Getting Ready for Fruit Production

March 2014

Dormant fruit sprays can generally be made in early March. A common peach disease I receive calls on in June and July is peach leaf curl. The home gardener is invariably disappointed when told that it can ONLY be prevented with a spray while dormant. Use chlorothalonil, Bordeaux mixture or a copper product. Look into the other spraying often required to prevent common fruit and leaf diseases of stone fruit and apples and be prepared.

Strawberries will need to be uncovered, typically towards mid to end of March. Keep your mulch material handy in case a cold snap comes and you need to put it back on for a couple of nights. Winter protected figs should be unwrapped about this same time. If they leaf out and it is forecasted to go below the mid-20s, consider covering with a tarp.

Most fruit crops should be pruned by mid-March. Some, like grapes, can often wait until the end of the month. Once buds swell you really want to get to it. If flowers open, or they leaf out, it is still better to prune than to skip it. The plant will still benefit.

Source: James Quinn, Horticulture Specialist

James is a specialist active in the central area of the state. He is an avid gardener and enjoys his position to provide advice and programming in horticulture.