Controlling Peach Leaf Curl & Feeding Turf

Question:

Last year I  had a big problem with Peach Leaf Curl on my Nectarine tree.  It hadn’t been a problem in previous years.  I’ve been spraying it in January after pruning with a dormant spray. What else do I need to do to prevent this?

Answer:

  • Peach Leaf Curl is a water-activated fungal disease that affects the blossoms, leaves, and shoots of only peaches, and nectarine trees. Curly leaf on other fruit trees is another problem with a different solution.
  • To be successful in curbing Peach Leaf Curl, you need to apply the right product, at the right time and you’ll need some help from Mother Nature.
  • The fungal spores overwinter on the bark and in the cracks and crevices of the tree. The tree bark constricts with cold weather, so it’s critical to get that first application on while the daytime temperatures are above sixty degrees and dry.
    • A Copper Fungicide is the recommended control, and it’s organic. In the late fall around Thanksgiving or when fifty percent of the leaves have dropped off, apply your first application.
    • The second application should be in February when the peach and nectarine buds are just about to open. This is called the ‘Pink Bud’ or ‘Popcorn Stage.' This is when the emerging leaves are the most susceptible to the fungus. Wet, damp weather triggers the infection as the spores wash into the open or opening buds.
  •  The fungus grows between the leaf cells and stimulates them to divide and grow larger than normal, causing swelling and distortion. The puckering is a reddish color as the red plant pigments accumulate in the distorted cells. The thickened areas then turn yellowish and then grayish white, as spores are produced on the leaf surface by the fungus.
  • Usually, the diseased leaves fall off within a few weeks and replaced by new, healthy ones. However, if it's rainy, a second infestation can occur.  If we have dry weather during flowering, then there is an excellent chance that Peach Leaf Curl will be minor or none at all.
  • The development of Peach Leaf Curl ceases when young tissue is no longer developing or when the weather turns dry and warmer. It was quite wet last year. Hence, the problem was widespread while the previous years, it was not.

Question:

I installed a new lawn four months ago. Is it too late to feed it?

  • No. it’s not too late to feed turf. In the fall, lawns are fed once between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Fall is a  crucial time of the year to feed grass as it is at this time that the new grass plants form
  • . Another benefit is that the grass remains green during cold temperatures and doesn’t turn that ugly yellow/brown color.
  • From January through June, I’d feed it twice, every six to eight weeks depending on the fertilizer and skip the months of July and August. Your grass will respond by staying green year round.

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