Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
November, 2003
Regional Report

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After the main broccoli head is cut, many side shoots form.

Dormant Spray Schedule

Plan your dormant fruit tree spraying schedule to coincide approximately with the cool-weather holidays: Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, and Valentine's Day. Specific cues are the fall of the last leaf (Thanksgiving), the height of dormancy (New Year's Day), and bud swell (Valentine's Day). Spraying at the precise period of bud swell is especially important; before the buds swell is too early, and after the blossoms open is too late.

Choose the Correct Spray
Oil sprays smother the eggs of scale insects, aphids, and mites. Lime sulfur and powdered or liquid copper sprays discourage the growth of fungus (peach leaf curl) and virus. Choose a copper spray that contains at least 50 percent copper. On apricot trees, use only copper sprays (sulfur will damage them).

Spraying Tips
If the rains haven't thoroughly moistened the soil of trees to be sprayed, deep water them a few days before spraying. The oil spray can damage the trees if their roots are too dry. If there's not enough moisture to help the roots absorb the nutrients, the foliage can't tolerate the concentrated mixture and it "burns."

Spray on a cool, dry, sunny day during a windless period to minimize evaporation and drift. Make sure all leaf, branch, and trunk surfaces are thoroughly covered with the spray solution. Drenching the soil from the trunk to just beyond the drip line also is helpful. Reapply if rain falls within 48 hours of the application.

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