Clippings by sk290

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RE: Peach Diseases, preventing (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: olpea on 03.18.2010 at 01:38 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum


Copper is for leaf curl. If you've not seen any strangely curled leaves (they're obvious) in the past you may be fine without a dormant spray of copper. However, you still have time to do a dormant spray, if you get it on soon.

Oil isn't going to do anything for your pectin bleeding peaches, but you can add some as a sticker for your copper (see label for rate).

OFM has been your big problem. It sounds like you haven't purchased any insecticide yet. Your best choice is either permethrin, or Triazicide Once and Done (liquid formulation). They are both equally effective, however Triazicide is sold at most big box stores, and so can be a little easier for a homeowner to acquire. Permethrin is more likely found at a coop(farm store). However, either one can probably be purchased on-line. Permethrin is just called permethrin, but make sure it's a formulation labeled for fruit trees (I bought some permethrin for termites once, and it was 50% active ingredient which is not what you'd use for your tree.) Read the label, it will tell you exactly how to mix it. Spray your insecticide when all the petals fall off your tree. Then spray again 10 to 14 days later (Spray at 10 days if there has been a lot of rain since your first spray. Spray 14 days later if there hasn't been much rain.)

What you do after that depends on how much risk you want to take with your crop. Hman (an experienced orchardist) lives close to you and gets by with just the two sprays. Scott Smith (another regular on this forum) lives in MD a little farther from you and has to control OFM all season long (He does this by bagging his fruit.) In my locale, OFM is very intense, and I spray all season long. So your pest control depends on the level of your pest pressure. If you've never gotten any fruit, I suspect your pest pressure is pretty intense, and will require an extended spray program.


This post discusses spraying peaches for OFM (moths) about March. They bore into the fruit and rots it from the inside out.

Spray with permethrin or triazicide once and done (liquid formulation). Triazicide is sold at most big box stores. Spray at petal fall and then again 10 to 14 days.

clipped on: 03.23.2010 at 12:47 am    last updated on: 03.23.2010 at 12:53 am

Grafting citrus

posted by: sk290 on 01.07.2010 at 08:41 pm in Citrus Forum

Does anybody know if citrus are easy to graft? I wanted to try my hand at grafting and plan on purchasing a small orange plant from Lowe's and grafting a kumquat scion to it. My brother has a nice little kumquat tree that is very sweet but he doesn't know the name of it so I figured that grafting it would be the only way for me to get one.

Also, how do you pick a scion from an existing plant? What do you look for? I'm assuming it's okay to ship now since it's winter. Thanks!



clipped on: 03.01.2010 at 02:33 am    last updated on: 03.01.2010 at 02:33 am

really bummed here

posted by: thomis on 02.24.2010 at 08:16 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I saved links to over a dozen past threads from this forum in regards to pruning, dormant oils and insecticides. I recovered the email where I saved them and clicked on them only to find they are lost. Basically all the data I was relying on is lost. I need to start from scratch.
Has anyone else experienced this?
I'm going to prune my apple trees this weekend and then do a dormant oil spray. I don't think its too late.

The name of the insecticide that folks talked about being most helpful is escaping me. I know it won't be necessary until after the blossoms fall but i'd like to go ahead and get it.


Discussion about dormant oil chemicals
clipped on: 02.24.2010 at 01:15 pm    last updated on: 02.24.2010 at 01:15 pm

RE: apricot polinators (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: marknmt on 12.31.2009 at 03:36 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Hi Celandra-

I'm not Carla, but let me chime in here to say that while you can plant two trees in one hole it's not nearly as much fun as grafting!!

If you want scions for apples, pears, cherries, grapes, or plums send a SASE (two stamps) to Nick Botner, Spearheart Farm and Orchard, 4015 Eagle Valley Road, Yoncalla, OR 97499. (I've posted this information so often that I worry that people will think I work for Nick. I don't.)

Nick's list is pretty big, so it's a good catalog. Some people have intimated that a certain number of his varieties may be mislabelled. I can't speak to that, but feel it should be mentioned. It doesn't matter very much to a rank amateur like myself, but a commercial grower could be set back by it for sure.

Also worth noting: if you have neighbors within say, a quarter mile who are growing a different variety of the same fruit that you are growing there may not be any pollination issues. Around here there's apples, pears, apricots and plums in just about every block or two.

Good luck,



Scions for SASE
clipped on: 12.31.2009 at 06:05 pm    last updated on: 12.31.2009 at 06:06 pm

RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties (Follow-Up #44)

posted by: glenn_russell on 08.08.2008 at 10:47 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Hi All-
My numbers look very similar to Scotts, but I did calculate them slightly differently. As I mentioned above, I counted taste test results (using multiple people) as +2 instead of +1. I also subtracted -0.5 for people dissing an apple. In the case of the Monticello Apple Taste Test, the top 10 performers over the years were each given 2 points.
Sometimes it was hard to tell if someone was voting for an apple, or just talking about it, so sorry if I didnt count your vote/discussion correctly. I also kept peoples names, growing zones, and comments with the apples so as to help people considering a certain variety. Since Ive only been growing apples for 3 years now, Im not familiar with some of the varieties some people called the apples by slightly different names. Hopefully I combined all the votes correctly. Like Scott, this took a while to add up, so there likely are a couple mistakes in the list. Sorted 1st by rating, 2nd by alphabetical. Disclaimer: Once again, there are many other things besides this list to consider when growing an apple (location, soil, disease resistance, etc. etc. etc), this is just one more piece of information that can be used. Sorry for any mistakes. Thank you for everyones participation!!!

Esopus Spiztenberg (7)
+2 Finshed 2nd in Dave Wilson taste test results 7.0 (11-20-98)
+2 Appeared 2nd most often (10 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 dethride 7a / 6b GA

Winesap (7)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+2 Appeared 4th most often (6 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Rosefolly, 9-sunset 16
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 Kandituf 5

Ashmead's Kernel (6)
+ 1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD - nutty flavor in skin is wonderful
+ 2 Finished 9th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.6 (11-19-99)
+ 2 Appeared 4th most often (6 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Hoseman, 7a

Gala: (6)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX- Sweet/tart, best early apple
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
+1 axel_sc z9b - yes, gala, this is a really good, tasty apple, fragrant and balanced, almost unbeatable when grown at home and picked at it's prime.
+2 Finished 10th in Dave Wilson taste test results 6.6 Gala (8-16-96)

Fuji (6)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD- honey apple par extraordinaire if grown well
+1 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX- Sweet, long keeper
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
+2 Finished 1st in Dave Wilson taste test results 7.2 BC2 11-16-01 and also 6.6 (8-16-96)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - See descrip. of Honeycrisp.

Honey Crisp (5)
+2 Finished 4th and 11th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.8 (11-17-00) and also 6.6 (9-4-04)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - For those who equate flavor with its wonderful texture.
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
+1 Kandituf 5

Pink Lady: (5)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Superb sweet/tart flavor, needs long season
+2 Finsihed 3rd Dave Wilson taste test results 6.8 (11-23-04)
+1 Rosefolly, 9-sunset 16 I like this apple best.
+1 axel_sc z9b - hands down one of the best when at its prime, which out here in California when left on the tree all the way into mid January right at the end of leaf drop. It also stores incredibly well, and develops excellent flavor in amateur storage conditions.

Gold Rush (4)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD -unique hard texture and anise flavor
+1 Phase0001 - that said, I only tasted no more than 3 varieties of apples picked fresh from the tree.
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Sweet/tart, stores well
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Battery acid off the tree---heavenly at Christmas and keeps through May if stored in plastic.

Jonagold (4)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - For the new-to-the-game (of apple flavors), it is a very pleasing mix of dead-ripe Jonathan and sugars of Golden. Easy to eat.
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
+1 axel_sc z9b - excellent when grown at home, but I don't recommend this apple to be bought in stores, even the organic store bought Jonagold have no aroma whatsoever and taste pretty much like cardboard. But my backyard jonagolds are simply delicious.

Golden Delicious (3.5)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
-0.5 axel_sc z9b not a fan
+1 dethride 7a / 6b GA

Granny Smith (3.5)
+1 Glenn Russell - Large, firm, crisp and very juicy with a tart, sprightly taste. But, my exposure is limited.
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 axel_sc z9b - no good as a table apple when picked green, but outrageously sweet and incredibly musky and flavorful when picked in early February as the fruits turn bright yellow in color. Yes, they need to stay on the tree at least into January to fully ripen, they are a truly subtropical apple needing a very long growing season. Very few people have tasted a truly ripe Granny Smith.
+1 myk1 5 IL

Cox's Orange Pippin (3)
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
-0.5 dethride 7a / 6b GA

Ralls Genet (3)
+2 Appeared 4th most often (6 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Golden Russet (3)
+2 Finished 12th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.5 (11-20-98)
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7

Grimes Golden (3)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington favorite eating out of hand. very versatile making great sauce,butter,pies. Recommended for cider.

McIntosh (3)
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 myk1 5 IL - has always been my favorite, this and Granny Smith are only store bought apple I'll consider buying. I'm getting another tree.
+1 FrankTank232 Z5 WI McIntosh is my favorite

Newton Pippen (3)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - (Not to eat prior to Jan. 1) At this time, it is simply great, many subtle complexities.
+2 Finished 6th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.7 (11-20-98)

Stayman Winesap (3)
+1 Rosefolly, 9-sunset 16
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington

Sundowner (3)
+2 Finished 8th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.6 (11-16-01)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - The highest flavored of the new "Austrailian" group which can only be grown near the equator (due to extremely late ripening)!

Arkansas Black (2.5)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
-0.5 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 myk1 5 IL - I just wish I could get an apple in good enough condition to age it like when I first planted the tree. I like the taste fresh but not the texture. Hopefully starting to spray late this year will get me at least a few keepers.

Albemarle Pippin (2)
+2 Appeared most often (14 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Baldwin (2)
+2 Appeared (tied) 6th most often (4 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Braeburn (2)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Murder to grow (sus. to every apple problem), but possesses enough complex acids to make it great.
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7

Cameo (2)
+2 Finished 7th Dave Wilson taste test results 6.7 (11-9-02) (though others on the forum were surprised with this)

Cortland (2)
+1 myk1 5 IL McIntosh-like flavor, pluses (oxidation) and minuses (bugs) are not related to flavor.
+1 Kandituf 5

Calville Blanc (2)
+2 Appeared (tied) 6th most often (4 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Empire (2)
+2 Finsihed 5th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.7 (9-13-96)

Gravenstein (2)
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington 2nd favorite eating out of hand. very versatile making great sauce,butter,pies
+1 axel_sc z9b - I just love the fragrance of the Gravenstein, and the juice they make is soooooo good. A real treat this early in the year. by far the most flavorful and aromatic of all of the Summer apples. It's really tasty, and one of the most interesting than all of the Summer apples with all of the smells and aromas. It's a very complex flavor, and I love the uneven shape with the greasy skin. That's the way an apple should be. Too bad it doesn't store so well, there's a rather short window of time when the apple turns from being too sour to just perfect before it goes mealy. Scottfsmith - 7A MD - also very good here but I am still working on finding the optimal picking and eating times.

Hawaii (2)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD improved Golden Delicious
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Holstein (2)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. washington

Kidds Orange Red (2)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD - a sweeter and more aromatic Gala
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Melrose: (2)
+1 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX- large, state apple of Ohio
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - When starved for n., it is one of the finest tart apples I've eaten, otherwise not much.

Pomme Gris (2)
+2 Appeared 5th most often (5 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Roxbury Russet (2)
+2 Appeared 3rd most often (8 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Rubinette (2)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - A sweeter, milder (and juicier) version of Suncrisp, but ripens some 2 weeks earlier.

Spigold (2)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Complex, intense and very juicy (difficult to grow because of its Spy habits).
+1 axel_sc z9b - a really awesome apple, quite late here, taking all the way to thanksgiving before they ripen for me. I've eaten it at tastings too and always liked it very much.

Summer Rambo (2)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington the for best sauce. it's an early apple that if left to mature is very nice to eat out of hand if your into tart apples. pick a bit early and you'll pucker a bit.

White Winter Pearmain (2)
+1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD- this apple has a very pleasant aromatic flavor somewhere in the Mutsu/Golden Delicious realm
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
Virginia Gold (2)
+2 Appeared (tied) 6th most often (4 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
Wickson (2)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD tastes like a peach/apple cross
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Williams' Pride (2)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
+1 Austransplant MD 7 - I have just eaten a William's Pride off my tree here in suburban Maryland near Washington DC. I am pleased with the flavor. I like crisp apples, and WP is crisp with some acidity and sweetness at the same time. Way better than most supermarket apples you can buy. I think WP is a great tree for anyone who wants some good tasting apples in the summer and wants to minimize spraying.

Yellow Transparent (2)
+1 myk1 5 IL
+1 axel_sc z9b - Excellent if picked just right and left on the counter for just a day so it's not mealy, but sweet enough to eat. Then it's like a cross in between a meadow and a lemon tree. But the time window to eat it in between being too astringent and too mealy is so short that it makes me wonder why I grow it, we're talking hours here. So perhaps I might keep a branch or two but grow some other Summer apples on the same tree. The new early strain of "Anna" comes in well before Yellow transparent and is probably better tasting.

American Beauty (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Anna (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

ArkCharm (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Great for about 17.5 mins. off the tree (no storage). Rich and easy to eat.

Berner Rosen (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - simply the most heavenly apple on the planet, I really think it belongs in the McIntosh family, but it's a chance seedling discovered in the woods in Central Switzerland in the 19th Century. It's still the all-time favorite over there. It's highly aromatic, sweet and tangy, just extraordinary.

Blue Pearmain (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Callaway crab (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY - actually an ornamental crab, but it's a favorite for eating out-of-hand, by the pocketful, in my family.

Centenial Crab (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY - this one keeps surprising people when I offer it to them - they hear 'crab' and think it's going to be a sour, astringent thing - NOT! My college-age son is home this week, and he's raving over its taste.

Egremont Russet (1)
+1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD - loads of flavor along with good sweet/sour balance, great texture and beautiful eye candy.

Fameuse (1)
+1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD - a more delicately-flavored version of McIntosh
Freyberg (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Banana-like with a touch of overripe raspberry.

Golden Nugget (1)
+1 Scottfsmith 6B, 7A MD - this is a wonderful apple which comes quite early for me; it is considered an early fall and not summer apple however. It is a Cox x Golden Delicious. It has dense flesh with a lot of flavor and is a very attractive russet as well (the russet is sometimes not covering the whole apple). It doesn't go mealy so fast.

Harlason (1)
+1 Kandituf 5

Hauer Pippin (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - a very late, January ripening apple that is far too tannic to eat in November or December, but it can also be picked early and stores all the way into April. It's delicious, sweet, cidery, and aromatic. I couldn't stop eating mine until they were all gone.

Hokuto (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - While subject to season (requires much sun late), it is a mix of Mutsu acids with Fuji sugars.

Hewes Crab (1)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD - very richly flavored if a little too mealy when ripe

Hudson's Gold Gem
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - When properly picked, it compares to really great european pear (Collette, Magness, etc.). Difficult to grow due to shy production and fruit cracking.

Jefferis (1)
+1 Scottfsmith 6B, 7A MD - this is a very pleasant early apple, with a unique aromatic flavor. Hard to find the picking window.

Jonalicious (1)
+1 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX- Sweet/tart, best apple no one heard of(Stark)

Jon-A-Red (1)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.

Jonerthon (1)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.

Keepsake (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Very shy, but flavor is great on the one apple you get every five years or so!

Kerr Crab (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY while it's a half-sib to Centennial(both are Dolgo offspring), it's a little smaller, more tart, and has crisp white flesh, as opposed to Centennial's sweet yellow.

Monark (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY - a good apple in its own right, and fantastic for an early-season ripener.

Mother: (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

NovaSpy (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Great complexity (which slight vanilla-bourbon) and easier to grow than most Spy sibs.

Orin (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Wonderful in some (hot) seasons, bland in others. A mild pineapple-like flavor in most years.

Pink Perl (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - great pink flesh color, awesome flavor but they need to stay on the tree long enough to reach peak sweetness and then they have to sit on the counter for another week or two to mellow before they are just right. Otherwise, they are too tannic. They don't tend to go mealy too fast either.

Pitmaston Pineapple (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Pristine (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - (PRI's 'Co-op 32'): Excellent flavor and texture, has very nice aromas after it's had a chance to sit on the counter for a week or two and doesn't go mealy. Here in Santa Cruz it's a yellow apple with a very nice red flush. It easily rivals some of the Winter apples when it comes to both flavor, texture and storage qualities. It's got that real apple flavor.

Red Delicious (1)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally. Come January, my best tasting one is RD!!

Ribston Pippin (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Sekai Ichi (1)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Sweet, mainly because it's so big

Shizuka (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - A sweeter and juicier version of Mutsu which ripens about 10 da. prior.

Smoothee Golden Delicious (1)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX - yes it can be very good

Smokehouse (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Spartan (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Suncrisp (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Intense "cox" flavor with more sugars.

Sunrise (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - this one is so so, reminds me a bit of store bought cameos when picked a little early, but they do go mushy more quickly and they lack any aroma whatsoever. They have the stripes that make them look like a Gravenstein, but they are rounder and better shaped than the gravensteins. It's not one I would want to grow.

Sweet 16 (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - expensive bourbon with a shot of vanilla! Much easier to grow up north.

Terry Winter (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Virginia Beauty (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
Virginia Gold (1)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX - Prettiest apple I ever grew:
Virginia Winesap (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
Wealthy (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Whitney Crab (1)
+1 Fruitnut z7,4500ft SW TX - Childhood Favorite

Yellow Bellflower (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Zabergau Reinette (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Matsu (0.5)
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 axel_sc z9b - a thousand times better than any Golden delicious apple, but I'd classify it in the "golden delicious-like" family like for example Hawaii. It's more tangy and complex and aromatic than Golden Delicious. My tree ripened mutsus don't stay in the fruit basket very long, they're gone within a very short time of coming into the house. Everyone in my house loves them. I've bought some at the farmer's market and was sorely disappointed, as they didn't taste nearly as good as what I got off my own tree.

Pink princess: (-0.5)
-0.5 axel_sc z9b - so far, too bland and often mealy, so I probably need to pick them earlier.

Northern Spy (0)
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
-0.5 Applenut - So Calif. 10a - The worst we grow
+1 Hoseman, 7a


Ranking of best apple varieties
clipped on: 12.27.2009 at 12:57 pm    last updated on: 12.27.2009 at 12:58 pm

RE: I give up on growing stone fruit (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: harvestman on 12.18.2009 at 06:42 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

First Spray. April 12 � April 20. Horticultural Oil is combined with the fungicide Myclobutanil (Eagle, Immunox etc). The oil smothers mites and scale and the fungicide controls scab and cedar apple rust on apples. This is actually timed from when apples are at half inch green to tight cluster.

Second Spray. May 8- May 18. The fungicides Myclobutanil and Captan are combined with the insecticide Imidan. The fungicides are for previously mentioned pests and the Imidan is to control several extremely destructive apple pests including plum curculio and coddling moth. This is actually when the last flowering apples have just dropped their petals and no longer have bee activity around them. The date is just a guideline for zone 6.

Third Spray. May 18- June 2. Same materials as second spray except Myclobutinil is only used on apples. 10 to 14 dayst after second spray, once again the date is just a guidline.

That's my basic spray for apples. For stone fruit you can skip the first spray unless you're growing Euro plums, in which case you may need to control mites or scale with oil.

To control brown rot on stone fruit, particularly anything ripening after July, you may need to use a fungicide like Indar or Orbit (Monterey Fungus Fighter). First spray here must be applied about (not later) the 15th of July. If it is rainy another spray will be necessary in 14 days and that is often all it takes, even for late August and Sept ripening plums and peaches. However,if you start to see signs of brown rot later in the season you will need another round. These compounds can rescue stonefruit even after some rot has begun.

Imidan can be hard to come by if it is restricted in your state. It is also difficult to use for small batches (1 TBS per Gallon and you better wear coveralls rubber globes and a dust mask while measuring.) There is a widely available Ortho product that is a synthetic pyrethrin which is highly touted by several who participate in this forum. Maybe someone else can supply the name. You can sub. the Imidan with this. Cornell suggests that synthetic pyrethrins can cause mite flare ups so you may have to deal with that.

If you aren't spraying apples you don't need the myclobutanil.


Spraying stone fruit
clipped on: 12.18.2009 at 07:09 pm    last updated on: 12.18.2009 at 07:09 pm

One Year of Worming: A Retrospective

posted by: mndtrp on 04.15.2009 at 10:33 pm in Vermicomposting Forum

I started my first bin a little over a year ago. It was one of the 10 or 15 gallon Rubbermaid totes that so many seem to start out with. I followed the instructions here, wetting the bedding, being careful with meat and dairy, things like that. The bin was put in my laundry room, and all was well for a while.

Then my bin started to stink. I dug into it, and sure enough, it was too wet. I threw in some more paper, and stopped adding as much food at once. The problem didn't really resolve itself, so I drilled a couple of holes in the bottom of the bin, layered a piece of chicken wire across a couple of small pieces of wood, and tilted the bin. This allowed any moisture to drain to the bottom of the bin, and then out the holes.

Moisture is still moisture, though, and the mites showed up. I determined that the problem was that I was still adding damp bedding to the bin. Most seasoned vets will tell you it's not necessary to continue dampening the bedding, as long as you are adding food with a decent moisture content.

I think it would be beneficial for newbies to tell them that they only need to dampen the bedding the first time only. It's rare I hear of someone having a bin that's too dry.

Anyway, all went well until I was ready to harvest the castings. Dumping and sorting sucks. If I had to do this every time, I would give up on worming. Using lights to drive worms down helped a bit, but it was still a rather boring, tedious, back breaking experience.

Enter the flow through design. This was a godsend. I used a 35 gallon trash can with wheels. This proved beneficial once the can started filling up, since I have a small garage. It was easy to move around to spots that weren't being used, depending on the season. I used threaded rods spaced about a half inch apart, placed about 1/2 a foot above the bottom. I cut out a small section underneath to access the vermipost from the bottom. There was a small lip on the bottom left in place in case the leachate got out of control.

I drilled a bunch of small holes in the lid, and then covered them with some screen I had left over. This screen didn't do much, a the holes were too small for normal flies, but too large to stop gnats and the like. I placed newspaper over the bars, and then dumped in the contents of my rubbermaid bin. I threw in some more bedding on the top, and started to fully enjoy the worming experience.

All was well, for a while, until I had a bunch of yard waste. I didn't have a compost bin, yet, so it was almost entirely thrown into the worm bin. I put in some more shredded paper, as well as some food, and created a small compost bin. I noted that it was heating up, moreso than the normal Summer heat would have caused. I took some Gatorade bottles, filled them with water, froze them, and shoved them into the middle of the bin. I did this for a few weeks, and this seemed to resolve the problem. During a few weeks when the weather was really hot, I used the frozen Gatorade bottles, but only placed them the top of the bin. I did not have a massive die off of worms, and life continued on.

The next minor mishap came about as I was collecting coffee grounds from work. I still did not have a compost bin, so the worm bin was getting the majority. I noticed an ammonia smell coming from the bin, so I added a bunch of shredded paper and cardboard. Crises averted, worms kept on pooping.

For a while, I was freezing food, but then gave up as bugs were going to get into it anyway. I now just keep a container in the fridge for scraps. If the worms have eaten recently, I put the scraps in the compost bin. If they haven't, or if the scraps contain meat, I put it in the worm bin. I don't do any preprocessing, and I'm not concerned with what goes into the bin.

I've put pasta, salsa, cheese, bread, vinegar soaked dill from pickles, pizza, old beer and soda, pistachio shells, weeds, toilet paper rolls, whole rotisserie chickens, turkeys after carving, napkins, socks, onions, garlic, just about anything you can imagine. My worms are still doing just fine.

I let this continue for the year. Once Winter rolled around, I wrapped a blanket around the bin, and started feeding more slowly. Our Winter was pretty mild in Colorado this year, only getting just below freezing. There were several nights where we got close to zero, maybe a few below. The worms slowed down, but still processed food and lived. When the weather started getting nicer, I removed the blanket to find that the bottom section had filled up with liquid, up to the top of the aforementioned lip. I just used shredded paper to soak it up, and then tossed it back into the bin.

After about a year of this, the bin was nearing the full level. I started to remove vermipost from the bottom. This worked great the first time, but subsequent times revealed that the vermipost didn't push itself down to the bars under it's own weight. It stayed pretty compacted where I was unable to reach with the garden hand rake I was using. I found an old broom handle that I inserted from the top in a few places, and moved it around a bit to get the vermipost break up and fall down to the bars. This also helps with aeration.

Sorting the vermipost was still a chore. Since I threw everything in there, there was still a lot of stuff that wasn't finished yet. The pistachio shells, roots from various plants, shredded plastic windows from envelopes, the chicken and turkey bones, other various things that will never break down. There were very few worms, and I didn't see any cocoons coming from the bottom.

So, I took the plastic bag that my oranges came in, dumped the vermipost in, and shook it around. Finished vermipost fell through, which I distributed where needed. The stuff left in the bag was then divided into two piles, one that would never break down which went in the trash, and another that would eventually break down which went back into the bin. This greatly shortened my sorting time, which allowed for more time drinking beer.

Overall, the flow through bin is what I would recommend to anyone getting started. It allows for more mistakes to be made, as well as a greater chance of worms surviving. It has enough mass when full to allow for overwintering, while also allowing the worms to find someplace cool during summer. I've had mites and potworms come and go with no ill effects, and it's unlikely to have either too much or too little moisture. There is no tedious dump and sort methods involved, and the worms seem to be quite happy.

It's been a good time, and I have this site to hold completely responsible in getting to where I am.


clipped on: 11.07.2009 at 12:40 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2009 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for your help! Here's my flow through. (pics)

posted by: nyc_sod on 05.17.2009 at 06:48 pm in Vermicomposting Forum

I built my flow through based on the 55 gallon drum design. I had a large trash can had sitting around waiting to become a rain barrel but decided to make into a worm condo.

I marked and drilled 3/4 OD holes on either side. I used a tape measure and level to make sure they lined up to each other.

I used 1/2 ID conduit (3/4 OD)for the spacers. HD sells them in 10' lengths for $2. I wasn't until I drilled the holes that I realized I needed 11 two foot lengths of conduit. I could have saved $2 by only having to purchase 2 pieces of 10' conduit if I measured the spacing for 10 rods.

I wrapped the ends of the spacers with duct tape so that they would not slip out.

I opted to run the spacers east/west and have the opening on the south side to reduce the load over the opening. It will be a little more difficult scraping sided to side rather than back and forth. Here is a view from the inside.

Here is one looking at the opening. I didn't have a jigsaw so I used my Dremel tool with a cutting bit to make the opening.

It is loaded up with some newspaper ready for some finished compost, veggie scraps and a pound of worms. I will probably order the worms next week to give the 'condo' a breaking in period with the new furnishings.

Total cost was a little more than $6.


Compost bin
clipped on: 10.26.2009 at 06:47 pm    last updated on: 10.26.2009 at 06:47 pm