Why do gardeners use dormant sprays? 

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Gardeners dormant spray each fall to prevent pests and diseases from taking root in our gardens. Overwintering pests and diseases start as small problems but can grow into big ones the following spring, requiring more drastic action. Organic gardeners avoid the use of harsh chemicals and take precautionary steps by using dormant sprays.

The first spraying usually takes place when the temperatures drop and the trees and shrubs have dropped their leaves (end of October/beginning of November). The second application will be at the end of December/beginning of January. The final spraying should be just before the buds break (show green tissue) in early spring before the beneficial pollinators become active.

We recommend the following:

Use Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Oil in late autumn or early winter to smother overwintering insects and their eggs like red spider mites, scale, aphids, bud moths, leaf roller, red bug, codling moth, blister mites, galls, whitefly, and mealy bugs. It also controls powdery mildew. This formulation works on fruit trees, shrubs, ornamentals, roses, and vegetables.

Bonide Copper Fungicide is a preventative fungicide to control black spot, downey and powdery mildew, gray mold leaf spot, botrytis, and other problems on ornamental plants and edibles. A late fall application of Bonide Copper Fungicide gets the overwintering fungal spores before the tree’s bark covers them over as temperatures drop. A second application is suggested in February when plants are budding.


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