DEALING WITH APPLE POWDERY MILDEW – FIRST WEEK IN OCTOBER 2009

Image: C.Finn

Image: C.Finn

After the joy of winning a first prize in the Naul Horticultural Show for parsley which grows well under the apple tree, I was then brought back down to earth to discover a white fungus on a branch of the apple tree above. I read up on the symptoms in ‘Natural Pest and Disease Control’ by Jim Hay, a Century Paperback from 1987.

The symptoms match apple powdery mildew, a fungus disease which overwinters on the tree in the dormant buds. I cut away the infested branch area using a saw. I took the infected wood indoors to further cut it up for the fire in winter. Some organic growers put bee’s wax on the wound left by the cut, others say leave it to heal on its own. Jim Hay says if the disease persists, spray with a lime sulphur solution immediately after the blossom has fallen in the Spring and again four weeks later.

Meanwhile, I will clear some of the vegetation under the apple tree as lack of air circulating could be a contributory factor in creating conditions for apple powdery mildew which is also quite sticky, a bit like candy floss.

Image: C.Finn

Image: C.Finn

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