NOW IS THE TIME
by Eunice Messner
WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN!
My mangos are doing it again- starting to set blossoms. We will probably have another gloriously warm January and then our winter in February will put an end to that with mildew and/or anthracnose. Hope-fully, however, a second blossoming will occur. My Turpentine seedlings seem to be growing better than any other seedlings I have ever planted, so maybe there is hope of growing mangos without a greenhouse.
Iım sure those heavy winds have blown off all the leaves off of your deciduous fruit trees so now is the time to finish fine pruning. (I hope you remembered to do the heavy pruning after your trees fruited) So, now is the time to apply the first of your lime sulfur sprays for brown rot, scab and peach leaf-curl.
Did anyone find the new ultra-dwarf Fuji' apple at Armstrong Nurseries last year? It is suitable for containers, as it only grows to about 5-6' tall and 5' wide. Also look for the Sunshine' Georgia Gem' and Misty blueberries that do well in our area. (There are others too you may try)
Apply a heavy mulch around your trees after you have spread your EZ Green Chicken Compost. The mulch will help to create more winter chill and help to absorb the rain. This is the time of the year that roots like to grow so
they will make use of all the microbes the mulch and fertilizer supply. And if you have used chemicals in the past, it will also help to detoxify pathogens that were not taken care of because of unorganic practices.
According to Malcom Beck, the Compost King of Texas, "Four inches of loose fibrous materials works well. The finer and smaller the particle size, the thinner the layer needs to be. Thick layers of very fine material block air to the roots of plants. As a result, the roots will grow up into the mulch in their search for air, which can be harmful to the plants if the layer of mulch is not maintained.
The shredded branches from tree trimmings and large 2-inch bark would be considered a fibrous or loose mulch. Leaves, either by themselves or mixed with some grass clippings and one-inch bark, would be a medium mulch. When using a medium mulch, the layer should be about 2-inches thick. Half-inch and smaller materials, such as compost or fine screened and double ground bark should be used in a thinner layer, one inch or less."
(The use of bark is suggested for those of you that donıt accumulate litter from your garden. There is no nitrogen in bark so your own litter is always more satisfactory. Kitchen garbage is best employed in making compost.)
Malcom goes on to say, "Science now tells us that the carbon in humus-decayed organic matter in the soil can actually attract moisture from the air on humid days, and that mycorrhizal fungi can collect it and supply the roots of the plants. Also, as the microbes break down organic matter they release carbon dioxide, which is slightly heavier that air. Thus, this CO remains close to the ground before finally diffusing into the atmosphere. When there is an abundance of CO for leaves to feed from, they are healthier and utilize water much more efficiently."