It’s that time of year again, for the rest of the world spring still feels a long way off. But for the fruit growers, it’s time to start your spring orchard care. On the top of the list of stuff to get done is homemade fruit tree sprays. Today we’re going to show you how to make your own dormant sprays to get your trees ready for the new year.
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When To Spray Fruit Trees
If you are new to the world of orchard care you might be wondering when to spray fruit trees, the answer to that question is before your trees begin to bud. We like to start spraying our fruit trees with homemade fruit tree sprays like dormant oil or dormant spray in late winter and then reapply every 7-10 days.
Exactly when you spray your fruit trees is going to depend on your climate, those in the northern states may need to spray in February or March, while those of us in the southern part of the US. will need to do it much earlier. You need to apply the dormant spray before your tree begins to bud and put out leaves.
If you are new to fruit growing check out this great article from Little House Living.
Why You Should Spray Fruit Trees
One of the things fruit growers struggle with is bugs, just like the gardener bugs can be a huge problem and cause you to lose your entire crop. Sprays like dormant sprays, anti-fungus sprays, and insecticides will help your trees stay healthy and give you a good harvest.
Homemade fruit tree sprays can help you save a little money, and ensure you have the amount you need for your orchard. We have over 30 fruit trees in our orchard so buying small bottles of spray at our local farm store just isn’t practical. It’s much easier for us to make gallons of fruit tree spray at a time (and it keeps us from making dozens of trips to the store).
How To Spray Fruit Trees
Homemade fruit tree sprays are easy to make and help to promote a healthy harvest. When spraying trees there are a couple of safety precautions you should take, even if you are spraying with organic sprays.
- Wear a shirt with long sleeves and pants to cover as much of your skin as possible.
- Wear a baseball hat or other hat with a wide brim to shield your face from the spray.
- Use safety goggles to keep the spray out of your eyes.
- Use a face mask to protect your lungs.
- Wear rubber gloves to keep the spray off of your hands.
Spraying fruit trees is a pretty straightforward operation, mix your spray according to the directions on the back of your package. Or if you are making your own spray, get the mix ready. Once it’s ready to use, fill a backpack sprayer or a bucket and trombone sprayer (if your trees are relatively short you could also use a pump-action sprayer or hose-end sprayer) to apply it to the tree. Make sure you cover as much of tree as you can and don’t forget to spray the trunk.
Homemade Fruit Tree Spray
Now that you how how to spray fruit trees, it’s time to make a homemade fruit tree spray. These are recipes that we use every year on our own fruit trees. I usually switch them up and do a different one every week just to make sure they are covered until the blooms open.
Homemade Fruit Tree Spray: Dormant Spray #1
This homemade fruit tree spray dissolves the waxy shells of bugs leaving them exposed to the elements.
5 Tablespoons Hydrogen Peroxide
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Dish Soap
1 Gallon Of Water.
Mix these ingredients until combined and spray the mixture on your trees.
Homemade Fruit Tree Spray: Dormant Spray #2
This oil-based homemade fruit tree spray will smother any insects on your tree (I even use this on our roses that are prone to aphids).
1 Cup Oil (if you are trying to grow soy-free be mindful of what kind of oil you are going to use many vegetable oils are made from soy).
2 Tablespoons Dish Soap
1 Gallon of water
Mix ingredients and spray on to trees.
Homemade Fruit Tree Spray: Dormant Spray #3
This is an all-purpose dormant spray/pest control for your orchard.
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
A few drops of organic laundry detergent
1 quart of water
Mix and spray on your trees.
Spring Orchard Care
This can be one of the not so fun sides of orchard care, especially when it’s cold outside and you’re hauling a sloshing bucket of spray around. But trust me, you’ll be so glad you did! These homemade fruit tree sprays are a great way to get you on the road to a successful year and head off the bug damage you normally see.
Before you go, check these out!