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Re: [nafex] Orchard Article

Let me wade in on this one.  I had four peach trees in Texas where the
humidity and constant rainfall and heat were perfect incubators for all
kinds of fungal diseases and rot.  I started spraying with neem oil after
losing most of the peach crop to rot.  It was pitiful.  The problem was so
bad that it stressed the trees to the point where they defoliated early and
bloomed in the fall.

Here is what I did.  Starting early in the season--a week or two after the
last frost and before the buds broke, I sprayed with neem seed oil.  I
waited until blossom fall and then sprayed every 10 days to 2 weeks for two
months.  I also sprayed the mulched ground under the trees.  The fruit set
was heavy--I had to thin--and all the peaches ripened beautifully.  After
fruit was picked I sprayed the trees again.  I followed this regime for the
other two seasons I lived in Texas.  BTW, since neem seed oil is totally
organic, you can spray up until you pick fruit.  Neem seed oil is used to
make tooth paste and soap in India.

The best way to produce sweet peaches is to make sure all developing fruit
gets sunshine all day.  Prune so the branches spread wide letting in the
sun.  I don't think anything else makes much difference, other than to be
sure there is adequate nutrients in the soil.  Some people say that clay
soil is best for stone fruits, because clay contains and holds (nothing gets
leached) many trace elements and phosphorous.  If you don't have clay soil,
maybe a spray or two with something like MaxiCrop or liquid kelp would help
to add micro-nutrients.  I'd think 2 to 3 sprayings during fruit development
might help.  These are just guesses.

Doreen Howard

-----Original Message-----
From: Ward Barnes <ward_p_barnes@hotmail.com>
To: nafex@egroups.com <nafex@egroups.com>
Date: Friday, November 10, 2000 8:13 AM
Subject: Re: [nafex] Orchard Article

>Will neem oil control brown rot in peaches?  I had the crop of 16 peach
>trees destroyed by brown rot this year.  This included older trees that are
>in decline as well as new trees planted to replace the older ones.
>While I'm thinking about peaches is there anything I can do to increase the
>flavor/sweetness in the fruit?
>Ward Barnes
>coastal zone 7
>Wake, VA
>Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
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