With the approach of spring, fruit growers should do several things to produce a quality crop.
Many diseases of fruit crops will overwinter in fruit left hanging on trees or vines throughout the winter months, Lockwood says. These remaining fruits serve as sources of reinfection during the upcoming growing season. Before the growing season begins, remove all old fruits from the plant. While the leftover fruit remaining on trees and vines are a greater threat than fruit left on the ground, fruit found on the ground should be removed from the site as well.
Fruit growers should plan to make pruning an annual process. Pruning offers many important benefits for the plant. Dead or diseased wood should be removed and the prunings should be removed from the site to lessen the potential for reinfection. Pruning opens the canopy of the plant for sunlight and air movement, which will help lessen the possibility of disease. The faster fruits and foliage dry off following a rain or fog during the growing season, the less likely are certain diseases to develop.
Pruning also enables better spray coverage, lessening the potential for insect and disease problems, according to Lockwood. Pruning is also valuable for maintaining the fruitfulness of a tree or vine. By pruning unproductive or marginally productive wood in the canopy of the plant, new growth is encouraged to develop. This new growth is the site of the best fruit wood for future years.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.