Have you recently noticed those pesky cankers typical of fire blight in your orchard? Fire blight is one of the most common diseases afflicting apples and pear orchards, with around 200 species being susceptible to its damage. Young trees are most vulnerable with complete loss possible in just one season. Even in more established trees, fire blight can kill blossoms, fruit, shoots, twigs and branches. Symptoms can be present in bark, leaves, flowers, and roots from pre-blossom through to blossom and onto fruition.

Fire blight is most adept to happen when trees are in flower, the weather is warm (70-95?), and in humid environments. At temperatures below 70? and higher than 95?, bacterial growth is still present, but grows at slower rates. As a general rule, fire blight is most likely to take root in three weeks following petal fall. This generally happens during May and June in North America. The fire blight bacteria is perpetuated by insects like bees and flies, and can also be transferred during wind-blown rain. Further, diseased cells can survive in plant tissue from one season to the next.

Now, taking this into consideration you may be wondering what your options are to attack this plight, particularly what organic-safe options are out there. Pruning is an option, but presents risks during warmer months where fire blight can actually proliferate from pruning. Fortunately, Enviroselects offers Oxidate 2.0 which can prevent, cure, and even rescue apple and pear orchards from fire blight. Its active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, and this oxidizing fungicide kills bacteria, fungal pathogens and spores present in apple and pear trees. It can also be used for crops including beans, berries, nuts, potatoes, and herbs among others.

After six applications, more than 70% of fire blight bacteria or fungus was under control (BioSafe Systems, 2012). It begins to work on contact with apple and pear plants or trees. It can be applied every 5-10 days for preventative purposes, every 3-5 days for curative purposes, and depending on the crop variety even more frequently for rescue purposes. It can be applied on field crops or in greenhouses to seeds, growing plants, and mature fruiting trees.

Apart from its successes, Oxidate 2.0 also boasts approval from both the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the EPA. It’s safe for both growers and consumers with a 0-day pre-harvest interval, as well as a 0-hour restricted entry interval. With a 2-year shelf life, and no refrigeration necessary, it can also be safely used next season should any fire blight bacteria survive the winter. This product is available right on our website, with further information on the specific pathogens exterminated and related resources.

Fertilizing is not necessary for some plants, as we have seen. But the station plays a vital role since we do not feed the plants in the same way at all times. Generally, fertilizers should be supplied once every six weeks during the spring and summer seasons. In winter periods, the fertilizer is supplied once every ten weeks.

When to fertilize in spring?

In spring, just before the season begins, fertilization favors the regrowth of the plants. The roots are very active at that time and are ready to receive nutrients. They need, therefore, a fertilizer that puts nutrients at their disposal quite quickly. But not in large quantities, because there is a risk in the case of excess use of fertilizer.

A rich fertilizer, of rapid diffusion, with a well-adjusted dose, is what plants need in poor soils and for “gluttonous” vegetables. If you prioritize it efficiently, you can provide organic fertilizer, with a relatively rapid diffusion, such as those presented in powder form. If not, use liquid organic fertilizers or synthetic fertilizers, which act either immediately (be mindful of overdosing) or slowly. Make Biosafe weed control spray mandatory to be used during the fertilization if you need healthy results for your flora.

When to fertilize in summer?

Summer represents the season when the crops are already developed, even the seasonal ones. If they need to fertilize, it will be with a quick-acting fertilizer. You will find in this category chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers, such as guano, or potash in granules. They act immediately, and any overdose leads to burning of the roots.

When the summer is extreme, you can start giving slow fertilizers, from which the plants will benefit during the fall and even the following spring. Rapid fertilizers should not be used on plants that are already beginning to decline, because all they would do is contaminate the soil.

When to fertilize in autumn and winter?

The plants enter a resting period, even if they do not lose their leaves or if they bloom during the winter. For this reason, they do not need to be nourished at this time. The star winter fertilizer is, of course, manure. Put a 5 to 15 cm layer on the ground and at the foot of the crops, which will slowly decompose when plants need it.

With manure, you do not risk an overdose. The best time to use it is during January-February. If we apply it before, the nutrients it contains would be released by winter rains. On the other hand, if it is extended later, it will not give you time to decompose for spring (it will nourish the plants during the summer).

Enviro Selects offers fertilizers made from organic raw material. Attention should be paid to know which fertilizer is the most suitable to ensure optimum plant growth.

BioSafe Disease Control ensures the correct growth and maturation of your fruit trees. Discover the products we have for your plantation. Get in touch with us now!