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mrsg47

Spraying and sprays

mrsg47
11 years ago

I too was wondering about putting my sprays in the basement for winter, to be on the safe side, I moved them indoors. But, I do have a few other questions about spraying.

1. What is the best first spray to put on my trees in Feb. after winter pruning? My list of trees is on 'my page'.

2. Are some sprayers better and safer than others? If so who are the manufacturers? I'd like to have good equipment for my investment in trees and fruit.

3. Are there really good masks out there v/s the 'paper' masks I buy from the hardware store? "If you can smell it, you're breathing it"; I would like to avoid this!

4. Any other special clothes I should buy.

All of these questions are in preparation for good care my 15 trees for winter through next fall. I have never seen a plum curculio in my life, but I am guaranteed to have them this summer. How do they find fruit trees? I will ask later about spray times and the best sprays, and 'footies' v/s apple bags. My books that I use for reference all say something different about spraying, and our state University has very little info on the internet. I am the only person in my area with a backyard orchard so there is no one to compare notes with. The commercial orchard owners here don't share info or pruning tips, I have tried talking with them. Any help is always appreciated, Your Newbie orchardist, Mrs. G

Comments (15)

  • johnmerr
    11 years ago

    It would help if you told us where you live; it is clear you are not in California, where growers are almost always willing to help you and tell you what they know and what they do. They don't worry about backyard growers competing with them. That said, the pruning methods used by commercial growers are not always the best for home orchard producers. Any seller of chemical products should be able to advise you on protective wear and when it is needed. As for sprayers, the better the quality the longer the life and the lower the maintenance; I have never found that to be untrue. The MOST important thing is cleanliness, of tools, sprayers, storage areas, etc.; if you have 15 trees, it is probably wise to have 2 sprayers; one for things like insecticides, foliar fert. etc; and another for herbicides, fungicides, soil borne pests.

  • mrsg47
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    I live on an island in Rhode Island. I already have three plastic sprayers and clean them after each use; they are labeled, but they are from the hardware store and leak on my gloves. I wanted to know if there is a brand I should purchase that is better. thanks so much.

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  • johnmerr
    11 years ago

    Most good quality sprayers have readily available replacement parts... even plastic sprayers. If the sprayer is leaking, you have some worn or improperly tightened connections. Commercially, all of my sprayers are plastic; I buy what my applicators like to use, so long are parts are easily obtained. In my youth we had metal sprayers; now most are plastic; they don't last as long, but they do the same job and are a lot cheaper to replace when a major part breaks, or is worn out.

  • olpea
    11 years ago

    "important thing is cleanliness, of tools, sprayers, storage areas, etc.; if you have 15 trees, it is probably wise to have 2 sprayers; one for things like insecticides, foliar fert. etc; and another for herbicides, fungicides, soil borne pests."

    I agree it's best to have two sprayers, but I would use one for herbicides, and one for fungicides and insecticides.

    I'd suggest for 15 trees you get a good backpack sprayer. Decent one costs between 100 and 250 dollars. Some folks on this forum use Solo backpacks and like them. I use an SP systems sprayer for a backpack and like it. As I recall mine is an SP0 model.

    There are piston type backpacks which are OK except they don't do well with abrasive wettable powders. Sprayers with a diaphragm will spray wettable powders but the rubber on some diaphragms will degrade with oil, so make sure the sprayer you buy will handle dormant oil.

    The labels on each pesticide will tell you the protective equipment required. Boots, long sleeve shirt, etc. It will vary with each pesticide.

    A good thick set of Nitrile gloves will last you a long time. They will be waterproof and chemical proof. You can but a set on-line at a reasonable cost. Gemplers and other places like that generally sell them.

    You can buy a respirator fairly inexpensively on line, or at big box stores like HD and Lowes. They sell all kinds of different cartridges for them, so make sure you get the right cartridge, which will be on the label of the pesticide. You get the right cartridge and you won't smell any of the pesticide.

    The drawback of respirators is that they are very uncomfortable to wear during hot weather. They cause you to sweat like mad. I only use one when I absolutely have to.

    They make a respirator that is a sort of hood with a battery operated fan to keep you cool, but these run in excess of $500.

    Eye protection is a must, as is a wide brimmed hat. In terms of dermal absorption, the head, ears, neck, and face will absorb more chemical than most other places on the body (except for the groin area). Hands and feet don't absorb nearly as much as the head area.

  • johnmerr
    11 years ago

    Wow, such good information! My reward for visiting this site. I have quite a lot of experience that allows me to help a few people here and on a cupla other fora; but my purpose in visiting is really to learn from the experiences of others. Experience may be a good teacher; but the lessons are expensive and sometimes painful; whereas learning from the experiences of others is free and there is no pain. Thanks "olpea" for the very good advice.
    John

  • mrsg47
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Thanks again John and Olpea,

    Olpea, that is the exact information I was looking for. I will place my orders in Jan. for the new sprayer and respirator. I really need the gloves as well. This is superb info. I'm sure there are many out there that will benefit from this post. My best, and thanks again! Mrs. G

  • spartan-apple
    11 years ago

    I have a 17 tree orchard and still spray with a 2 gallon
    pump sprayer. As long as the trees are 12' or less in height, I get fairly good coverage. When I buy a new pump sprayer, I always test it on my cement driveway by spraying just water. Each concrete slab is 4' long so easy
    to see on the wet concrete how the spray pattern is covering per distance sprayed.

    One sad issue on pump sprayers is that the hoses can be different diameter! I learned this problem after buying a
    new sprayer and finding it did not spray well on my peach tree (12' tall). It barely sprayed to top of tree. I luckily had saved the old sprayer so switched out the hose
    line. What a difference as the old line larger in diameter.

    Not sure what brand to suggest. I have used several Hudson
    sprayers in the past. The ones with 5 year warranty seem to last a litle better but even those do need replacement
    parts. Worn o rings are most common but sometimes the pumps
    go too.

    Hudson does have a replacement part division and always helps with any questions I have.

    I always heard Chapin or Thompson sprayers were real nice.
    Anyone have any opinions on the best pump sprayers? Usually with minor repairs, I can get 5 years out of a Hudson. I would definitely invest in a more expensive model if it would last longer. Sad news is most retail box
    stores seem to carry only the cheapest models any sprayer
    company puts out. It makes it real hard to find a decent
    sprayer when you need one quick.

    The good news is since I have fruit trees at two locations,
    I have two pump sprayers. If one does go down for repair, I can use the other as a backup.

  • olpea
    11 years ago

    Your welcome John and Mrs. G,

    One thing I forgot to mention is the length of the wand.

    Solo and SP systems sell long wands as an accessory for their sprayers. I suspect other companies do as well. I think the one I have for my backpack is about 5' long. I also have a 5' wand on my trailer sprayer.

    Long wands help a bunch to get up high, or inside the trees. They also help to keep the pesticide off you because you don't have to be as close. They are well worth the extra money in my opinion. If you buy an SP Systems, don't buy the fiberglass wand extension. Mine broke after a very short time. I called the company and they sent me one of their brass wand extensions for free. Good company.

    Spartan,

    I wouldn't try to talk you out of a hand held sprayer, but if you've ever tried a backpack you probably wouldn't want to go back to a hand held.

    Backpack's hold twice the amount of water, and it's a whole lot easier to carry water on your back than with your arm. The other advantage of backpacks is that you don't have to stop to pump the sprayer up. You just keep pumping while you are spraying.

    In terms of hand held sprayers, I don't use them much. I do have a couple small cheap ones I use for herbicides, since I don't spray much herbicide. I really consider them a disposable type sprayer, except that they seem to last forever.

    They're so simple, there's not much to break on them. They just have a very simple piston pump with a rubber seal on the bottom of the pump mechanism that works as a check valve. The only problem I've had is sometimes weed seeds/dirt will fall in the top of the pump cylinder and keep seals from sealing, or clog the tip, but they always work fine after a good cleaning.

    The disadvantage of course is the cheap ones don't have much pressure, but I think they would work fine with a long wand extension. I don't need much pressure spraying weeds, and a short wand works good for that.

  • spartan-apple
    11 years ago

    OLPEA:

    Thanks for the advice on a backpack sprayer. I tried a Solo backpack sprayer once while working at a nursery in Minnesota. I assume Solo makes many models? The one I used seemed to have little pressure and did not spray far at all. I was not impressed. Perhaps the line leaked pressure or the model not good for orchard use.

    I have a bad shoulder so am having issues lugging my 2 gallon pump sprayer around. Perhaps a good backpack sprayer is what I need. How high can your backback sprayer
    spray and still put out a decent spray pattern for coverage? Can you suggest what model works best for orchard use?

    If any other readers use Solo backpack sprayers for orchard
    use, I would be interested to hear their opinions on how they work and what model is best.

  • mrsg47
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Again great sprayer info. I've had to stand on a ladder or foot stool, pump and spray, keep my balance and try to reach the tops and inside of my trees. I will have mail order over the internet such sprayers and wands. It's always good to know you're not there alone in your orchard with questions. Many thanks for your years of experience. Will lime sulfur be my first spray in Feb? Thanks again, Mrs. G

  • olpea
    11 years ago

    Spartan,

    I use an SP systems sprayer for a backpack and like it (SP0 model). I've never tried a Solo myself but some people on this forum have mentioned they liked theirs. Solo are cheaper.

    My SP systems has decent pressure. I wouldn't say it's high pressure but good enough, especially since I use a long wand. You really don't need as much pressure with a long wand. I think mine is rated at 85-90 psi, but I know it doesn't put out near that much pressure. I suspect all the companies over-rate their models.

    Mine has a recycling mechanism that "stirs" the spray solution with each pump. I like it that it keeps the pesticide from settling out, but the disadvantage is you loose some of the pumping energy to the "recycling" whereas backpacks that don't recycle would put all the pumping energy into spraying. Either way, it's not hard to pump while it's on your back. Very ergonomic. The handle has two positions so that many times I used to use it while on my ZTR mower. I would just place the sprayer on the floorboard of the mower and could comfortably pump and spray from the seat.

    The hardest thing about a backpack is putting it on your shoulders. Not a big deal for a larger person, but could be a little tricky for a smaller person.

    Mrs. G,

    I've never used lime-sulfur. It has efficacy for peach leaf curl. If you are treating for that, then Feb would probably be a pretty good time in RI. Lime sulfur also supposed to provide some control for small crawlers - mites, etc.

    I use chlorothalonil for leaf curl and plan to spray it in late Feb or early March on peaches.

    I'll probably spray some oil on pears before swollen bud to fight blister mite. Not everyone has problems with blister mite, but my pear trees get it here.

    The next spray won't be till after petal fall, when I need to start spraying for curculio.

    Some people spray their apple trees at pink for cedar apple rust, others don't start till petal fall. I'm pretty lackadaisical about it and might hit apple trees with an effective fungicide at petal fall. I generally have some CAR on my apple trees.

  • mrsg47
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Olpea, I have been very lucky with no CAR on my apples. I am in dread of PC, though. Will triazicide take care of those, along with borers, and OFM? I plan on spraying a fungicide as well. I've also discovered that Home Depot has some really nice respirators, I'll check out the other brands at orchard supply stores before I purchase one.

  • olpea
    11 years ago

    Triazicide is about the best thing available on a non-commercial basis. As a whole, pyrethroids like Once and Done have decent efficacy against PC.

    Pyrethroids in general also control OFM and are effective against borers if sprayed on the trunk and scaffolds. There are some pyrethroids specifically labeled for borers.

    Over the last few years, several people on this forum have indicated success with Once and Done and I only recall one case of someone who was disappointed.

    The bottom line is that pyrethroids are very lethal to most insects while providing a relatively high margin of safety to humans. I use a pyrethroid (Mustang Max) as an integral part of my spray program early in the season. As a disadvantage, pyrethroids wash off fairly easy compared to some other compounds, and so must be reapplied more often in periods of heavy rain. They also don't work as well in hot weather.

    PC starts laying eggs at petal fall in pome fruits, or shuck split in stone fruits. I've read peak egg laying occurs about 3 weeks later, which has also been my experience.

    You may not have as much of a problem with PC. It's the biggest problem in non-arid climates where there are lots of wild host or untended fruit trees around and forest close by.

  • alan haigh
    11 years ago

    The other problem with some pyrethroids is that should they wash off and fruit get stung by PC, a follow up spray won't kill the eggs or tiny worms already in the fruit. Kick-back is extremely useful in any pesticide because in the east spring rain is extremely common and this is the most crucial period for pest control.

    As far as 3 weeks being peak time for egg laying of PC, my experience suggests that it tends to occur shortly after a warm period from petal fall on. Some years they're early and some years they're late depending more on this than anything else. But that's only anecdotal observation so maybe Olpea has it right or maybe we are both right and the first warm spell comes more often in the later period.

  • mrsg47
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Thanks Olpea, Spartan and HM! It seems that I will spray, and spray again. I am so anxious to have my very first fruiting crops this summer, I really don't want to share them with PC. I will also look into Mustang Max. After going to their site, Gempler's is definitly the go to place for everything else I need! Killing the PC the first go around would be my goal. If you can't stop the worms in infected fruit, by respraying, might as well start with a spray that is more permanent. I guess it is Triazicide. Thanks all!