Sunday, April 3, 2011

ORGANIC home-made spray for fruit trees - edited

...this is GOAL #2 for 2011

Since we "inherited apple trees" with our property...WE'VE NOT EATEN ONE APPLE from our own trees!!!! (in 8 years!!!) WHAT? your asking. WHEN CRITTERS INFEST your trees...they're EXTREMELY HARD TO GET RID OF...when you opt for the NON-CHEMICAL solution.

In the ORGANIC line of thinking - you have to BREAK THE INSECT CYCLE. Yes - I could throw a NEO-NICOTINIDE at the trees and likely kill everything and be done with it in ONE APPLICATION. BUT - I KEEP BEES IN THAT SAME AREA!!!!

hence...resolution #2 - KEEP AHEAD of the critters this year. SPRAY WEEKLY.

Here's a recipe for DORMANT OIL SPRAY - a non-toxic spray applied in either and or both fall and spring - it SMOTHERS overwintering bug EGGS. apply 40 degrees or above. REPEAT WEEKLY - DO NOT spray when flower buds or blossoms are on the tree!

1 Gallon Mineral Oil (in the walmart pharmacy area, fleet farm health & beauty area)
1 lb. Oil Based Soap (granular)...this is like a "baby" FLAKE laundry detergent...DREFT
1/2 Gallon Water
to spray - DILUTE 1 part Homemade Mix to 20 parts Water

REALISTIC RECIPE (for a couple/half dozen trees):
1/8 Gallon (2 Cups Mineral Oil)
1/8 lb. FLAKE Soap (2 oz)
1/16 Gallon (1 Cup) Water

SPRAY LIBERALLY until FLOWER BUDS/FLOWERS begin. THE PRIMARY APPLICATION IS TO THE BARK (TRUNK, TWIGS) and leaves. (avoid the fruit when possible - a little overspray, ok) This should be thought of as a TREE spray - not a FRUIT spray.

When fruit begins to set (.5"/1" can continue spraying weekly. You can also switch for this "fruiting period" to a plain SOAPY WATER SOLUTION (dish soap recipe readily found online). It's the mineral oil in this recipe that gives a little "longevity" against the rain...

This recipe when diluted properly is very mild. I tried this recipe last year - and it's failure was MINE...I was not diligent about applying weekly.


Anonymous said...

I thought you were only suppose to spray this in the fall and spring. Will it take care of the little critters all summer when applied weekly?

likes bees said...


No Spraying while there are blossoms/OR FLOWER BUDS - they're very delicate...and you're bees are in there...but ONCE THE FRUIT IS SETTING (.5" to 1")...ok to resume.

It's the MINERAL OIL in the recipe that smothers eggs/insects...and the spray is applied PRIMARILY to WOOD and LEAVES!...from the ground up - trunk, twigs, etc. OVERSPRAY on the fruit...ok - but i wouldn't INTENTIONALLY spray them - i'd "avoid" them.

Last year when the fruit was about 1" or less - i found some egg masses under leaves....THAT'S THE TARGET

It's also the MINERAL OIL in this recipe that gives it some longevity against RAIN, etc. When diluted properly - it's very mild. Your tree and leaves will be very shiny.

You could SWITCH to a PLAIN SOAPY WATER SOLUTION when fruit is setting. Recipe readily found via an online search. Some recipes include CAYENNE PEPPER - YIKES! Don't get this one in your eyes!

I've made this recipe last year - but FELL SHORT of weekly application.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the dilution percentage is the same for both the orchard recipe and the "few" apple/fruit trees?

likes bees said...

YES! the smaller recipe is the same as the original recipe (only smaller) the dilution ratio is the same as well