What practices and organic methods are best for disease control on fruittrees. My usual problems are brown rot and worms in peaches and plums. In apples and pears it's usually black spot, fireblight, spider mites, and coddling moths. I think I understand the hygiene practices that help. It seems that a more aggressive approach is needed here.
I start 'knocking' the tree soon after the bloom and continue for awhile to avoid a lot of curculio (the worm found at the pit of the peach when mature). Apparently they lay an egg in the early early fruit set. I think you are supposed to do this with a sheet on the ground to then catch and squish them but I find it works OK to just gently knock once or twice a day.
I look over the trees thoroughly over the winter and prune out dead stuff and scrape all of the bark gently.
I also pile wood ashes against the trunk to prevent borers....when the ashes are wet I smear them up the trunk also.
I pick off mummies and shake to thin the fruit on the tree and then try to pick up as much as I can and throw it off in the woods.
I think peaches are a bit harder to grow organically than other fruit, but well worth it.
We just appreciate them the years they do well and figure they are getting a much needed rest in the years there is no crop.
We've moved away from these trees just last fall...writing this makes me want to go visit them
EDIT...this variety rarely has brown rot although when we have a humid wet summer it's unavoidable. The years they do the best is when there is no killing freeze of course and when it is a wet spring and a dry, low humidity summer...then I water the last month or so before they are expected to ripen.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
good tips! resistant cultivars as noted are you're best bet. several essential oils are also effective for bug and disease control. neem oil is at the top of the list. rosemary, basil, cedar ,clove, citronella oils are also effective. i mix a tablespoon of neem oil to a spray bottle of water them several drops of some of the above mentioned oils. i mix a little different combinations each time i mix up a new bottle. also add vanillin and several drops of dish detergent to help it cling to the plants. i spray at bud break and at first sign of disease or bug damage. i spray weekly until the problem is gone. you can just start to spray weekly all season if you want to be proactive but isn't really necessary. the smell of cedar, rosemary, clove, citronella and some of the others also repel bugs , keeping them from touching your plants in the 1st place. slugs hate cedar oil also. good luck!
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