Fruit Garden Year (Agralan)

The table below contains information from “The Fruit Garden Year” by Peter Blackburne-Maze who  has been involved in horticulture all of his working life. He grew fruit commercially for many years before specialising in pest and disease control.

The information was published as a leaflet by Agralan. It is reproduced with their permission. As an advertising leaflet the text refers to Agralan products but it also serves as a general calendar for the fruit grower.

There are alternatives to all the advice given and it is up to the gardener to make suitable choices.  It as always best to find ways of keeping pests off crops rather than trying remove the problem. Prevention is always better than cure.

SOFT FRUIT TREE FRUIT
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BIRDS – Put Envirofleece 30 or Enviromesh over fruit bushes if tits etc. are feeding on fruit buds. (Gooseberries are especially susceptible. Alternatively use Buzzline Birdscarer.

STRAWBERRIES – Put Envirofleece or Envirofleece 30 over rows of first year strawberries in late February to advance them.

WEEDS – Put down a mulch of Agralan Permealay around the fruit bushes and cane fruits (except Raspberries) to keep down weeds and help retain moisture. RHUBARB – force some early
rhubarb by loosely covering it with Agralan Permealay.

BIRDS – Put Envirofleece 60 or Enviromesh over small trees if bullfinches etc. are feeding on fruit burns Plums and pears are especially susceptible. Use Buzzline Birdscarer near large trees.

FEEDING – Feed mature fruit trees with  Agralan Guano (7-7-14).

CATERPILLARS – Check that debris (e.g. Leaves) has not formed a bridge over Insect Barrier Glue (grease) bands.

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Many pest and diseases will start to appear.

FROST – Protect flowering gooseberry and currant bushes with Envirofleece 30. This may also give some control of Big Bud Mite on blackcurrants.

FEEDING – Feed bush and cane fruits this month with Agralan Guano (7-7-14).

FROST – Protect peach and plum trees in flower with Envirofleece 60.

FEEDING – Feed young trees early in the month with Agralan Guano.

PEACH LEAF CURL – Covering trained peach and nectarine trees with Envirofleece 60 when in leaf helps to keep this disease at bay. Many pests and diseases will start to appear this month.

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Pests and diseases will be more active now.

GOOSEBERRIES – Enviromesh draped over (and under) bushes may keep the sawfly pest away.

FROST – Be ready to cover bush fruit, cane fruits and uncovered strawberries with Envirofleece or Envirofleece 30 if a frost threatens.

PESTSEnviromesh or Envirofleece draped over all soft fruits at appropriate times will keep many pests at bay.

Many more pests and diseases will be active now.

APHIDS – Renew grease bands with Insect Barrier Glue. This will help deter Aphids by keeping ants away (ants will ‘farm’ and protect Aphids). 

PEACH LEAF CURL – Sac March.

MULCH – lout down a mulch of Agralan Permealay around young trees to keep down weeds and help retain moisture. This may also reduce damage from Pear Midge by restricting the emergence of the adult from the soil. 

FROST – protect flowering pear trees and possibly some apple, with Enviromesh 60.

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FROST – As April.

STRAWBERRIES – Instead of straw, spread Agralan  Permealayunder the plants before the berries touch the ground. This will control weeds, reduce mud splash, deter slugs and help to retain moisture.

POLLINATION – on warm sunny days covers should be removed from strawberries to allow pollination.

VINE WEEVIL – Potted strawberries can be protected by putting a ring of Trappit Barrier Glue around the pots/containers.

IRRIGATION – Swelling fruit is very dependent on an adequate water supply, under dry conditions irrigate the plants using Agralan Soaker Hose.

APHIDS See April (check Insect  Barrier Glue bands for bridging ).

PEACH LEAF CURL – See March.

CODLING  MOTH (maggot control) – Hang Trappit  Codling Moth Traps
in apple and pear trees in mid to late May to catch the male
moths before they mate.

PLUM FRUIT MOTH (maggot control)
– Hang Plum  Fruit Moth Traps in plum/gage/damson trees late in the month (or early June)  to catch male moths before they mate.

FROST – Protect flowering  pear and apple trees with Envirofleece  60.

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FROST – As April, in cold districts.

BIRDS – Protect ripening fruit either by covering with Enviromesh or by putting up Buzzline Birdscarer. IRRIGATION – Continue to irrigate crops during dry periods.

APHIDS – Sac April (check

Insect  Barrier Glue bands for bridging ).

PEACH LEAF CURL – See March.

CODLING MOTH – remember to change the pheromone lure and sticky base in Codling  Moth Traps after 5 weeks (even if very few have been caught). PLUM

FRUIT MOTH – See May.

CHERRIES – Smaller trees (modern dwarf varieties) can be protected from birds by draping Enviromesh over them this will also protect from heavy rain or hail. Larger trees may be protected front bird damage by using Buzzline Birdscarer.

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STRAWBERRIES – After fruiting, feed summer varieties with high potash fertiliser, such as Agralan Guano.

BIRDS – See June.

Prepare ground for new strawberry beds. Covering the area to be planted with Permealay will kill off weeds and conserve moisture.

APHIDS – (especially plums) – See April.

PEACH LEAF CURL – See March.

CODLING MOTH – beware of late attack of Codling Moth. Leave traps in the trees until the end of the month. Insect Barrier Glue ‘grease’ bands will also stop maggots from early windfalls climbing back up the tree.

PLUM FRUIT MOTH – Remember to change the pheromone lure and sticky base in Plum Fruit Moth Traps after 5 weeks (usually early in July).

BIRDS – ripening cherries, peaches, plums and early apples may attract birds. Deter them with Buzzline Birdscarer
or cover small trees with Enviromesh

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STRAWBERRIES – Plant new strawberry beds. Plant through Agralan Permealay to help establishment, control weeds and protect fruit in the next season. Covering with Enviromesh will aid establishment and if the edges are well buried exclude Vine Weevil. During dry periods irrigate using Agralan Soaker Hose.

BIRDS – See June.

CODLING MOTH – Place traps of corrugated cardboard around the trunks of apple trees for the caterpillars to hibernate in. Burn them in the winter. Insect Barrier Glue ‘grease’ bands will also catch some caterpillars.

BIRDS – Ripening plums and apples are attractive to birds. Deter them with Buzzline Birdscarer or cover small trees with Enviromesh.

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STRAWBERRIES AND RASPBERRIES – Protect autumn varieties from cold weather with Envirofleece or  nvirofleece 30 and from birds or rabbits with Enviromesh.

VINES – Protect ripening grapes from birds with Buzzline Birdscarer or by covering with Enviromesh. IRRIGATION – Lift and store temporary installations of Agralan Soaker Hose.

CATERPILLARS – Replace Insect Barrier Glue bands on apple and pear trees to catch winter moth wingless females as they
climb up the trunk.

BIRDS – These often create the wounds in apples pears and late plums which allow wasps in. Deter them with Buzzline Birdscarer or cover small trees With Enviromesh.

WASPS – Protect small trees With Enviromesh or put individual fruits in tubes of old tights. STORING – After picking apples and pears for keeping dip them in Pro-Long to improve their storage life and keeping quality. Only store good quality fruit.

CODLING MOTH – See August.

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Prepare ground for new plantings of gooseberries and currants. Plan permanent installation of Agralan
Soaker Hose
if irrigation is likely to be needed.
STORING– See September.

CATERPILLARS – Check that debris (e.g. Leaves) has not formed a bridge over Insect Barrier Glue (grease) bands.

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BIRDS – See January. Plant new beds of gooseberries and currants. Either plant through Permealay or lay after planting. This will aid establishment, suppress weeds and help pest control. STORED FRUIT – Keep an eye on stored apples and pears and remove any which show signs of rotting.BIRDS – See January.