Harvesting and storage
In a large part of our peninsula, the orchard is completely resting, with the exception of the southern regions and coastal areas where you have the collection of citrus fruits.
It is an operation that requires a lot of attention: it is important to check that each fruit is healthy, free of incisions and especially of rottenness or mold. Let’s clearly separate the healthy harvest from the damaged one: in this way we will avoid its spread. It is also important to keep the soil of the orchard clean and not allow it to come into contact with fresh citrus fruits, exposing them to spores of pathogens.
Let’s remember to keep an eye on the food stored in the storage rooms. Let’s immediately eliminate or consume the fruits and vegetables with the first signs of deterioration. We monitor the presence of rodents and ventilate on hot days.
Pests and diseases
In winter, the spread of diseases is minimal, but it is possible to prepare our orchard to face the new vintage. We can carry out preventive treatments that break down the wintering forms of insects and mites. Excellent results are obtained with the white oil possibly activated with a specific insecticide or acaricide, to be distributed on the bark.
To promote tissue lignification, combat pathogen spores and prevent copper cancers, it is useful to carry out one or two treatments with a persistent copper (the first immediately after pruning).
To avoid damage and increase efficiency, it is important to work at a distance from the rain. The best period is in the first days of December, checking that the temperature does not fall below 8 ° C for at least three days after treatment. Between copper and white oil let at least 20 days pass.
Orchard in December: Other processes
Winter is a quiet time. That’s why we can dedicate ourselves to the maintenance of our equipment and the reorganization of materials. For example, it is important to check the sharpening of the tools we use for pruning: saws, chain saws, shears. If necessary, we can remedy and lubricate thoroughly. We also check the packaging of pesticides: we eliminate products that are compromised or that lack labels or packaging.
Outdoors, especially in the south, it is possible, if we have not done so before, to fertilize citrus fruits and olives.
In the north and in the interior, in case of heavy snowfall, it is good to monitor the trees carefully: we intervene in case there is a danger of breaking the branches. We also check the stability of the newly inserted tree supports.
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