Autumn Spraying in your garden
With the change of seasons some of the plants in our garden, like us are more prone to health problems.
There are a few key reasons for this and a good autumn spray program using Organic Copper Oxychloride mixed with Spraying Oil will help protect your plants as they head into winter. The copper controls a wide range of fungal and bacterial problems while the oil helps smoother scale insects, aphids and mites. It also smoothers any insect and mites eggs that have been laid ready to overwinter before hatching next spring.
Both fungal and bacterial counts floating around in the air increase as the temperatures cool at this time of year and can invade our deciduous plants entering thru the small scars left as the leaves fall. These pathogens can also enter thru pruning cuts so I use this same spray combo as soon after I’ve done my autumn pruning as possible. While I give the whole garden a good spray I focus on the fruit trees, citrus and roses. Any stone fruit trees and ornamental cherries get an especially thorough coverage as they are prone to a disease called Bacterial Blast that attacks thru these cuts or leaf fall scars, once inside the stems of the plants it can cause severe damage and can be seen as an amber-coloured gum that oozes out of the effected stems.
Citrus trees also benefit from this spray combination as they are particularly susceptible to Scale Insect, which the oil helps control and the copper controls the unsightly sooty mould that grows on the Scale Insects honey dew excretion. The Copper also controls other fungal and bacterial diseases on Citrus including Verrucosis, also known as Citrus Scab, that effects the fruit skin.
Roses and ornamental trees and shrubs get a good benefit from this autumn spray.
I repeat this spray monthly thru winter.
Lichen on plants create a bit of debate among gardens. Some people like the rustic look and consider it harmless to the plants but I remember a university lecturer telling our class that in severe cases it can smoother the bark of branches to the extent that the bark and the branch eventually die as evident when looking at numerous deciduous trees in parks that have dead branches absolutely covered with lichen. The other reason I control lichen in the garden is because it can harbour overwintering insects and their eggs so I apply a lichen spray midway between the Copper and Oil sprays as they should not be mixed together. Lichen sprays can burn some sensitive plants and flowers so take care not to let the spray contact them.
After a good dose of autumn rain is also a good time to tidy up any broadleaf weeds and Onehunga weed in your lawns as best results are achieved when weeds are growing actively. I also do a general garden weed spray as a tidy up before winter.
General spraying and safety tips.
Firstly read all the spray labels completely and follow all instructions carefully and wear all appropriate safety gear.
Keep children and pets out of the area during spraying and until the spray is completely dry.
Hopefully you rinsed your sprayer thoroughly after its last use but I still put a little fresh water in mine and make sure it’s working properly before I mix the spray in it. You should only spray in still or very light wind conditions and if spraying in light wind and always spray with any light wind behind you so I also use the water trial to see if there is any spray drift.
Avoid spraying in bright sunny conditions.20 February 2020