Latest timing for last holistic spray?
June 27, 2019 03:46PM
Didn't quite get to the last holistic spray this year. What's the latest date (or days from petal fall or fruit set) that a neem based holistic spray would actually be helpful? (or helpful enough to be worth it)

I think there are 2 parts to this question. (1) its effectiveness within the timetable of disease and pest pressures, and (2) at what summer temps does Neem become a terrible idea? i.e., daily temps here are now ranging into the 90's. I could apply in early morning 70's...but that oil would of course still be on the leaves later in the day as temps creep back to 90's, so I doubt an early morning application helps in this regard.

I suspect the time has come & gone. But thought I'd check.

thanks!

Earthworks
Zone 7a in West-Central MD
Re: Latest timing for last holistic spray?
June 28, 2019 09:32AM
These wetter times seem to call for an increase in summertime applications, if anything. Rots and blotch are evermore serious issues, and second generation moth pressure ties in here as well. The pace outlined in the June 2018 newsletter as regards the holistic spray schedule does not shift in light of global warming. Summer apps typically spread to 14 days apart but I wouldn't let off more than that.

This sensitivity issue from fatty acids in high heat can be dealt with in a few ways. Cutting the neem portion of the mix with nourishing karanja oil helps all the time: two parts neem, one part karanja. Cutting the fatty acid rate by half to 0.25% concentration is a summertime option. Spray in the cool of early morning or late afternoon after the sun starts to drop. Spray on a cloudy day so the sun overhead does not function like a magnifying glass held over the wet leaf. In fact, using only karanja (no neem) is a fine choice if you've made significant headway on the moth front earlier and Japanese beetle/ stink bugs are not part of your reality. This continuing emphasis on fatty acids is to feed the surface biology (renewed with EM) which in turn protects from fungal pathogens and shoot blight.

This year's crop is only part of the story with holistic sprays. Foliar nutrition is also being invested in next year's buds throughout the summer months. AEA has even taken to recommending a mid-harvest application of fish and seaweed (Accelerate) to further boost bud vigor in late September. This may make sense in an on-year with biennial-tending varieties, provided you thinned enough to initiate flower buds in the first place. My last spray otherwise is mid-August . . . noting that the fall holistic spray made post-harvest is in truth really the first spray of the next season.

The road goes on forever and the party never ends!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2019 07:27AM by Michael Phillips.
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