Updated: January 21, 2020
In part one in this series, I wrote about how to use footlets to prevent insects from wreaking havoc when growing organic apple trees. Ted Swensen from the Home Orchard Society probably was the first person to think of this idea.
Now he’s taken this good idea one step further.
I’d probably be thinking about growing apples too – anything but shoes – when my wife is shoe shopping ;).
Let’s take a sec to get the legal words out of the way. This article may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy from my partners, I will make a tiny amount of money at no cost to you. This in no way affects my recommendations.
I use footlets to protect against apple or plum curculio. It works pretty well. The trick is to get the footlet on early enough because curculio strikes when the apples are pretty small. When the footy is on, the curculio doesn’t much seem interested in laying eggs in the apple.
Dipping footlets in Surround
Swensen came up with the idea to increase protection by dipping the footlets in Surround®, an OMRI-listed crop protectant.
It’s made with kaolin clay that is frequently used to reduce sunburn and heat stress on various crops. It also protects against bugs because they don’t like the taste or getting it on their feet (if they have feet).
It’s safe for beneficial insects and doesn’t seem to bother pollinators. It would be a great cure all except that rain washes it off, which limits effectiveness.
Organic apple trees benefit from both
Swensen got the bright idea to try dipping footies in Surround and, sure enough, it increased effectiveness against codling moth. Here is his step-by-step description of how he uses Surround with footies.
You can buy Surround Garden Protectant here.
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