Saturday, July 19, 2014

Codling Moth

The orchard is truly beautiful in summer.  This year I have a good crop of apples and pears with a few peaches that did not freeze.  My apple crop looks great and so far I seem to be winning the battle against the codling moth. 

The white powder you see is the kaolin clay.  I will be respraying this week


This year in my county we will have three generations of codling moth to deal with. The codling moth lays its eggs on the fruit.  When the larvae emerge, they burrow into the fuit to eat the seeds.  Larvae exit the fruit and pupate in cocoons in the bark of the trunk. 

I have made the decision to only use organic sprays and have had very good results.  An ideal spray schedule is every 10-14 days until mid-September.  I admit I have never been that diligent but still have relatively few problems.  I have listed the sprays I use.  These are the active ingredients.  I add all these  to a 15 gallon sprayer that goes on the back of our 4 wheeler.  Fill the tank half way with water and add the clay use the hose to help mix the clay and add the rest of the water.  Add the spinosad, neem, and kelp last.  Be sure to thoroughly spray the fruit, canopy, leaves trunk and even base around the tree.

Spinosad:  a bacteria that causes pest to die of nervous exhaustion.  It kills caterpillars, thrips, leafminer larvae, sawflies, and ants.  Non toxic when dry
Neem:  Kills a variety of insects.  The larvae fail to molt, pupae die, and adult are deformed.  Does not harm beneficial insects
Kaolin Clay:  Excellent deterrent for insects and prevents sun scald
Kelp:  foliar fertilizer

If you are having problems with aphids add pyrethrin to the mix

Additional chores in the orchard include removing any suckers and water sprouts, and watering regularly. 

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