Holistic Orchard Spray Kit Guide
For a more detailed discussion of these ingredients and how they work together to serve your fruit trees, see Michael Phillips’ book The Holistic Orchard.
Fish Hydrolysate: Feeds soil and arboreal food web.
Neem Oil: Contains Azadirachtin compounds that deter pests and disrupt their life cycles. Neem also is said to stimulate the tree’s immune system, give nutrients to foliage and feed the arboreal food web. Caution: pears are quite sensitive to neem oil, especially after bloom, so spray them lightly, or cut the neem rate in half if you’re spraying lots of pears.
Liquid Kelp: Promotes growth and helps trees adapt to stress.
EM-1: A probiotic inoculant that colonizes the branches and fruit with beneficial microbes to promote fruit growth and disease resistance. Click here for info on fermenting, or “activating,” EM-1.
MICHAEL PHILLIPS’ RECIPE:
Makes a 4-gal ready-to-spray batch. Mix in a 5-gal bucket in this order:
– ⅓ cup (2½ fl oz) Neem Oil—warm up to liquefy.
– 1 teaspoon biodegradable dish soap—stir to emulsify neem.
– 1 quart warm water
– ½ cup molasses (then stir again)
– 1¼ cups Fish Hydrolysate
– ⅓ cup Liquid Kelp
– 1¼ cup activated EM-1
– Add water until you reach the 4 gallon mark, then stir one last time.
SUGGESTED SPRAY PROGRAM:
Coat trees—including the trunks—to the point of runoff, about 1½ gal per mature fruit tree. We recommend using the Solo Deluxe 4-Gallon Sprayer. Treat this suggested schedule as a starting point; every site is different and requires a custom program. For example, trees with cedar apple rust or brown rot issues may require additional spraying for effective management.
When green leaf tips emerge: Fish, Neem, EM-1 and Kelp. Fish and Neem rates can be doubled for this first spray, except for on pears.
When buds turn pink: Fish, Neem, EM-1 and Kelp.
When blossoms open (optional): ONLY EM-1 and Kelp. To help prevent apple scab and fire blight, increase Brix, and attract pollinators.
When petals fall: Fish, Neem, EM-1 and Kelp.
7-10 days after petals fall: Fish, Neem, EM-1 and Kelp.
Post-harvest, after about half the leaves have fallen: Fish, Neem and EM-1. Spray trees as usual, but also aim at the ground to hasten leaf decomposition.
Orchard and Garden Pest Patrol
These products provide a degree of insect control and will help certified growers meet the requirements of rule 205.206 of the National Organic Program.
Also consider row covers for excellent protection from insects, including insect netting and Agribon.
• Click here for orchard tools.
While we try to stay current with product specifications, product formulations are subject to change without notice.
Inoculants, soil amendments, fertilizers, livestock supplies and pesticides are labeled as:
OMRI: Organic Materials Review Institute. Most state certifying agencies, including MOFGA, accept OMRI approval.
MOFGA: Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association. Reviewed by MOFGA and allowed for use on MOFGA-certified farms. Check with your certifier.
WSDA: The Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Certifying division has approved these products for use in organic agriculture in Washington State. MOFGA has indicated that they will accept products on this list for their certification program. Check with your certifier.
Nat’l List: One-ingredient products on the NOP* List of Allowed Substances (subpart G of the Organic Foods Production Act, sections 205.601-606). Check with your certifier.
AYC: Products whose active ingredient is on the list of allowed substances, but which are not on the OMRI or WSDA list. Ask your certifier.
Not Allowed: A few of the products we list are not allowed for organic production but we think they have a place in sensible agriculture and can be used when certification is not an issue.
• Click here for our list of soil amendments, fertilizers, and disease and insect controls along with their certification status and manufacturers.
MOFGA leads the way in growing Maine’s agricultural community. We at Fedco committed ourselves to raising at least $50,000 for MOFGA over five years. You can help in this effort, with easy actions on the check-out page.
- Add a donation to MOFGA with your order. Add any amount in the donation box.
- Donate any refund to MOFGA, and we will match your donation. Just click your choice of dollar limit.
- Let us know you are a MOFGA member, and we will make a donation equal to 1% of your order total.