Early Spring Spray
It is so much easier to prevent a problem than to battle it when it is strong and powerful. Early spring is a perfect time to prune shrubs and trees. Immediately after pruning, plants should be sprayed just after they start to grow, as soon as the sap begins to flow. During winter, pests survive in tree’s cracks and crevices. These overwintering (as pupae or adults) or newly emerging (from eggs) insects pose a serious threat to trees and shrubs.
The best solution to use in early spring to combat tree and shrub pests is a mixture of low concentration lime sulfur and horticultural oil emulsion, which creates two-purpose fungicide-insecticide. You need to mix the correct ratio of water and product inside a tank or backpack sprayer following chemical and product instructions. By this time, insect life has begun its activity but it is young, tender and easy to kill. Fungus has not yet had time to get out of control. Such a spray used in early spring right after pruning checks both evils and your plants get off to a clean start.
Spray Plants and Soil Area
Spraying the soil area around the plant is just as important as spraying bushes as insect life hibernates and fungus spores overwinter on the soil surface. An all-around early spring spray will destroy many of the overwintering aphids, mites, scales, thrips, and other insect pests’ eggs. There is no chance to entirely prevent infestations, as the eggs hatching in early spring are females. They fly from one place to another, starting colonies wherever they settle.
It is only a matter of time that some of these colonies will get into your garden or yard. Of course, when they do appear and become numerous, you will have to spray. One good spraying thoroughly applied with a proper solution will carry your garden along for a couple of weeks. If there is re-infestation of some pests, spray thoroughly again.
The Advance of Warm Weather
As the warm and hot weather advances, pests become less hardy. Nature assists you by means of natural mortality. If your early spring spray is made with an oil emulsion, it will also break down the eggs of the red spider, which is becoming a prevalent pest lately. This situation is undoubtedly one of the common tragedies resulting from the use of many new insecticides that have destroyed the beneficial predators. Your early spring spray will rid the bushes of red spider but you may have to spray them later in the season again.
Spores of black spot, mildew, rust and other fungal diseases are prone to overwinter, and the lime sulfur in the spray solution destroys them. In addition to destroying many fungus spores, another advantage of early spring spraying is not only to kill insect life but also to prevent insects from spreading fungus spores.
Please always follow manufacturers’ instructions on chemical application and weather condition and use protective gear while spraying any chemical solutions.