I have three beautiful peach trees, one nectarine, one apricot and
several other fruit trees. My question is this. I need to spray at leaf
fall with something to prevent peach leaf curl BUT the leaves are still
green and only a few have fallen. Can anyone advise me what to do about
the spraying programme which I have carried out faithfully (with
Dithane) for the past three years and have had some excellent fruit.
If you want to spray when the leaves fall then why not wait, are you
expecting that they will not fall for some reason?
I have always sprayed stone fruit for peach leaf curl with copper just
before budding in late winter when there are no leaves and that works for
me. As for which time, if either, is better I cannot say.
> with which to spray my peach trees, maybe you can advise me as to which
> is the best one to use out of the following: Murphy's traditional copper
> fungicide, Vitax Bordeaux mixture and Bayer's Dithane. They all state
> to spray at leaf fall and again mid February and then 14 days following
> that. Thank you for your reply. Leaf fall is usually in Autumn and I am
> worried that I may leave it too late as I also put one of them into an
> unheated greenhouse when all the leaves have fallen.
For leaf curl, all I've ever used is home made Bordeaux mix and that works
to stop leaf curl in my garden. This past year, I gave the recipe for
Bordeaux mix to a friend who said that she had had leaf curl every single
year and had never had one year without getting it despite supposedly having
sprayed with bought stuff - I have no idea what she'd tried though. Last
time I saw her (about a month ago) I couldn't get away from her because she
just raved on and on about how effective the Bordeaux mix was after having
sprayed this (southern hemisphere) Spring when the flower buds are swelling
and before leaf burst.
I spray in Spring and should also spray in Autumn but often dont' get round
If you're interested, here is the recipe for home made Bordeaux:
Dissolve 100grams of copper sulphate in 3 litres of hot water in a plastic
bucket and set aside overnight. Next day, in another plastic bucket, mix
100 grams of Hydrated lime in 3 litres of cold water and carefully pour the
water off the settled lime into the bucket containing the copper solution.
Add enough water to make up to 10 litres. I soak my trees thoroughly with
Make sure you get the right sort of lime - it must be hydrated, or if you
can't get any, replace the lime with washing soda and follow the directions
as given. This latter mix is called Burgundy mix. I know it won't mean
anything to you, but these recipes are from a well known TV gardener called
Peter Cundall - a living treasure.
I don't know what is in Murphy's mixture, this is an international group,
you cannot count on products that you have being found world wide. I use
commercial copper oxychloride or bordeax, they are very similar being a
suspension of semi-soluble copper compounds.
Leaf curl is caused by a fungus, spraying it is not an all or nothing
prospect. The less you spray (or the less effectively) the more fungus you
get. The more you spray the less you get but you need to take into account
that the environment cannot absorb large amounts of copper indefinitely, it
is a poison (which is why it kills fungus) and it is not destroyed. So I
spray once a year and tolerate a little leaf curl if I miss a bit. There
are probably people who don't need to spray at all because the conditions
don't favour the fungus. So you pays your money and takes your choice.
> don't know how to tell which zone I am in when reading up for advice. My
> fruit trees are all young three or four years old so I don't need litres
> of spray. I put the nectarine and one peach (Meldred) into unheated
> greenhouse over winter as they are in large containers. I have some very
> well rotted horse manure. Should I put it round the trunks (I know not
> to allow it to touch
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