There is nothing like walking through the apple orchard in early Spring. You can see the trees starting to take life and begin the process you work so hard to accomplish which is bearing fruit. A healthy properly kept tree will grow vigorously, produce fruit and most importantly fend off disease. But let’s be serious this is a pipe dream. I would love to paint the Instagram picture of the farmer walking through the orchard admiring the beauty he has created but that is just not true. Everywhere I look I am constantly frustrated by disease. Fungus to be exact, not only have my feet bared the brunt of this organic specimen but my trees have to deal with it too.
We live in Western Washington where fungus is everywhere, this is also a large reason you do not see commercial apple orchards over here on the west side. The east side of the mountain are much warmer where fungus cannot fester. Fungus can take over your orchard and effect your crop to detrimental portions. Fighting it is very difficult and takes a constant every changing formula to combat fungus diseases. Although we use some Fungicides we are trying to implement a more natural approach with newly developed organic sprays such as Timeguard and other assortment of oils.
This got me thinking what are some of the things you can use in your own home to protect your tree from fungicide. Warning: I have not tried this but after looking at the ingredients in our organic sprays these applications are not too far apart. Here are the 4 I think would work best.
Formula #1 (I like this one it will fight almost every type of fungus)
Ingredients: 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda ,1 Quart Warm Water, Small Squirt Dish Soap
Directions: Dissolve baking soda in warm water and add soap. Mix carefully and test on the tree before spraying the whole thing. If this solution is too strong it will burn the leaves. Never spray this in direct sunlight, try to do it on days with little to no wind and in the late evening hours.
Formula #2 (this one is good for black spot, leaf spot and scab mildew)
1 Gallon Water, 3Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar ,Dash Of Molasses, Dash of Mild Dish Soap
Directions: Mix and spray in the early morning or late evening. Avoid spraying it on windy days or in direct sunlight
Formula #3 (the stinky one, protects against Powery Mildew, Downy Mildew and Leaf Spot)
3 Ounces Minced Garlic,1 Ounce Mineral Oil, Dash of dish soap
Combine garlic and oil and leave for 24 hours. Then mix into 1 gallon of water add the dish soap and spray. Avoid spraying in direct sunlight or on windy days
Formula #4 (this one I have never tried anything close to but apparently Corn Meal is a good ant-fungus it also stimulates micro-organisms)
Use 2 lbs per 100 Sq. feet of horticultural cornmeal or whole cornmeal. Spread around the base of the tree and activate it with water.
1 cup of cornmeal
1 gallon of water
Soak cornmeal overnight, then strain and spray onto the trees.
With the weather getting more mild and wet it is a perfect time for fungus to grow and spread. These are safe and effective ways to combat fugus on your fruit trees at home. If this does not work I would try a organic fungicide at your local nursery. If that does not work I recommend a conventional approach such as Captian, Bravo, or Rally. These are all very effective commercial grade sprays. Good luck and hopefully you can rid your trees of Fungus…..