A Note from Farmer Al
Dear CSA Members,
Peach Leaf Curl. Dreaded by home growers because its so ugly and because they feel helpless to control it. Its actually easy to control and control begins now, just after the first storms of winter have blown every leaf off the trees. It’s a fungal disease that mainly affects the leaves in the spring when the tree resumes growth.
Effects: Damaged leaves are grossly curled, brittle, red and ugly. They’re unable to do their job of photosynthesis, to convert energy from the sun to grow new shoots, branches or fruit. Fruit will be smaller and not reach full flavor or sweetness.
Control: Copper fungicides are the best material to control peach leaf curl. And they’re organic. We use copper oxide called nordox, at a rate of 7-12 lbs per acre in sufficient water to thoroughly cover the trees (usually about 100 gallons per acre). This spray application is done twice. First in the late fall right after the leaves drop. Second, in mid-February at Bud Swell (just before pink bud). Our orchard sprayer does a good job of breaking the water up into a really fine mist, enveloping the trees and getting really good coverage of every square inch of each tree. Good coverage is necessary for good control.
If this spray program is followed, leaf curl will hopefully never rear its ugly head.