I’m certain that I wasn’t the only kid among us who had to hear the daily reminders growing up.
“Do your chores!”
If it was mowing the grass, taking out the trash, feeding the cows, or even gathering the mail, we all had those pesky chores to do as kids. I’m willing to bet too that, like me, you suffered through them, not realizing that the chores were actually important to our household and they were important in teaching me the value of hard work.
In a way that is very similar to our childhood, nut growers have important things to do post-harvest too, and this is my reminder to you:
“It’s time to do your chores!”
We’ve talked about ways to finish out the season strong and the critical importance that harvest and post-harvest chores can have on your future growing seasons. In the last edition we talked about how to control nematodes so they don’t cause future perils. Nematode control isn’t the only thing you should have on your mind right now, though.
There are a few other chores that I highly recommend as we enter post-harvest time:
- Check for Worms
It’s not unheard of for nut growers to face a late-season worm infestation. Sure, you’ve worked hard all season to control pests, but it doesn’t mean they can’t creep back in while you’re focused on harvest. Take a moment to do some scouting for signs of worms in your orchards, and if you see them, consider an application of a Bt product. Certis has several effective Bt options, including Agree®, Deliver® and Javelin® . You know I love flexibility and these products definitely have that advantage, each giving you a zero-day PHI, 4-hour REI and residue exemption. They’re even OMRI Listed® and can be used in organic and conventional production.
- Look for the Mummies
The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program says that sanitation of mummy nuts in fall or winter is essential to effective navel orangeworm control. Because NOW eggs are laid on mummies, it’s important to do a sweep for mummies soon and often to reduce their overwintering. Proper sanitation methods starting now and lasting through early winter will help reduce NOW infestations in your next growing season.
- Hit weeds out of the park
All of these chores are important, but evaluating your orchard floor for weed issues is a priority for sure. Scout to see which weeds were missed by your IPM this year and survey which ones you see. Identify in your notes if they were grasses or broadleaf weeds. You may see some winter weed species coming up. If you do, remember that Homeplate® is an effective broad-spectrum non-selective herbicide control.
- Water, water, water
During post-harvest, root activity increases in your orchards as trees begin to store carbohydrates, nutrients and water for emergence next season. Irrigation can help this process and help ensure healthy trees next season.
It’s always nice to have someone lend a hand during chore time, so if the Certis team or I can help you out in any way as harvest wraps up and you begin your post-harvest task list, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always here for you.
When your chores are finished now, you probably won’t get a shiny quarter or a trip to get ice cream, but you will rest easy knowing that you and your trees are better prepared for the next growing season.