Pruning and grafting
In almost all of Italy the bulk of the work should have been completed in February. The first ten days of March, however, is still a good time, especially if we live in high ground or if the weather was particularly unfavorable and the trees are still dormant. We can also intervene on any radical suckers produced by the grafted specimens. At the end of the operations let’s remember to carry out a treatment with a copper (possibly Bordeaux pulp): we will avoid the insinuation of pathologies.
It is still a good time to devote to grafting most of the fruit trees: the ideal methods to apply are the split, the triangle and the crown depending on our preferences and the specific specimen.
As temperatures rise, pathogens begin to appear. We must fear heat in combination with persistent humidity: this condition favours the spread of specific cryptogams of pome fruit and stone fruit. Powdery mildew on apple trees is frequent: it must be fought from the end of flowering by treating several times with sulphur or specific products (if in previous years there have been strong attacks).
On the pink button stone fruits, it is still necessary to make a passage with copper oxychloride to contrast the bubble and other pathologies: afterwards this product would be phytotoxic. On the other plants it is also possible to distribute it later on: it is excellent for the prevention of scab and brown spotting.
Always on the drupaceae we keep under control the moniliosis, with specific products, at the beginning of flowering.
It is still possible, on all fruit trees, to make a treatment with white oil: useful against wintering forms and, on citrus fruits, for the fight against cochineal.
It is essential to support the development of young plants and ensure a good harvest in those that have reached the final size.
Usually a good organic fertilization has already been done in the autumn months, but, if we have a well seasoned soil improver, we can repeat or eventually supplement.
In almost all cases it is advisable to distribute a specific dose of fertilizer for the garden and orchard (or simple fertilizers in specific doses, to be studied individually). In the family orchard, to make the operations simpler and less risky, we can focus on a universal product with slow release: it will avoid burns, ensuring a complete nutrition of macro and microelements for at least three months. Let’s stick to the doses recommended by the manufacturer.
Orchard in March: Harvesting and other operations
During this period, only the citrus fruit harvest continues: it is necessary to handle and transport these fruits with great delicacy as they are easy prey to mold.
However, it’s time to finish the fruit we had accumulated in the cellars and garages: apples, pears and persimmons will quickly deteriorate. We take advantage of the good weather to clean and ventilate the premises, preparing them for the summer.
We must also keep an eye on the recently planted fruit trees: in case of drought it is advisable to irrigate abundantly at least every 15 days. On the other hand, it is still possible to plant trees with bare roots or with a small root ball, provided that they have not started to vegetate at all: in this respect the pome fruit is the most resistant.
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