Home Fruit Gardens: Table 1.2. Monthly Maintenance

Your schedule may vary from the one below by as much as 2 weeks (earlier or later) depending on the region of Pennsylvania in which you are located.
Home Fruit Gardens: Table 1.2. Monthly Maintenance - Articles
Home Fruit Gardens: Table 1.2. Monthly Maintenance

Throughout the season, scout to identify insects and diseases in the orchard. Apply fungicides and insecticides (see pesticide recommendations in each chapter) according to your scouting and the schedule below.

ApplesStone Fruits
JanuaryCheck for mice, deer, and rabbit damage. Collect scions for grafting. Cut and burn dead or diseased fruitwood. Cut out fire blight.Check for mice, deer, and rabbit damage. Cut and burn dead or diseased fruitwood. Remove all mummified fruit from peach trees to keep the brown rot fungus from overwintering.
FebruaryBegin pruning all fruits except peaches. Collect scion wood for grafting. Collect and burn all mummified fruit in trees or dispose of in sealed plastic bags. Check pesticide stock.Prune and burn all black knot infections on plums and cherries.
MarchFinish pruning. Begin grafting. Fertilize when ground thaws. Calibrate sprayers. Check for mite and aphid eggs.Fertilize when ground thaws. Calibrate sprayers.
AprilScout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Remove tent caterpillars. Spray for gypsy moths. Apply a delayed dormant oil spray for mite and aphid eggs. Hang pheromone traps. Continue grafting. Start scab sprays when green tissue appears.* Apply insecticide at 1⁄2 inch green if rosy apple aphids were a problem.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting and schedule. Begin pruning when buds swell. Hang OFM pheromone traps. Apply leaf curl spray before buds swell if leaf curl was a problem last year. At bloom, begin controlling brown rot on peach.
MayScout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Place bees for pollination. Take soil samples for nematode analysis. Take soil samples for mineral analysis. Watch for fire blight at bloom. Watch for plum curculio damage on fruit. If codling moth has been a pest, monitor with traps.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Cut out cytospora canker. Take soil samples for nematode analysis. Take soil samples for mineral analysis. At petal fall, watch for plum curculio damage on fruit. Pick up leaf curl leaves that have fallen.
JuneScout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Cut or pull suckers. Apply calcium sprays if bitter pit is a problem. If fruit rots have been a problem, begin spraying. Thin fruit and look for plum curculio and codling moth damage. Dispose of thinned fruit and drops. Mow, cultivate, keep weeds away from trunk.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Cut out cytospora canker. Check interval between last application and harvest. Dispose of thinned fruit and drops. Thin fruit and look for plum curculio damage. Mow, cultivate, keep weeds away from trunk.
JulyScout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Summer prune lightly. Pull suckers. Budding. Remove fallen fruit. Watch out for codling moth second generation. Watch out for Japanese beetle damage. Maintain fruit rot sprays if rots are still a problem. Check for borers.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Summer prune. Remove fallen fruit. Check for borers. Order trees needed in two years.
AugustScout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Budding. Remove fallen fruit. Take leaf samples before Aug. 15 for nutritional analysis. Harvest early fruit and chill immediately.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Complete summer pruning. Remove fallen fruit. Take leaf samples before Aug. 15 for nutritional analysis. Control peachtree borer. Budding.
SeptemberScout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Obey PHI periods. Test for nematodes if not yet tested. Remove fallen fruit. Harvest and identify disease and insect pests to aid in next year's control strategies.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicides and insecticides according to scouting. Test for nematodes if not yet tested. Nematode test for new plantings. Control peach tree borer. Remove fallen fruit.
OctoberClean and store sprayer. Mow close for mouse control. Rake and dispose of leaves. Pick up fallen fruit and dispose.Control peachtree borer (late Sept.). Clean and store sprayer. Remove fallen leaves and fruit and dispose.
NovemberMow orchard. Winterize equipment. Rake and dispose of leaves. Paint tree trunks white.Paint tree trunks white. Apply leaf curl spray. Rake and dispose of leaves.
DecemberCheck and renew deer repellents. Clean up orchard floor.Clean up orchard floor.
StrawberriesBrambles
January-FebruaryDon't fertilize.Prune. Remove brush. Fertilize. Remove borer-infested tips.
MarchDon't fertilize.Prune. Remove brush. Fertilize. Remove borer-infested tips.
AprilRemove mulch from over plants.Apply lime sulfur spray. Place mulch between rows. Don't fertilize.
MayApply bloom fungicide spray. Scout for insects and diseases.Apply bloom fungicide spray. Scout for insects and diseases.
JuneKeep fruit off of the ground. Pick damaged fruit and discard. Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicide and insecticide if necessary.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicide and insecticide if necessary. Pinch growing tips on black and purple raspberries and blackberries.
JulyRenovate planting. Narrow bed width and reduce plant density to improve next season's disease control. Fertilize.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicide and insecticide if necessary. Pick ripe and overripe fruit. Continue to pinch black and purple raspberry and blackberry tips.
AugustWater if necessary. Begin day-neutral harvest.Remove old fruiting canes. Begin primocane-bearing harvest.
September OctoberMow closely next to rows to reduce mouse and vole injury.
November- DecemberCover plants with straw. BlueberriesGrapes
January-MarchRemove dead and scale-infested wood and mummified fruit. Prune. Remove brush. Fertilize.Remove dead wood and mummified fruit. Prune. Remove brush. Fertilize.
AprilRake soil below the plants just before bloom. Mulch.
MayApply bloom fungicide spray. Scout for insects and diseases.Apply bloom fungicide spray. Scout for insects and diseases.
JuneScout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicide and insecticide if necessary.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicide and insecticide if necessary. If not extensive, remove diseased fruit and leaves.
JulyWater if necessary. Harvest.Scout for insects and diseases. Apply fungicide and insecticide if necessary. If not extensive, remove diseased fruit and leaves.
AugustWater if necessary. Harvest.If not extensive, remove diseased fruit and leaves.
SeptemberHarvest late varieties.If not extensive, remove diseased fruit and leaves.
OctoberMow closely next to rows to reduce mouse and vole injury.
November- DecemberRake up leaves and discard

* Not necessary with scab-resistant apple varieties.