Monthly Archives: December 2013

Maintain Your Stone Fruit Trees

Cari Ortolani,
Since today’s temperature reached 50º F. and the trunk of one of my apricot trees had been infected with bacterial canker, I took the liberty of removing the malignancy to keep my plant healthy and produce another bumper crop next summer.
Canker is no stranger to stone fruits (apricot, cherry, peach, plum), and if left untreated, the infection can spread and destroy the whole plant.
First I needed to remove the gummy substance with a sharp chisel and a small pointed knife, then I painted the wound with a mixture (40% white latex paint and 60% water) to seal the injury and prevent it from spreading.
This process should be part of your yearly winter inspection/maintenance to ensure health and productivity for years to come.
Don’t wait until spring when the sap starts to flow, during the dormant season is the opportune time.

The whole procedure, and more, is in my book, THE COMPLETE ORGANIC GARDEN

Buon Anno,

Nick Mancini, The Organic Italian

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Are you still harvesting products this time of the year?

Cari ortolani del mondo,

Even though last night I wasn’t able to protect my cold frames with remnant rug under layers, and this morning my lettuce had suffered some damage, I managed to remedy the situation by shining a spotlight with a 100 watt clear bulb in all my 5 cold frames.
During super cold nights, such as in the low teens or single digits, some additional protection is needed to keep the more tender vegetation from perishing – beets, parsnips, radishes and carrots excluded.
When your more tender vegetation suffers a slight frost, and the same goes for seedlings during early spring when hardening off or planted in the garden, shine a spotlight (in the absence of sunlight) with either a reflector bulb or 100 watt clear bulb to help it regain its vitality.
Water afterwards and you’re in business again.

Ci risentiamo,

Nick Mancini, The Organic Italian
P. S. My new book, THE COMPLETE ORGANIC GARDEN is flying off the shelves