How do you treat peach curl in an organic garden?
Our organic garden has 3 fruit trees, plum, apple & apricot. They are coming down with peach curl on the leaves even though there is fruit on them. How do I deal with this? Thanks, Curling Up
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The issue you describe is not peach leaf curl. Not at this time of year, and not on plum, apple and apricot. Peach leaf curl only affects peach and nectarine. I believe you may have aphid infestations. But without photos I can only guess.
Look closely at the leaves, undersides, and pull open some curled leaves to look for insect pest activity.
To suppress an active, advanced infestation with organic program compatible materials, you can use insecticidal soap, or Evergreen pyrethum concentrate. Read labels carefully for mixing rates and precatutions.
For prevention, 70% neem oil every two weeks. Start your dormant spray program in December with oil and copper to suppress overwintering pests and diseases. In Santa Cruz I go 1st week Dec, Jan and Feb. Then switch to biological fungicide and pyrethrum in March when leaves and flowers are present. Dont use neem until flowering is finished or you may repel pollinators as well as pests.
Improve soil fertility and water management and you will have fewer pest and disease problems.