant pears are ripening now and they taste great.
Thanks for the follow-up. I usually use Sevin but if diatomaceous earth works I’ll try it.
Hope it works for you. I have only used it one time but it looks promising.
DE works great on ants, however, one caveat is that DE powder needs to be dry to be effective.
Great tip. Thanks
I rescued 3 sizable citrus trees in pots about 2 years ago and I have been nursing them back to health (left out on the curb in 20 deg temps for one night, I believe). They are pretty robust now and probably needed repotting. So my tip involves repotting large plants for weaklings. I tried it when I was bringing in the trees about a month ago, and waited to post this to make sure they survived it.
I mixed up some compost+perlite+osmocote. I put an auger on my battery powered drill and augered out 4 - 2" holes down to the bottom of the pot, removing the old dirt. Using a homemade funnel I refilled the holes with the compost mixture and watered well. Tada. They survived.
That is a great tip of the day. Totally new to me. Thanks, Bill
Seems to also work best during hot days while they are active.