Summer is an action-packed season for orchards, in which the transition from flower to fruit happens quickly and the harvest can be easily lost or compromised, if the trees are not cared for properly. Find out in this article some essential activities that you must definitely check to ensure the good passage of trees through the warm season.
In order for the trees to maintain their health, to offer you beautiful fruits and not to be attacked by diseases and pests, it is important to pay special attention to them during the summer. Flouring, rapan lice in San Jose are just some of the dangers that wait just a few days of inattention and a little more moisture in the air to attack relentlessly. Here are a few easy steps to take, what to look out for during the summer and what steps you should take to protect your orchard.
Use green cuttings to increase production
In order to stimulate the correct development of the crown and to maintain the health of the trees, the cuttings are made not only in vegetative rest, but also during the summer. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure the balance between the growth of the tree (branches and leaves) and fruiting, to give the shape of the crown keeping it airy and well lit and to improve the quality of the harvest. So don’t hesitate to arm yourself with the necessary tools and clean the orchard.
If it is a warmer year, you can start the works at the end of May, but in general, it is an activity planned for July. At this stage, it is recommended to break the wrongly grown shoots by hand, in areas where the already mature branches of the trees will be embarrassed. For larger cuttings it is good to wait until June — July, when the terminal buds are already formed and production is stabilized.
If some trees grow a lot in branches and leaves, but bear little fruit, it is recommended to cut for lighting or August pruning which consists in removing whole branches, even if they already have fruits already formed on them, in order to limit the number of shoots and stimulation of production. Careful! This procedure is successful if no other cuts have been made in the last 18 months.
Properly section the branches
It is important to know how to make summer cuts to get good results. If you are the new owner of an orchard and it is the first season in which you take care of this maintenance measure, it is good to turn to an experienced specialist who will show you all the tricks.
The easiest part is to identify and cut the injured, broken or dry branches, those obviously affected by disease or that touch or intersperse. Also look for the branches that face the inside of the tree’s crown and remove them, because they will hinder its development.
Always cut at a branch, as close as possible to the base of the branch and try not to injure the bark in that area. On cuts larger than 2 cm it is good to apply mastic to seal the wound and prevent infection with pathogens.
Irrigate the soil if necessary
Although in years with a normal level of precipitation, the irrigation of fruit trees is not necessary, it happens more and more often that the summer is hot enough for the trees to need a supplement of water. Specialists recommend 5–6 annual waterings in dry years, three of which during the summer.
In the months of May — June, the third watering is scheduled, which is meant to support the alert growth of the shoots and which is done in case of drought. You will need to water in July to stimulate fruit growth and differentiate fruit buds, if it hasn’t rained seriously yet. It is completed with an additional watering in August only in the years when the drought is extreme. Avoid watering the trees 2–3 weeks before starting to harvest.
The water must be enough to penetrate up to 40–50 cm into the soil in young trees and up to 70–80 cm in those that are already bearing fruit. Avoid superficial and frequent watering of trees, it will lead to the retreat of the roots to the surface decreasing drought resistance. Exceptions are newly planted seedlings, which in the first year can be watered more frequently until they manage to develop roots deep enough to extract moisture from the lower layers of the soil.
Follow the spray schedule
Do not forget that during the summer there are sprays meant to protect the trees from pests and diseases. Chemicals can be used in the form of powder or liquid solution, using hand pumps or garden atomizer models available in gardening equipment stores.
The treatments used differ depending on the fruit trees you grow, but in general, it is good to know that during the summer it is sprayed against mites, aphids, bacteriosis, anthracnose, San Jose lice, defoliating insects, fungal diseases. , for red staining of leaves and sifting of leaves.
You can easily find information on the Internet about the recommended solutions for each tree species, as well as details on how to prepare the spray substance, with the recommended dilution formula. If this is your first year of tree care and maintenance, it is a good idea to consult an experienced professional or neighbor to familiarize yourself with the details of each step in this process, which lasts 12 months a year and includes very well-planned steps. point.
Postpone spraying if rainy weather, fog, strong winds or storms are announced and always use complete protective equipment, even if it is hot outside (coveralls, boots, gloves, goggles, breathing mask, wide brimmed hat). It is important that the chemical solution reaches only the soil and trees and not your skin. In case of accidental exposure, wash thoroughly with soap and water.