Nowadays the old-fashioned custom of lime washing fruit trees in the winter has almost disappeared. The modern method of pest control on apples, pears, plums and currants (both black and red) is to spray before the end of January with a tar-oil spray, and later with a lime-sulphur spray, and other washes at various stages of growth.
For the moment, the tar-oil wash is most important. You can buy it almost anywhere with full directions for making up. Remember to choose a dry day (not frosty), with little or no wind, for spraying; and make sure that all the branches have been thoroughly wetted all over. Cover up any plants under or near the trees or bushes or the spray will damage them. Newspapers will do.
MANURING FRUIT TREES
If apple and pear trees are not growing very strongly, a dressing of 3 or 4 oz. of hoof and horn meal to the square yard, lightly forked into the ground during winter over the area covered by the branches, will encourage them to make strong growth.
In addition, one ounce to the square yard of Sulphate of Ammonia should be worked into the surface soil in spring. Apples and pears especially need potash, and dressing of wood ash from the bonfire should be worked into the ground in April.
Bone meal is a useful manure for fruit trees, but need only be applied once every three or four years at the ate of about 3 oz. per square yard. Plums too benefit by a similar dressing, but should also have a dressing of 2 oz. of sulphate of ammonia to the square yard each spring.
The following leaflets in the “Dig for victory” series are free for the asking and may be helpful to you. You can get them by writing to the Ministry of Agriculture at Berri Court Hotel, St. Annes, Lytham St. Annes, Lancs :– (This was their wartime address)
Dig for Victory Leaflet–
No. 1–Cropping Plan for a 10-rod plot (300 sq. yds.).
No. 23–Cropping Plan for a 5-rod plot (150 sq. yds.).
No. 7–How to make a Compost Heap.
No. 12–Seed Potatoes.
No. 18–Better Fruit––Disease Control in Private Gardens.
No. 25–How to Prune Fruit Trees and Bushes.
There are other useful leaflets in the series : send for a list to the above address.
The 1941 and 1943 versions of leaflet no. 7 were called Manure from Garden Rubbish