“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
A dormant spray kit includes an oil-based pesticide, horticulture oil and a fungicide, lime-sulphur. They are mixed with water and applied to plants while they are dormant and help treat many pest and fungal problems and aid in preventing additional issues before they begin. Both products in the kit are considered low-impact, organic friendly and one of the few preventive treatments available. Most serious gardeners will agree, a dormant spray kit is a beneficial item to have in your toolkit, especially if you have fruit trees!
The horticultural oil portion of the kit is helpful in smothering overwintering insects, larvae, and egg masses of insects such as aphids, mites, and scale. Especially beneficial in our coastal climate the lime-sulphur acts as a fungicide to help against common fruit tree problems like scab, black knot, and peach leaf curl.
Ideally applied as a forceful spray to dormant trees and shrubs in early spring as the buds are just beginning to swell, and before they have cracked or broken open. You need 24 hours of above freezing and you shouldn’t spray when temperatures are below 4c. This is very weather dependant and will vary from year-to-year. We suggest getting outside and familiarizing yourself with the plants you’d like to treat while they’re still dormant so it will be easier to spot bud growth and swelling. The Comox Valley has many micro-climates so there is no one catchall window for treatment. Peaches are one of the first fruit trees to break bud so if you have one nearby, this is good one to keep an eye on.
If the bud has broken, do not use your dormant spray as you will cause damage. When applied correctly dormant spray is incredibly beneficial, but it is not safe to use on everything. Evergreens should not be sprayed. Horticulture oil should no be used on Japanese maples, Sugar Maples, Beech, Butternut, Colorado Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir, Hickory, Holly and Walnut. Horticultural Oil will damage the bark on Empire, Mutsu and Red Delicious apple trees. Do not use Lime Sulphur on Apricot trees and do not use Lime Sulphur on Plum trees when they are in leaf.
Once you’ve completed your spraying don’t forget to rinse all components of your sprayer thoroughly so that the lime sulphur doesn’t build up and cause blockages.
Stop in store to talk to our staff, pick up your dormant kit, pump sprayer and info guide.
Remember! Make sure you always understand the intended use of the product you are using and refer to your product label for all instructions and precautions before mixing and using any pesticide product.