Urgent info needed regarding the use of fruit sox.
I'm a rank amateur, but enjoying watching my various grafts thrive in this climate (west of Portland, OR). I have a number of young apples, plums and pears that are just fruiting this year (some last year) and realized that I may have missed optimum times for placing the fruit sox, soaked in the clay solution. I've trimmed down the multiple fruit clusters to ease the weight burden on branches. But with the spider mites on some leaves here and there, and a nearby neighbor who can't be bothered to trim back his old apple tree because, after all, the fruit is all infested and mealy, I'm very concerned about pests. Have I completely missed the boat for protecting my fruit with fruit sox?
Welcome to the HOS forum, Arlin.
It's not an on/off switch.
If you are trying to prevent codling moth, I would start at the beginning of May, when they are about the size of a marble.
If you missed that, and you probably have, the number you put on will decrease the amount of codling moth infestation. When you go to the small fruit to put the fruit sox on, you can often see the ones that already have a hole or mark from codling moth. Those are good ones to thin. I have even scratched off small egg deposits with my fingernail successfully. It does leave a scar though. If you're late, some people will just put the fruit sox on the most vulnerable apples or the ones that are their favorites.
Putting them on now will still be effective for apple maggot. Some will only put them on varieties that seem to be highly vulnerable for apple maggot.
Things like this might get closer to the 100% goal:
The only issues other than not having tested these is that they don't retract into a shrunk size once my hand is withdrawn the way the nylon protectors will. The issue being they are more noticable.
Does anyone have information to contact the testing grounds that the home orchard foundation has?
Are you talking about the Home Orchard Education center, which was the HOS Arboretum?
Yes. Not sure with all the changing around who to ask to volunteer this idea to.
Tonia is in charge of it still, I think.