Garden pests can turn what should be a relaxing past time into all out war. Fending off insects and disease is a tiring and frustrating way to spend your gardening hours. So if you are avoiding the use of traditional insecticides or chemicals in your yard, you can still dormant spray your plants. Dormant Oil (Horticultural Oil), by itself, is one of the safest insecticides you can use. It is not a poisonous chemical to animals, birds, or humans; but it is deadly to insects.

Most trees and shrubs will benefit from dormant spray and / or a Lime Sulphur Treatment. Fruit trees, raspberries, junipers, roses, and many flowering shrubs benefit the most. The main insects you can control with dormant spray are; aphids, spider mites, blister mites, bud mites, scale, pear psylla, peach twig borers, and many other insect’s eggs. Lime Sulphur  sprays are used to limit insects and prevent the spread of certain bacterial and fungal diseases like fire blight, brown rot, leaf curl, powdery mildew, and shot hole.

How to Apply Dormant Oil Spray or Lime Sulphur Spray
These sprays should only be applied when plants are completely dormant. By combining both treatments you are able to provide a world of issues and ensure yourself a stress free gardening season. Keep in mind you should Never mix lime-sulphur spray with any fungicide or insecticide except dormant oil spray concentrate. It can react with other chemicals to release deadly hydrogen sulfide gas.
  • Applying at the incorrect time can burn leaf buds that have started to swell or show any sign of green.
  • In the case of Lime Sulphur Spray Open a bottle of concentrate while wearing rubber gloves and a face mask. Mix according to directions.
  • Choose a day when the temperature will remain at 0°C (32°F) or above for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Distribution of the spray will be more efficient on a day without wind. High winds could result in too little of the mixture adhering.
  • Spray will coat and dry most effectively when no rain, snow, or sleet is in the forecast.
  • Spray early in the morning so the plant will be completely dry by evening. Do not spray if there is any chance of frost overnight.
  • Spray the upper branches, twigs and trunks of trees with dormant spray. Try not to spray the lower trunks with dormant spray because many beneficial insects lay their eggs in the lower parts of the tree. Spray the branches thoroughly; to the point of dripping.
  • Spray junipers, and other shrubs, thoroughly from top to bottom, to prevent many insects, such as scale or spider- mites.
  • Do not use a dormant spray on Beech, Butternut, Colorado Blue Spruce, Hickory, Holly , Sugar Maple, Japanese Maple, Sweet or Sour Cherry Trees, or Walnut
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