Autumn rooting garden sprayings - are they needed or not?
The hard life of our plants is open ground. Summer comfort with plenty of sun and heat is replaced by testing in winter frosts. But for this, autumn exists so that plants can prepare in advance for low temperatures and dry frosty winds. Trees and shrubs of open ground in the tissues produce a kind of antifreeze, the bark is compacted, the kidneys are closed and they become practically invulnerable. All sorts of garden diseases and pests are getting ready for winter. They also winter in an inactive state - in the form of spores, pupae, eggs and other formations.
And here a window of opportunity opens for gardeners to quickly and easily get rid of all these misfortunes. After all, plants are already well protected, and there is no danger of damaging living tissues (buds). So - you can safely use strong solutions of chemicals that will not harm the plant, but spores or egg laying will destroy.
Features of conducting autumn rooting spraying of the garden
Many gardeners traditionally carry out for this early spring spraying on still sleeping plants. But after all, the second half of autumn (before the onset of frost) is quite suitable for this. In addition, autumn cold weather for gardening is more comfortable than spring mud after melting snow. And in many regions, you need to remember that spring can come quickly, and the right moment in the turmoil of gardening affairs will be missed.
So, late autumn, but before the onset of frost, perhaps the most successful period for the so-called eradicating treatments in the garden. The main thing to remember is that the foliage on the plants should completely fall off, and the optimal temperature for spraying is +5 degrees.
And here it is important to study the recommendations for the use of a particular chemical preparation - at what temperature is it better to use it? Let's say some work at temperatures above +10 degrees, and for autumn rooting spraying this is not the most optimal temperature.
As a rule, in late autumn they use drugs with a contact action, according to the principle: I got into spores, eggs or larvae - I killed them. Therefore, it is very important during these treatments to moisten the trees and shrubs completely and abundantly, from the crown to the bottom of the trunk. Moreover, it is worth processing the tree trunk circle. If you missed something somewhere, then even a small area with wintering spores will give life to a fungal disease in spring, and a surviving larva or egg-laying will give new generations of pests.
The best option is to use modern gasoline or electric sprayers for processing, which can create a fine mist from drugs that penetrates into the smallest pores and cracks of the bark. In some cases, special adhesives may also help, providing good contact between the chemical and the plant bark.
How to spray?
What is usually used for autumn treatments? Yes, in fact, all the same drugs as for early spring spraying. Yes, this is essentially the same thing.
For example, urea (urea). It seems to be a well-known nitrogen fertilizer. But if you make the right concentration, then it turns into a powerful fungicide and insecticide at the same time, literally burning spores and eggs. But the concentration should be such as not to harm the protected, but living plant.
The concentration of the solution is chosen depending on how badly your garden was sick or it was attacked by pests. If last season there was an epidemic in the garden or an invasion of some pests, then with a high degree of probability we can say that everything will happen again in the next season, because the spores are scattered, the eggs are laid. Scab, powdery mildew, aphids ... Make a stronger urea solution: 500, or even 700 grams per 10 liters of water.
If diseases and pests bothered you (or rather, plants) within normal limits, then the concentration can be reduced, 200-300 grams per 10 liters of water will be enough (for reference, in a 200 ml glass - 130 g of urea).
Surely, one of the gardeners had a question, but would such a treatment actually affect nitrogen fertilizer in the wintering of the plant? No, it will not. In late autumn, at low temperatures, there will no longer be any growth.
You can buy another popular and, by the way, also inexpensive drug - inkstone. Its concentration is also worth changing depending on the degree of infection in your garden. In a “clean”, non-sick garden, a solution of 200-300 grams per 10 liters of water is used (in a 200 ml cup, 180 grams of iron sulfate). If the garden was sick, then 500 grams per 10 liters of water. In old gardening aids, 800 grams are also found, but perhaps this is too much.
But what if you mix urea and iron sulfate to enhance the effect? After all, we love what sin to conceal, to make and mix stronger, for sure. Can! And now it is called "tank mixture."
Incidentally, iron sulfate in a 3% solution will also help get rid of the unloved by many lichens on tree trunks. One reason not to love them is that in their porous structure all garden "evil spirits" winter well.
Read more about iron sulfate in the article Iron sulfate to protect the garden from diseases and pests.
Another affordable drug is copper sulfate - has long been known and loved by gardeners. For autumn rooting garden spraying, it is used in a concentration of 300 grams per 10 liters of water (in a 200 ml cup - 210 grams of copper sulfate).
And if lime is added to copper sulfate, then Bordeaux liquid, which has been popular with gardeners all over the world for more than 100 years, will turn out. For late fall rooting spraying, a 3% version of this fungicide can be used.
Other preparations for autumn garden spraying
What else can I use? There is an interesting group of preparations containing emulsions of mineral oils (“30-B” and “30-D” preparations). After processing, a film is formed on the plant that does not allow air to pass through. And without air, neither the pest nor the disease has a chance to survive.
Surely, if you go to specialty stores, you can find other, old and modern drugs to combat diseases and insect pests in the garden. The main thing, let me remind you, study at what temperature they work. And do not try to use, say, biological products at a temperature of +5 degrees. It's useless!
Why I refused any preventive garden spraying
Many gardeners operate according to this scheme (again, for sure): they conduct autumn eradicating spraying, and in early spring they practically repeat it, finishing everything that has survived. Theoretically, everything is true, and there are simply no chances for diseases and pests. None.
But in practice, this is not quite the case, but rather, not at all.
And the thing here, most likely, is that your site is not limited to the fence that you built with your neighbors. No, your site is part of a large and complex ecosystem, which includes neighboring sites, and the nearby forest, and the fields of some agricultural company.
I once described this problem in detail in an article Why can't we defeat late blight and other fungal diseases?
Spores of fungal diseases, and at the same time eggs and larvae of insect pests, they are literally everywhere. No matter how much you spray your garden, you will not be able to completely get rid of them. Well, you must admit, walking through the solution for all cultivated plants is possible, but for all the weeds, for each square meter of the surface of the earth, for all garden furniture, buildings, inventory - well, it’s very difficult! And when you consider that many "bad" microorganisms rest in the earth at a depth, then it is completely unrealistic.
But even if it is purely theoretically assumed that you succeeded and you were able to completely “sterilize your site” by repeated chemical treatments, what good is it if the first breeze brings you new problems from a neighboring site? And the price of such treatments is too high:
- spent money,
- spent time,
- the death of many beneficial organisms,
- saturation of the soil, and hence the fruit with chemicals not useful for our body ...
And, most importantly - the realization of the complete meaninglessness of what you are doing. Sisyphean labor, in a word.
I have already abandoned all eradicating, early spring and other planned treatments. From those treatments that, purely theoretically, should save me from big problems. They do not deliver, as many years of experience show.
No, I do not urge yet (bye!) To throw away the sprayer and completely get rid of the garden spraying. Sometimes really real epidemics and invasions happen. And then I’m using certain drugs. As they say, I solve problems as they become available.
Let's say I have an old pear tree on which this season was aphid. I did not notice any significant decrease in yield. These insects did not cause any visible damage to the tree (except for aesthetic - twisted leaves). Or here - a plum. At the end of summer year after year, rust “attacks” it. But with the plum crop, I always.
You stand in front of such a tree and think: chemistry and beautiful leaves or healthy fruits (without chemistry), but with spotty foliage? I choose the second.
It is quite another matter if the disease or pests threaten the life of the plant itself, especially young seedlings. This is where it is worth keeping a sprayer and some drugs for first aid in reserve.
Another important point. All diseases and pests in the garden are part of one ecosystem, and someone feeds on them. We kill all insect pests and there is nothing to eat predatory insects and birds, and they will voluntarily leave our garden. And this will just open the door for new pests and diseases. Feel how everything is interconnected? In a normally functioning garden there should be both “harmful” and “useful”, but between them you need to learn to maintain balance.
Well, of course, it is worth taking care of the selection of plants and species diversity. There are plants that are not susceptible to most diseases and not to the taste of most insect pests. This is how it is advisable to fill your garden.
If you will, I’ll give a metaphor. You can drink analginum as much as you like with a toothache, spoil your stomach and heart, but the problem cannot be solved, it will only get worse if you don’t go to the dentist. You can regularly replace the basin under a dripping tap, or you can replace it. Spraying, I think, does not solve the problem, but only adds to our work.
By the way, the well-known recommendation on a change of drugs, they say, so as not to cause addiction to the pathogen, in fact, as experts say, leads to multiresistance. Simply put, a disease or pest becomes less susceptible to your treatments.
Of course, all these thoughts of mine do not apply to those who grow large crops for sale. So my neighbor walks once a week with a sprayer. But also - he spent the autumn rooting, well, spring ones. Everything is as it should be. Yes, apparently, he didn’t eradicate anything. But apples are big. Fact!