Organic food growers accept this fact that never expect a perfect looking fruit while growing it organic. The picture above is of organically grown apples. There are very few customers who want to eat perfect looking fruits and you can achieve it in the grocery stores. So, don’t get worried about the bumps and spots on the fruits.
Some growers believe that you can’t grow the fruit trees without using the pesticides to keep the fruit disease free. Actually the opposite is true! There are some natural disease control products, which can be used around the people and it doesn’t disturb the environment. While growing the fruit trees organically, you will find many ways to avoid the diseases while staying organic. This phenomena is completely wrong that you can’t grow the fruit trees without using the disease control sprays.
Tips to creating a healthy environment for your fruit trees:
- Research before you plant, and make sure that you try different varieties that are suitable with your place. Try to select the disease-resistant options if possible. For example, never plant anything from the genus Juniperus (which includes Eastern red-cedar) near apple plants, because it can cause cedar-apple rust.
- Soil test. Before starting the planting, you need to test the soil composition and its pH, it gives you complete analysis about the nutrients lacking in the soil. Most of the fruit trees require soil pH from 6 to 7 to provide the best possible fruit. If the pH is too low or high, you need to treat the soil before you plant. If soil is acidic or alkaline, there will be more complications during the growth period.
- Well-drained locations are critical. Low sites that retain water are the prime instigator of fungal diseases and molds, which cause issues like phytophthora and other root rots.
- Soil quality. The percentage of organic matter in the soil will also determine its ultimate drainage and ability to retain water when needed. To check yours, remove four inches of the soil and place in a one-quart jar with a lid. Fill the jar with water and screw on the lid. Shake well, then let the jar stand for 24 hours. The soil will settle into layers: good loam will have about 1.75 inch (45%) of sand on the bottom, then about 1 inch (25%) of silt, then about 1 inch (25%) of clay and about 1/4 inch (5%) of organic matter on top.
- Prune to remove dead/diseased branches, leaves, and twigs from existing trees as soon as you spot them. Dispose of the debris far away from the trees to avoid re-contamination of any diseases. Avoid composting potentially diseased leaves or debris.
If your tree develops a disease, properly identify it so you know what to do:
Here is a useful resource to help identify common issues. Diagnostic Guide to Common Home Orchard Diseases (from UGA) Once you’ve identified the problem, you can address it.
Basic organic pest and disease control for fruit trees:
- Apply an organic fungicide around the time your tree’s leaves are half grown-out. This product is also an exceptional soil conditioner. It combines Actinovate (a professional biological fungicide) with organic iron and humates (a super-compost/soil conditioner that does wonders for your dirt). This helps to control root rot, including verticillium wilt and dollarspot. OMRI-certified organic.
- Serenade® Garden Disease Control is a safe, organic, biofungicide control that can be applied the day up to harvest. A good solution for dwarf fruit trees.
- Insecticidal Soap is the thing to use as on-contact control of aphids, lace bugs, mealy bugs, mites, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, scale insects, plant bugs, sawfly larvae (pear slugs), psyllids, tent caterpillars, thrips, spider mites, earwigs and whitefly. May be used up to day of harvest. Alternatively, you can also choose to use Neem Oil.
- Try Actinovate® Fungicide if your soil is in great shape but you still have a disease issue with a fruit tree. It contains a high concentration of beneficial microorganisms that keep the soil healthy by living off off the plant’s by-products and simultaneously attacking disease-causing pathogens. Actinovate stops common root diseases like verticillium and fusarium wilt, and late blight. Also protects against mildew, leaf spot, shot hole and black spot. This product is safe for use around pets and people.
Read full article at : http://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/article/fruit-tree-care-growing-organic-fruit-trees