Tag: Pest Control

Orchard Pest Thresholds

Tachinid flies and their larvae parasitize some orchard pests. English photo By C.J. Walke The term “threshold” is used in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies to describe the level at which pest pressure and crop damage have reached the point where plant health will start to decline and/or crop damage will result in reduced yields.

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Beneficial Insects

Cocoons of a wasp that parasitized a tomato hornworm. Eric Sideman photo Beneficial insects are part of complicated relationships in ecosystems, and we are just beginning to understand those relationships, said Kathy Murray, Ph.D., an entomologist and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program coordinator with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Murray is also

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Trapping Orchard Pests

Pheromone trap for codling moth. Photo by Slaunger at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cydia_pomonella_trap_hanging_in_tree_2012-06.jpg used via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. A red ball trap made from a store-bought apple, used to trap apple maggot flies. English photo A soda bottle holding cider and molasses traps codling moths. English photo By C.J. Walke In my March-May 2016

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To Spray or Not to Spray

Toki Oshima drawing By C. J. Walke This is often the unasked question that arises when I deliver library presentations or teach hands-on workshops on growing organic tree fruit. I can see the look on people’s faces change when I mention the backpack sprayer, as if a dark storm cloud has shadowed their sunny afternoon.

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Tomatoes in High Tunnels

Leaf mold (Fulvia fulva) is a common problem in high tunnels due to high humidity and warm temperatures. Eric Sideman photos. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Now and then MOFGA organizes “Growers’ Meetings,” and this year we had a meeting about growing tomatoes in high tunnels. These meetings differ from most other educational events that MOFGA

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GE Apple Update and Fall Disease Management

By C.J. Walke Update: Arctic® Apples In the spring 2014 issue of The MOF&G, I wrote about the genetically engineered, non-browning Arctic® apples, created by Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. of Summerland, British Columbia. Arctic apples are engineered to resist enzymatic browning when sliced or bruised, which proponents claim will make apples more appealing to consumers

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Garden Tips

My source of water is city water, which can be expensive if watering a large garden. I have a sump pit in my basement, so I set up a rain barrel and attached a sump hose from the pit outlet pipe to the rain barrel through an opening I cut in the rain barrel cover.

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Building Health in the Orchard

By C.J. Walke Reactive Remedies My favorite role in my work with MOFGA is helping growers and gardeners troubleshoot insect pest and disease issues in their fruit trees while developing strategies to keep those pests in check to allow fruit to reach harvest. Most often I am approached or contacted once a pest population has

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Tomato Diseases

A caterpillar tunnel. By Eric Sideman, Ph.D. Photos by the author. As you read this in December, you are probably already looking forward to next year’s tomatoes, but as I write this in mid-October, I am looking out my window at very dead tomato plants in my garden. Sadly, most tomato plants in gardens across

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Phyllosphere

The reproductive conidia of Venturia inaequalis erupting through the cuticle of a crabapple leaf. From the Wikipedia article “Apple Scab,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_scab. By C. J. Walke As organic farmers and gardeners, we understand the importance of a biologically active soil, where beneficial microbes thrive in the rich organic matter and humus layer, converting mineral nutrients into

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