By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager
Growers and their employees have turned full attention to post-harvest management practices such as orchard sanitation, pruning and dormant sprays.
Irrigation is essential to tree health even during the rainy season and while trees are dormant. During the cooler season, almond, pecan, pistachio and walnut trees work to store energy for the coming season. Root activity continues during this time and sufficient water is needed for build-up of carbohydrates and nutrients within the root. Sufficient water availability is necessary to tree roots and must be maintained at a depth of up to five feet. Do not oversaturate as roots also need oxygen drawn from soil pores to remain viable.
Apply Double-Nickel® LC as you irrigate
This is a good time to protect roots with a broad-spectrum fungicide. Use Double Nickel® LC biofungicide as a preventive treatment that attacks diseases with five modes of action. The product is convenient to apply in irrigation water to protect new roots from damaging soilborne fungi before it can impact overall tree health. Double Nickel LC is compatible when combined with most fertilizers and pesticides in the tank mix.
Complete pruning activities. Pruners can better distinguish dead wood and growing limbs now than they can later.
Be sure to sanitize orchards to manage Navel Orangeworm and codling moth.
Zinc may be deficient in trees grown in sandy soils, as well as those grown in drip-irrigated orchards. Applying it now ensures trees aren’t deficient at fruit set next spring.
Complete dormant spraying
A dormant spray should be made before rains come. Use Kocide® 2000 or Kocide® 3000-O fungicide/bactericide spray application in a tank mix now and in the late dormant period. If almond scab is present, a Kocide spray application tank-mixed with oil spray will help delay overwintering scab lesions from producing spores next spring. Plus, the dormant oil will smother overwintering eggs of some mites and scale and other soft-bodied insects.
Post-harvest management pays off time after time. I trust these tips help. In the next issue, I’ll present recommendations for using copper formulations. Until then.