Today I finished spraying the fruit trees (and roses, grape vines and brussels sprouts) with Surround CP. Surround is made from white kaolin clay and food-grade wax – a wonderfully effective pesticide that coats leaves and fruit with a thin layer of what is essentially, porcelain. Insects are put off by the material, and those that ingest it, die. I’ve found it works well as a fungicide as well, protecting my hybrid fruit crops from the rusts and fungi carried by their wild cousins that grow rampant around my garden. The beauty of Surround is that it is completely passive, aside from the rather startling sight of ghostly grey foliage. I grow everything in close quarters and can’t afford to spray a poison on a tree that will kill the strawberries growing under the branches – and that’s aside from the considerations about my well, that is under the entire garden.
I chose a calm, sunny day – fortunately a day I had off from work, and my backpack sprayer and I made the rounds.
Pictured is a little Liberty apple tree with a sad backstory. This was one of my first fruit trees, purchased in 2004 when we were building the house. I planted it a safe distance from the construction and our septic field and planned to move it to a more advantageous position later on. Years went by and the spruce and pines grew up around the little tree that didn’t die, but did not get appreciably bigger either. I moved it in 2009 and you can tell from the photo below that it is still small. It bore for the first time this year and reminds me of a quince bonsai I saw at Longwood Gardens – a delicate structure with outlandishly disproportionate fruit.