Invest a little effort now, for fall and summer fruit success.
Late winter is a challenging season for gardeners. The novelty of winter weather is long past, and you can only sustain so much eagerness with new catalogs and anticipation of harvests to come.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take right now to ensure your dreams of bowls of fresh cherries, hot apple pie, and similar fruit fantasies come true. Late winter is the ideal time to prune and spray your fruit trees – and taking care of these chores now does more to promote tree health and productivity than any kind or amount of work during the active (and busy) growing season.
Pruning gives you a hands on view of the tree’s status; you can solve problems from dead, diseased, or poorly placed branches and get a feel for other pest and disease issues that might crop up.
Dormant season spraying can prevent or reduce the severity of a host of fungal and bacterial diseases that can infest trees and fruit, and control populations of some insect pests as well. Spraying at other times during the growing season my still be needed, but the preventative sprays, done right after pruning, can go a long way to making your summer and fall successful and fulfilling.
Both spraying and pruning are large topics. For more information, ask for our Fruit Tree Pruning and Fruit Tree Spraying handouts.