Peach pest & disease control
Leaf curl and brown rot are the two main diseases that affect peaches and nectarines. Once these appear they are very hard to contain, so prevention is the aim.
This is very common. As the name suggests, it curls or deforms the leaves so they look blistered and reddish in colour.
A single application of copper spray can prevent leaf curl affecting fruit, if applied at the right time, which is at the first signs of leaf bud development.
Good coverage is needed. Trees should be covered until dripping wet as fungal diseases can be harboured in crevices in the bark. Red leaf infections should be removed before they reach the ‘white bloom’ stage.
As trees enter dormancy and drop their leaves, apply a strong copper oxychloride spray. This also covers bacterial blast and leaf spot.
Repeat in winter to clean up any remaining spores.
Just before bud burst in late winterearly spring, apply again.
If this sounds like a bit much trouble, don’t worry. We are lucky to get two of these sprays done, and we still harvest good fruit.
This is the bane of home orchardists, especially in areas of high humidity and rainfall. It can be very damaging, causing complete collapse of fruit, tip die-back and brown leaves on trees. Sulphur can be used (except on apricots) but it is unlikely to be enough in a bad year.
Fungicides can be used during flowering and within 21 days of harvest. We prefer not to use them, but we are lucky to be in a relatively dry climate.
This live wood fungal disease turns leaves silver and can be devastating. Infected branches die back and can be eventually killed.
Remove any infected branches as this disease can spread quickly. Large pruning cuts can be inoculated with the beneficial fungus Trichoderma viride. Clean pruning equipment between trees to avoid spreading disease.
Peach leaf curl, ( Taphrina deformans).
Peach affected by brown rot.