"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Monday, May 25, 2009

Adventures with Kaolin Clay (Surround), Ants Again!

Peach Tree Sprayed with Surround

Clay Tree Band-aid!

I am trying an organic fruit tree spray this year. It is called surround and it is basically Kaolin Clay. It is supposed to keep bugs from biting and tunneling into your fruit. You just mix with water and spray it on the fruit, and the trunk if you want because it will protect from sunburn too. You can just wipe it off when you harvest your fruit. I called around the local feed-stores until I found one that had it, and would sell me only two pounds (instead of thirty) and I think this cost me less than $5.

I applied it to our peach tree before we went to Tennessee, but we had so much rain that I needed to reapply. I went out to the tree, after I had already mixed up half a gallon of spray, and I found that there were only 20 peaches left on the tree! What happened while we were gone? Did the hail damage some peaches and they fell off after we left? Well that was discouraging, but I went ahead and sprayed the nice looking 20 peaches that were left. I thought, "Well at least they will be 20 big peaches."

I had a lot of spray left, so I wondered if it might help me with another ant problem I was having. Ants were attacking a young red bud tree next to the house. It had started when I accidentally injured the tree while trying to tied it up straight. At first the ants were attracted to the spot that was oozing sap, then they started biting holes in the bark at all the branch junctions and eating the sap. They were swarming all over the tree. I tried blasting them off with the water hose, but they just came right back. So I sprayed the spots they were attacking with the kaolin clay spray, but it was too thin and did not seam to be working.

I was getting frustrated at this point and afraid they would damage my tree, so I mixed a thick solution of clay and water in a small cup, and used a paint brush to paint it on in gobs right over the ants where they were attacking the Red Bud. It worked! The ants left the tree and the clay dried into a tree band-aid!

Oh, by the way, when I checked the peach tree next day, two more peaches had fallen off! : (

Another by the way, I dont hate bugs! They are a fascinating part of God's world and I tolerate the "bad" ones as much as possible.

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