The other day while I was looking for something quite unrelated to gardening (as a matter of fact it was quilting fabric) I found my lost garden diary, Diary I can hear the cogs whirring? Well my diary was originally a Christmas present and I started it enthusiastically but like most other things I found I would often forget to write things down as I got busier in the summer.
While I didn’t remember to write down everything I have found that what I did write down has over time become quite useful so my diaries become quite a valuable asset to me. It doesn’t answer all my questions of course (haven’t had it for long enough) but I do at least now have a better idea of what I planted when, where, how, did the plants die/thrive and so on. I myself keep quite a lot of other information to such as daily temperatures, rainfall, fertilizing, watering (we are on tank water only) pruning, trimming, hours of sunlight and probably a lot more that I can’t think of right now but in the end how much information you keep is a personal decision.
Well this past week I noticed that one of my peach trees has burst into bud and I think it has done so much earlier than usual but without consulting my diary I really couldn’t be sure just how early it was let alone if at all. I discovered that for us down here in the Great Southern my tree has flowered nearly a month earlier than it has been doing so. Some of my trees suffer quite badly from what is called (leaf curl) so we regularly spray during winter with an oil and copper based mixed spray.
The oil is to help smother mites and scales if any as they emerge from their eggs in late winter and early spring while the copper is to help reduce leaf curl and though we haven’t had any of these problems yet, also helps with shot hole, and bacterial canker.
Powdery mildew is a perennial nuisance, a fungal disease which has been an issue for us at times. Liquid sulphur used just prior to bud burst is very effective for seeping into cracks under bark and behind buds but shouldn’t be applied to after bud burst because it will burn green growth.
Now that bud burst has occurred on one of my trees I will have to spray with another wettable sulphur spray suitable for after flowering. Some sprays shouldn’t be used within 10 days of each other and knowing when you applied what to when, is why it is a good idea to keep a diary rather than rely on ones memory because we can get very busy in the gardens during the growing season. Looking back in my diary I can see I last sprayed the trees a month ago.
Seeing the new growth starting to emerge also reminded me that although it is still a little too early to do so, I need to be mindful of when to start my fertilizer regime with all the trees, seeing the new growth on my peach tree indicates feeder root activity. I need to be careful in my orchard that I am not wasting fertilizer because without feeder root activity fertilizers are not absorbed and utilized by plants which means they leach out into the ground and are lost. Another good reason to keep my diary handy now that the season is almost upon us.