Now Is the Time
by Eunice Messner
coddling moth Although there have been recent articles in the ‘Fruit Gardener’ addressing many possible ways to control coddling moth, here are comments from our beloved former Orange Countians, the Ponders, Tom and Glenda, who have gone big time into organic orchards in Oregon. In the 2004 season they had an incredible fruit set but nearly 85% of their apples were infected, so they sustained a huge loss. This past year they tried CYD-x spray, which contains a natural virus that kills the coddling moth larvae.
It has approval for organic production. They were thrilled by the results; nearly 90% of their crop was damage-free except for some ‘stings’ causing cosmetic damage but otherwise free of worm penetration.
The bad news is that their one quart cost $300. But then, they have 125 trees planted fairly intensively. Their application rate was a mere 1 ml to one gallon of un-chlorinated water. They sprayed every 7 to 10 days, from the initial hatch of larvae in June through the end of September and still have some CYD-x left over. A fellow grower, who has a good-sized apple orchard with low to moderate infestation, just sprayed during the peak hatches, 2-3 times, and also had terrific results. There appears to be some market competition arising so the price of CYD-x may lessen. Glenda thinks this might be a great ‘group purchase’ product for us to consider. It can also be used on pear, plum and walnut. The product needs to be refrigerated and a spreader-sticker added to the spray.
Glenda and Tom have recently added green houses so they would not have to give up their favorite citrus. Anyone wishing to visit them is very welcome.
cherimoya If, like me, you don’t get around to pollinizing your cherimoya, then you might consider ‘Pierce’ as a good variety. I do hose the tree down mid-morning on hot days when the tree is in bloom. Although this wouldn’t do for commercial growers, I get a fair amount of fruit that is large and fully shaped. Once again I didn’t get over to my neighbor’s yard where my ‘Elixir’ is planted to hose it down. So I only got a few fruit, which, to my taste is superior to any other cultivar. I once had a ‘Booth’ but the heat on my south-facing slope always caused the blossoms to abort. The blossoms on this tree were nearly twice the size of those on my other two trees.
I have a wonderful ‘
People would line up before opening time and pay as much as $3 for the largest ones. We were told by Tom Spellman that he prunes out all of the clusters on his ‘moro’ blood orange. Well, all of mine were in huge clusters and it was very tedious to thin them, so I didn’t. As a result I have a lot of small fruit. But they and ‘Sanguenelli’ have colored up nicely this year.
My navel oranges are jumbo sized and ‘Oroblanco’ grapefruit produced abundantly. I bring ‘Bearrs’ limes to meetings and no one recognizes them as a lime, as I pick mine when they are ripe-yellow. Better flavor at this stage. I like their subtle taste better then that of lemons.