Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dormant Spray

Luckily, we now have 6 sunny days in a row to come on the wet coast here on Lotus Island! There wasn't much sun today since we have had dense fog but it is warm and DRY and that's what counts for spraying. The sun burst through for a few hours. No wind has meant that the sulfur and oil has not blown back in my face as much as usual, but still, you can't spray with the hose sprayer without some drenching. The hose sprayer is strong enough that I can spray from the ground as the 12 trees, although about 100 years old, have been kept to twenty feet by my very good pruner. My glasses get repeatedly covered with oil and water so I feel a little like Mr. Magoo fumbling his way to the tree. I am commanded to wear a mask so the glasses also fog up from the inside and it's hard to clean your glasses with slippery, oily, yellow-orange hands. At least the oil doesn't line my aveoli! I didn't spray last year, to my dismay, when I saw the number of egg cases of tent caterpillars this year and recalled the scabby pears and apples and the powdery mildew in the summer. Sulfur for the fungus and oil for the worms. I'm intent on eradication this year and will spray again March 1st. In a sense it is not unlike the practice of medicine! There is a tide in the affairs of men, and making hay when the sun shines, is seizing the day! I see a lot of black and green algae on the wooden decks and particularly thick on the cement aggregate patio. The price of warm weather and el Nino. I will also spray this with the fungus and algae off compound and then power wash. There is fungus,moss and lichen on the roof shingles too, though they are not so bad, but spraying the shady side of the roof is also on the agenda before it rains again. What a battle with Mother Nature this week but I am girded for it and the only downside is a ring around the bathtub every night! The shingles are cedar but 17 years old so I dare not scrape or tread too roughly. Spray and leave has worked in the past. It's all still better than shoveling snow!

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