In much of the peninsula January is not the right month for this practice: temperatures are too cold and could damage the young seedlings. It is also not uncommon for the soil to be frozen, even in depth, a condition that makes it difficult to work, harming the root system afterwards.
This can be taken into account in very mild climate zones. To obtain good results, let’s make sure that the soil is only slightly moist; excessive humidity can cause the formation of air bubbles, which are harmful for the establishment. We work on warm days, immediately after midday, and in sunny positions. Good results can only be obtained with fairly large plants with well-formed trunks.
Harvesting and storage
It is by far the least rich period of the year: citrus fruits are the only fresh fruit available. They are harvested in temperate climate zones, paying the utmost attention during the positioning in the baskets. Let’s remember to always be very delicate in the detachment and not to make too many layers. Let’s also avoid placing the containers on the ground: it is there that the spores accumulate, causing them to decay rapidly.
In the storage rooms we will still have the last crates of products of the autumn. It is important to make the selection regularly: we consume or eliminate immediately the fruits that are damaged or begin to appear too dehydrated. Kiwis, persimmons and pears, if still too hard or unripe, can be brought to maturity by placing them in a bag with apples, thanks to the production of ethylene.
Pruning and grafting
Almost everywhere it is not advisable to make cuts: the persistent humidity could favor the insinuation of pathogens inside the tissues.
It is only possible to intervene in very mild climate regions and on specific plants: almond, pome and olive trees. For pome fruit, on the other hand, almost everywhere, it is possible to consider making split grafts, to be carried out on as dry a day as possible and covering the area with special material.
The cold and dry days are also ideal for pruning actinidia: we work in the middle hours and we follow shortly a treatment with a copper of ready effectiveness. The height of winter prevents the spread of dangerous bacterial diseases: let’s prevent them by disinfecting even the cutting tools, when passing from one specimen to another.
Orchard in January: Treatments
If the temperatures are not too low, it is possible to make a periodic passage with copper products, on the canopy and on the trunk. Let’s carefully collect all the leaves and plant residues left on the ground (possibly by cutting the grass) and also spray the ground: it can be very useful to reduce the amount of spores present, often causing the return of diseases with the early spring rains.
Let’s also monitor the presence on the branches of fruits of the previous year: let’s eliminate them and, possibly, burn them. When the temperatures rise (at least 8°C) we can (if we have not done so before) proceed with a treatment based on white oil on the whole trunk. It is even more useful if we activate it with a specific product for the wintering stages of the phytophagous plants that struck us most the previous year.
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