Fungus & Hygiene
Fungus is usually active during late winter and early spring. As many of you will know, this is the season for wild mushrooms. In spring when plants shoot and fungi are active, control is limited to certain expensive solutions or fungicides. Fungus is most active when conditions are wet and damp with limited sunshine. Lime Sulphur is one of the few preventative sprays available for the control of fungus during the winter months.
Treatment: Evergreens, Junipers, Pines & Similar
First, spray all of your plants with clean water until they are saturated, including the pot and the surrounding surfaces. After covering your soil with some plastic or newspaper, spray your plants with a solution of 50ml Lime Sulphur to 1L of water.
Thee can be sprayed with the same solution as above but do not spray trees that are starting to show new leaves. It is a good idea to spray your benches, especially if they are made of wood.
It is also a good time to get rid of scale using White Oil, especially on Figs and Olives. There is less chance of losing leaves this way, which usually occurs after spraying in hot weather. Apply the solution until saturation or run off. Always make sure that the soil is covered to prevent soil contamination. Repeat spray after 10-14 days, and repeat once more after the same time period. DO NOT spray other treatments within one month of using Lime Sulphur.
It is a wise investment to purchase a pump spray for each individual insecticide or fungicide that you use. Doing so can prevent the cross contamination of chemicals. Clearly mark each spray container to avoid mix-ups. The consequences to your trees can be fatal, so it is a worthwhile investment.
As accuracy is extremely important when it comes to mixing chemicals, be sure to get a measuring container that has well marked lines. Same as the spray containers, do not use the same bottle with a different chemical, there is always the chance for leftover residue.
Make sure that a fresh batch is mixed each time, as an old mix could potentially become either weaker or far stronger and dangerous as time passes on the shelf. Please be sure to dispose of spray residue and leftover in a responsible and safe manner at all times!
Horticulture has moved from what used to be pest control to pest management. Its always important to know that pesticides to harm your trees. It is up to you to decide whether or not to use pesticides, or other alternative methods that may be more suitable for your plant. For example, if you have a tree with scale on some of its leaves, consider scraping the leaf or removing it before mixing up pesticides.