Posts Tagged ‘spray’


January 11, 2016 Leave a comment
Galileo enjoying the wind

Galileo enjoying the wind

This is the second day of high wind.

Leaves have been spiralling joyfully in the vortex created by the sheltered corner where the front door is.

Going upstairs in the tower is a wild experience as the buffets boom against the exposed walls.

I’ve had to right and refill a number of the tubs of gravel, stones and rubble which weigh down the pool tarpaulin. Even the heavy concrete lintels which we also use can actually be seen shifting a little.

The tarpaulin itself is an ocean of billowing waves. The spray it sends out, hurling cumulated rainwater into the air, completes the impression of being at sea.

I would love strong winds if I weren’t always conscious of the potential for damage.

Lucky old Galileo has no such worries. You can see from his expression that he enjoys the wind whipping his fur and tossing his ears like a whirly windmill.

Victim of the wet Spring

June 8, 2013 3 comments
2 healthy almonds, a shrivelled one, and perforated leaves

2 healthy almonds plus a shrivelled one and perforated leaves caused by shot hole disease

Yesterday I went to see how the almond tree was getting on.

I was horrified to find that most of its leaves were full of little holes.

My immediate reaction was to blame pests – maybe even the few small snails which I found on the twigs.

It being at long last a dry day, I started spraying the tree with the pesticide it should have had after flowering but never got.

As I sprayed, I noticed that a lot of the holes had formed in the centre of brown blotches.

Was it a fungal disease?

I added fungicide to my spray; the tree was now getting the full treatment it had missed out on.

Indoors, the internet confirmed my suspicions; the diagnosis jumped out at me:  shot hole disease.

The fungus is spread by rain splashing on the leaves and takes hold when the weather has been continually wet.

The disease has caused most of the almonds to shrivel up, although those which have developed properly will, apparently, be quite normal.

Our last crop was more than 400 nuts; this year, if nothing further happens, there’ll be about 30.


May 12, 2013 4 comments
An unexpected rainbow

It wasn’t even raining when I saw this rainbow

Today I discovered that deer have been using the orchard for snacks on their way up and down the hill.

Galileo chewed through the printer cable.

A load of sweet peas were sacrificed to the strimmer.

It rained less than 4 hours after we finished spraying the orchard.

Just strands in life’s rich tapestry, but I couldn’t help thinking a pot of gold would do very nicely.

Neighbour to Granny Smith

April 21, 2013 1 comment
Attractive but deadly

Leaf curl – attractive but deadly

The nectarine tree has leaf curl.

A lot of the leaves are blistered, swollen and brightly coloured as well as curled; in fact this fungal disease would be attractive if I didn’t know it was so damaging.

Seeing as the tree’s finished flowering, Chokri and I gave it the after-flower spray,  but we left out the insecticide element and only used fungicide.

That way, if any bees had braved the windy conditions, they wouldn’t be affected.

It was a necessary precaution because the next tree along in the grid is the Granny Smith apple tree which is in full bloom.

Granny Smith blossom

Granny Smith blossom

Almond blossom

March 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Almond blossom

An almond flower


It rained on and off all day today.

The orchard blossom seems to have gone on hold apart from one tree, the almond tree.

It’s the nearest to the house so I’ve watched it opening its blossom steadily.

I took this photo when the weather was better and there was only one small spray in bloom.


March 11, 2013 1 comment
Raindrop by a nectarine bud

Raindrop by a nectarine bud

This photo illustrates well the dilemma which exists this time of year.

The fruit trees should be sprayed with a mix of insecticide and fungicide at what’s called ‘pink bud’ time.

However the buds develop and show their colour (pink or white, depending on the kind of tree) right through a period when there’s almost constant wind and rain and no spraying can be done.

Once the flowers open it’s too late: the insecticide, as well as killing larvae of harmful insects, would decimate the bees and ruin chances of pollination.

Here a raindrop hangs from a nectarine twig where a bud is showing a pink tip.

Four o’clock wilt

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

A pink four o’clock flower

This photo is of a four o’clock flower, so called because it would normally open around that hour, when it’s a bit cooler.

Here, things are rather different.

By four o-clock the sunshine has reached a golden phase, but is just as intense and penetrating.

The stone wall behind the plants has had 8 hours to absorb heat and is now throwing it back.

Having used up all the water they were sprayed with on the previous evening, the plants lose their turgidity and flop, defeated.

This is the hour at which they start to wilt, and if one day I didn’t notice and didn’t water them just at that turning point, they might be past salvation by the time of the general evening watering.