Ask the gardeners

Do you know of an organic treatment for the prevention of peach leaf curl? I don't want to use a fungicide, such as captan, etc., as we are organic gardeners. Peach leaf curl causes leaves to crinkle, pucker, grow thicker than normal, and turn a light green, yellow, red, or purple color. In some cases a tree may lose all its leaves.

Some organic gardeners check the fungus by applying a dormant oil spray as soon as the buds start to unfold.

Always remove any fallen leaves and burn or dispose of them in a trash bag.

One organic grower claims good results from an onion-water spray made from five medium-sized onions run through a food processor and mixed with a gallon of water.

Strain the mixture before spraying.

My soil was originally cow pasture, and at first earthworms were quite abundant. We have used a minimum of chemical fertilizer in the garden, depending on composted mulch. Earthworms seem to have become more scarce. What can we do to restore more worms to the garden? The worms, no doubt, are still there, probably beyond the 8-inch layer of topsoil, down where they are still benefiting your garden.

Continue to add all the organic matter you can get. It is great for tightening up a sandy soil and loosening up a clay soil -- as well as building up the worm population.

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