July in Your Garden

  1. Keeping Your Espalier in Tip Top Shape

    Keeping Your Espalier in Tip Top Shape
    Fruits trained as a cordon, espalier or dwarf pyramid (3-dimensional espalier) are best pruned in the summer to keep unwanted vigorous shoots controlled. If you keep up with the summer pruning, you won’t have to do any winter pruning, except winter damage. In all espalier forms remove unwanted vigorous shoots at the point of origin. For apples, pears and other...
  2. Tips for Pruning: Keep It Light!

    Grape pruning (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Trees and shrubs, keep pruning light this time of year, removing no more than ¼ of the live branches. Thin out water sprout wood before it gets very big, unless you are planning to collect some scion wood for grafting. Summer pruning has a dwarfing effect and is useful in controlling the size of...
  3. Irrigation practices during July heat

    Furrow irrigation system using siphon tubes (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Adjust water rates as necessary to keep up with plant demand without keeping the soil constantly saturated. Always check the soil 4-6” deep, rather than on the surface, before irrigating. A finger poked into the ground does not sense wet or dry well, but does sense temperature. If the soil...
  4. Protect your trees from breakage

    English: Fruit tree branch, 55218 Ingelheim, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Support heavily laden branches of your fruit trees to prevent breakage of main limbs. Thin the fruit from the terminal end of the branch to reduce leverage that could cause damage. Over bearing of fruit can result in an excess energy drain on the tree. The tree may then...
  5. Take care of anthracnose lesions

    English: Apple twigs with symptoms of bull's-eye rot infection caused by Neofabraea malicorticis. This disease is also sometimes referred to as the northwestern anthracnose canker. Image citation: H.J. Larsen, Bugwood.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia) If you have anthracnose lesions in the bark of your apple tree you can cauterize or excise new infections once the weather has dried out. To...
  6. Dealing with Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila Suzuki)

    Dealing with Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila Suzuki)
    Spotted Wing Drosophila, Drosophila Suzuki, is a new pest of concern along the west coast of the United States. First identified in California in 2009, it has now been identified north to B.C. Canada in many areas along the I-5 corridor. Hot dry summers are expected to limit its spread into the interior portions of the country. It is a...
  7. Plant Only If Temps Are Below the Mid-80s

    Dead plant in pots (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Potted plants can be planted out, with care, if the temperatures are not above the mid-80’s. Otherwise, maintain your potted plants in a location that provides as much sun as they will tolerate, (some may need partial shade) until summer weather has moderated and you can plant. If your area has warmed...
  8. Apple maggot and codling moth

    A bowl of gravenstein apples showing the effects of codling moth larva. The larvae feed especially on the protein rich seeds, which explains why the core of the cut apples have been almost completely eaten away. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Monitor both apple maggot and codling moth traps to determine when insect populations are increasing throughout the fruit development season...
  9. Dealing with powdery mildew and botrytis

    Powdery mildew (shown here on white wine grapes). (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Some varieties of grapes, apples, gooseberry, currants and other fruits are susceptible to powdery mildew. There are chemical fungicide sprays available at your local nursery, or you may want to try the recipe on page 22 in our Raintree Owner’s manual. You can achieve a reasonable level of...
  10. July: keep the good work going and growing

    July: keep the good work going and growing
    Summer has arrived, the lush growth of spring and early summer surrounds us; here are some tips to guide that growth where you want it: Put spreaders in narrow crotches of well placed new shoots on your young fruit trees. A wooden clothes pin is effective for smaller shoots, the 4” pointed spreader (T610) will work for branches larger than ½-inch. A sandwich...

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