Growing organic pears (Pyrus spp.) differs from regular pear production in three critical areas: fertilizing, controlling pear pests — most significantly the codling moth — and controlling common pear diseases like fire blight. Technology has put synthetic and chemically based products at the disposal of gardeners, and while these formulations make raising fruit trees easier, the quality of the fruit and condition of the planet diminish. Start preparing for your organic orchard long before you plant your pear tree by beginning a compost pile in the backyard to provide organic amendments for your soil and mulch for your trees.
1. The initial step is very simple and straightforward. You need to purchase a pear plant from your nearest nursery and then find a sunny place in your garden. Now, dig a hole and place te roots into the whole and make sure that it’s graft line is a little above than soil level. Refill the hole. During the placement, you need to plant the tree near another pear tree for pollination. The difference between second tree can be around 40 feet maximum.
2. Bring a good quantity of organic compost and spread it over the root area in a three inches layer. From the tree trunk, mulch should be 4 to 6 inches. During the whole summer, you need to keep adding the compost as soon as it gets vanished. During the winter days, protect the tree from cold through adding a layer of shredded wood.
3. Prune the pear tree, starting by taking off the top 24 inches from the ground at the time of planting. Trim to the multiple leader system, keeping the center clear to favor the growth of three or four selected upright shoots that are evenly spaced around the tree; each of these becomes one of the tree’s foundation branches. Leave several large lateral branches on each of these new leaders and remove all competing branches.
4. To control the pear psylla and mites, you need to use the dormant spray. Spray yourself to ensure that you are using organic spray only. How to prepare the spray on your own? Get one gallon of organic horticultural oil, one pound organic oil-based soap, and a half gallon of water and mix them. After mixing, place it on the heat and let it boil. Dilute this mixture with water. Use one part solution to 19 parts water. Spray it during Januray, June, August and October.
5. Control fire blight by pruning out the infected branches in the spring. Look for watery ooze seeping from areas of dead bark in new shoots that darkens and streaks the branches or trunks. Always sterilize the pruners with denatured alcohol between clips. Cut more rather than less. Find the lower edge of the visible infection in the branch, trace the branch back to where it attaches to the trunk, and prune at the next branch juncture down, taking out both the infected branch and the branch to which it is attached. Burn the pruned pieces.
6. Control codling moth, a pear tree’s primary pest, in April. Hang pheromones to disrupt the moths’ mating behavior and traps to catch the moths before they can lay their eggs on the tree.
Things You Will Need
- Organic compost
- Shredded wood
- Garden clippers
- Organic dormant spray
- Organic oil-based soap
- Organic horticulture oil
- Spray bottle
- Moth traps
When selecting a pear cultivar, consider how much space you have available for the tree to grow. Consider also whether you prefer early, middle or end season pears and whether you intend to eat the fruit fresh or cooked. With that information, select an appropriate pear tree for your yard. Be sure to choose one that thrives in your plant hardiness zone and that its chilling requirements will be met.
Fire blight arrives with warm, wet weather. Temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit with regular rain provide ideal conditions for this disease. Your best bet to protect the tree is selecting a resistant cultivar and watching like a hawk for new infections.
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