Hi, I’m Tricia, an organic gardener. I grow
organically for a healthy and safe food supply. For a
clean and sustainable environment. For an enjoyable and rewarding
experience. If you grow nectarines or peaches, then
you’re probably familiar with public enemy number one for stone fruit growers. Peach leaf curl! The unsightly red crinkling of leaves in
the spring and yellow dying foliage in the summer
are hard symptoms to miss. Your trees will often cast off the
diseased leaves and push out a second set but that takes
precious energy away from ripening juicy peaches. Peach leaf curl is
typically more ugly then it is dangerous however if
left untreated long-term, it can kill the tree. Wet cool
springs are the ideal conditions for the fungus to spread. In the spring when the bud scales loosen
until the leaves are fully emerged the can be infected by
overwintering fungus. The wet carries the fungus and the cool
weather lengthens the infection window because the leaves take longer to emerge. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do in the
spring to take care of peach leaf curl, however, you can make sure that the tree
is watered thoroughly and fertilized so that it’s not stressed
when its putting out at second set of leaves. I like to feed peach and nectarine trees
with the foliar spray of kelp and liquid fish to stimulate the regrowth of leaves.
Foliar feeding is the best way to get the fertilizer to the tree rapidly. You should also thin
the fruit aggressively so the tree won’t be weakened by trying
to carry too much fruit with its reduced leaf canopy. The only known effective
treatment for peach leaf curl is a preventive fungicide spray in late
fall and winter. Spray as soon as the leaves have dropped. Treat your trees with a fungicide labeled for the control of peach leaf curl
such as this Liqui-Cop fungicide. The addition a horticultural oil, like
the one from Monterey, acts a spreader and can increase the
fungicide coverage in addition to controlling some other
stone fruit pests and diseases. And as always, read the
label carefully and follow all the directions and don’t
forget your protective gear. Even natural products can cause irritants to skin and to the respiratory system. Spray the tree thoroughly to the
point a runoff. The active ingredient of Liqui-Cop is
copper so try to avoid excessive runoff into the soil. Years have repeated heavy copper
fungicide applications can kill soil organisms. A single spray is usually sufficient for control but a
second spray, just before bud swell is a good idea in years with heavy rainfall. If there’s any liquid left in the spray
after you’re finished be sure in dispose a bit according to the
labels on the product, and no contamination of bodies of water. There is nothing better than home grown
peaches so don’t let peach leaf curl ruin your
crop an ounce of prevention will go a long way. Grow organic for life. Thank you for
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