Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Just Peachy

I realize I haven't been blogging as regularly as usual.  That's mostly because I've been busy putting peaches in the freezer.  I've mentioned here that there are only about one-fourth as many peaches as usual on the tree, but after hearing how much people are paying for peaches at the local orchards, I realized I have a fortune in peaches out there, and have probably already put more in the freezer than usual.  
We love peaches on our cereal, and that's probably what most of the ones in the freezer will be used for.  They also dress up our little half-cup serving of ice cream nicely.  I sugar them lightly before I freeze them, except for the ones I plan to use in cobbler.  
I thought I did a great job of spraying the big peach tree this spring.  Most years I can't get it sprayed as much as I should because it's too windy or it's raining or rain is in the forecast.  Now keep in mind I am using a plastic, pump-up sprayer, trying to get the spray to the top of a fifteen-foot-tall tree.  There's no way I can do that.  It should be much easier to care for the dwarf trees when they start bearing.
Today I decided to check out the spray schedule for peach trees on the Stark Brothers Nursery website.  You can read all about the care of peach trees HERE, but check out this complicated spraying guide:


A proper and consistent spray schedule is important to the survival of your fruit tree. From diseases to pests, many potential issues can be prevented with spraying before they even begin! To reap its benefits, spraying should be done consistently and thoroughly following the guidelines below.
Before you begin, read and follow all instructions on labels.

General Maintenance

Spray every 11 days with Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray as a preventative measure. Cease spraying 21 days before harvest. No more than 3 applications per season.

Natural Control

  • Serenade® Garden Disease Control can be used for scab, powdery mildew, leaf spot and more.

When To Spray

Dormancy (late winter/early spring before bud break)

  • Hi-Yield® Lime Sulfur Spray for leaf curl, scab and shot hole.
  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide for leaf curl.

Delayed Dormant (when the leaves of the blossom buds are out from 1/4 to 1/2 inch)

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil for European red mites and scale insects.

During New Growth

  • Hi-Yield® Lime Sulfur Spray for blossom blight.
  • Bonide® Fung-onil™ Fungicide for shot hole, brown rot blossom blight and scab.

Growing Season

  • Bonide® All Seasons® Horticulture & Dormant Spray Oil for scale insects and mites.

Green Tip

  • Hi-Yield® Lime Sulfur Spray for powdery mildew.

Full Bloom

  • Bonide® Captan Fruit & Ornamental for brown rot and scab.

At First Sign of:

  • Bonide® Insecticidal Soap for aphids, leafhoppers, mites, thrips, scale insects and tent caterpillars.
  • Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray for scale insects, aphids, brown rot, scab, leafhoppers, mites, powdery mildew, thrips and caterpillers.
  • Hi-Yield® Lime Sulfur Spray for brown rot and leaf spot.
  • Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray for plum curculios, Japanese beetles, mites, scab, oriental fruit moth, aphids, brown rot and coryneum blight.
  • Bonide® Captain Jack’s™ Deadbug Brew for borers, leafrollers, Japanese beetles and thrips (not for use on large trees).
  • Bonide® Total Pest Control for plant bugs, plum curculio, oriental fruit moth, caterpillars, borers and green fruitworms.
  • Bonide® Borer-Miner Killer for plant bugs, plum curculio, oriental fruit moths, green fruitworms and borers.
  • Bonide® Thuricide® Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) for leafrollers and caterpillars.
  • GardenTech® Sevin® Concentrate Bug Killer for aphids, mites, leafrollers, scale and borers (not for use on large trees).
  • Bayer Advanced™ Complete Insect Killer for scale, plant bugs, leafrollers, aphids, plum curculio, oriental fruit moth, leafhoppers, rose chafer, mites, borers, green fruitworm, caterpillars and Japanese beetle (not for use on large trees).

No wonder my peaches don't look like these!

I guess I'll just plan on losing half my peaches to worms for the rest of my life.    

We've had rain all around us for the past week, but we can't seem to summon up more than a tenth of an inch.  I'm starting to get downright grumpy about the situation.  

Changing the subject, I usually go to bed half an hour or so ahead of Cliff.  I always tell Iris, "Let's go to bed!" and she gets right up and follows me to the bedroom.  I crawl beneath the sheets and Iris lays down on her bed on the floor.  Before I even have a chance to close my eyes, she deserts me, heading back to the living room where Cliff is.  She wants all her people in one spot, and isn't about to go to bed until everybody is present and accounted for.  Unless, of course, it's storming.  Then she's hiding in the bathtub long before anybody goes to bed.  Don't you wish it were possible to be able to read a pet's mind just for a few minutes?  I can't help wondering what goes on in that canine head.

The time is approaching when we will need to butcher Jody, since she never did get pregnant while the bull was here.  Her calf, Jenny, is six months old and could be weaned any time now.  We want to take Jody to the butcher shop before deer season gets into full swing, because they don't schedule cattle while they're busy processing deer.  Penny, the calf my readers named, had her last bottle Sunday night.  The first twenty-four hours it was rather noisy around here, but she has settled down pretty well.  She was bawling this morning after she saw me outside, but I went out and gave her a scoop of sweet feed.  That seemed to make her happy.  
Bonnie, my older milk cow, is due to calve in October.  I'm not sure what we'll do after the calf is born:  Bonnie always develops udder edema during the last stages of pregnancy, and her udder has paid a price for that.  One quarter no longer gives milk at all, she had mastitis in another quarter, and her current calf has taken to only nursing one of her two good quarters.  It appears to me that because of her misshapen udder, the calf can't breathe while she nurses the back teat.  We'll see what I can do with her when she calves, but I do not intend to milk a cow twice a day.  If it comes to that, we'll be making hamburger of poor old Bonnie, which means I'll be without a milk cow for awhile.  That's OK, I suppose.  I'm going to be babysitting shortly after Labor Day anyway.  I have Jersey heifers coming along, but it'll be quite a while before they can be bred.        


ingasmile said...

Wow, that spraying schedule is crazy! I can't commit full time to one silly tree! I too will have to live with wormy peaches or no peaches at all if the weather so chooses. We have about 7 peaches on our tree and they aren't ripe yet. I did buy some bonide so will have to get with it next year!!


ingasmile said...
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Anita said...

A friend of mine blogs about gardening and also posted about those difficult, delicious peaches! Coincidentally, I just had some today (store bought in a plastic jar) on my dessert shell with whipped cream...I guess what would be peach shortcake? Anyway, it was SO good!
I'm sorry your cows are not functioning like they should. Funny...I feel for them, but then think about steak and almost salivate. :)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I bought some peaches here the other day and they were dear but very tasty. Due to heavy rains we had earlier in the season, many were spotted and bruised too. You do have a little gold mine there in your tree.