Tag Archives: plum insects

I Have Questions

1. Organic ways to treat peach leaf curl?

Our poor little runty peach tree is already exhibiting leaves that look like this:

Peach leaf curl

Peach leaf curl

Daniel Cooley of UMass writes: “Probably the most irritating thing about seeing the characteristic warty red leaves of peach leaf curl is realizing that it’s already too late to do anything about the disease.”

As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, this fruit-tree business is new to me. When we bought our house here in Oakland, it was winter. We saw the bare trees in the back and thought they were all dead. Imagine our surprise when March came and they all burst into bloom and then grew actual fruit! So I’m learning as I go.

Ok, so it’s too late to help the poor tree now that it’s making fruit. Any ideas about how to minimize the damage during the summer, and what to treat it with in the fall that isn’t entirely toxic?

A little research led me to the blog of Scott and Kendra’s A Sonoma Garden blog, in which they discussed the peach leaf curl menace. It’s a great site, so I’d recommend giving it a visit.

2. What is this bug and why is it fond of my plum tree?

Yesterday afternoon, we noticed a bunch of flying insects in our plum tree. They are thin, small, fly and look kind of wasp-y, with brown bodies and red heads. They look like these

Adult Western Flower Thrips

only as I said, with red heads.

There’s a flowering tree in the neighbor’s yard right behind our plum tree, that produces clusters of white flowers, and the insects seem to like those a lot. But still. Should I worry? What the heck are they? And what do I do if they’re harmful to the plums?

3. At what point do I stop hilling up the potato plants?

Every week or so I pile up dirt and/or straw around the growing potato plants. Do I do that until the plant dies, or do I stop at some point and assume the tubers have been produced?

Ugh. There’s so much I don’t know!

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