Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

November, 2004
Regional Report

Web Finds

Flavored Vinegars and Salad Dressings
For ideas for gifts from your garden, visit these directions for Salad Dressing Using Fruit-Flavored Vinegars. You'll find easy instructions and suggestions for additional flavors of vinegars and salad dressings.

Clever Gardening Technique

Fruit Tree Dormant Spray
If your trees had peach leaf curl, scale insects, aphids or mites during the spring or summer, it would be a good idea to spray them when they're dormant to reduce problems next year. An oil spray can smother insect eggs. Lime sulfur and powdered or liquid copper sprays discourage the growth of fungus (peach leaf curl) and virus. (Choose a copper spray that contains at least 50 percent copper.) On apricot trees, use only copper sprays since sulfur will damage them.

If the rains haven't thoroughly moistened the soil of trees to be sprayed, water them deeply a few days before spraying. The moisture will help the tree absorb the chemicals and move them throughout the tree.

Spray on a cool, dry, sunny day during a windless period to minimize evaporation and drift. Make sure all leaf, branch and trunk surfaces are thoroughly covered with the spray solution. Drenching the soil from the trunk to just beyond the drip line also is helpful. Reapply if rain falls within 48 hours of the application.

Plan your spraying schedule to coincide approximately with cool-weather holidays: Thanksgiving, New Year's Day and Valentine's Day. Specific cues are the fall of the last leaf (Thanksgiving), the height of dormancy (New Year's Day) and bud swell (Valentine's Day). Spraying at the precise period of bud swell is especially important; before the buds swell is too early, and after the blossoms open is too late.

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