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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:43 am 
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Posts: 4
I decided to move some plants indoors and, of course, got some pests who hitchhiked: primarily, fungus gnats.

Most of the plants are citrus trees, doing amazingly well, since I have a lot of natural light in my house, except for the gnat infestation. I have limited watering, but, still the bugs persisted..

Orange oil at 2 oz/gallon seems to have wiped out most of the gnats but, due to the pests' life cycles, I may need to make additional applications as soil drenches.

Anyone familiar with root or soil damage, if the orange solution is used weekly for 3-4 weeks?
I know it's a biodegradable product but wondered about soil pH, stress on upper roots, etc.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

KJ


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Location: Arlington, Texas
I don't know about trees, but I'll throw in my two cents anyway. :D

We used orange oil last year (for the first time) as a pesticide when we discovered that our squash was being decimated by squash bugs. We applied it at the same strength you mention in your post at least twice a week to all the plants. Result = healthy, happy plants and no squash bugs!

Hopefully, just knowing that somebody else has used it without killing what they were treating will give you some peace of mind.

AND, hopefully somebody else who does know about trees will join this thread.

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God speed!
Cara
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Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:53 pm 
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Thanks for chiming in. That orange oil product is amazing, in that, in addition to making the rooms with houseplants (dwarf citrus, mostly, but some other small table plants, as well) smell wonderful, it's seemingly extinguished all but a single fungus gnat or two AND thwarted small house ants that try to reach the pots, occasionally. I guess the insect-repelling aspect does exist. And the orange aroma is delightful, as a side-benefit.

My trees should be easily as durable as your squash plants, I would think.

I very much appreciate your reply via this forum, which I'm glad to have discovered.

~KJ


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:05 pm
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Location: Hill Country
Good to hear of positive results. I have been leery of using Orange Oil.

Are there any threads where people are actually making comparisons of different pest products?

Would be great to know which really work the best, and also, which are most cost-effective. :|


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:58 pm 
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As a follow-up comment:

I did use the Garrett Juice and Orange Oil combo as a foliar spray on a variety of plants on my front deck. Some plants were getting small aphids, a bit of scale, whiteflies, etc.

While the combination seems to have done it's job on the insects, I did seem to have some minor leaf burning effects, with that combination. Used as a soil drench on these same plants, I've had nothing but good results in both growth, blooming, and reduction of soil-based insect larvae, etc.

I may not have measured carefully enough, though, as the Garrett Juice foliar proportion is 1/4 cup to a gallon of water and then add Orange Oil, if needed. I guess-timated the amount, using a half-cup measure, so, perhaps, I was over by a few percentage points.

Moreover, I get a LOT of direct afternoon sun and, while I tried to avoid spraying in the heat of the day, when is it NOT hot in Texas?

If I try again, I'll do an extremely early morning spray and/or reduce the concentration even more than is recommended on the container for Garrett Juice. Perhaps 1/8 cup of Juice per gallon.

Again, as a soil drench/insecticide/soil enhancer, though, the product has been amazing, regardless of my questionable practices in measuring and application as a foliar spray. Both inside and out, I've seen lovely growth, leaf budding, and blooming.

Live and Learn!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:05 pm
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Location: Hill Country
Well, I just tried Orange oil for the first time this evening.

Howard's rec. under Pest Control Products (in his book) is 2oz. per gallon orange oil, with a cup of compost tea and 1 tbsp of molasses.

But under his Pest Control Program for Organic Fruit Trees, he mentions using only 1 oz. per gallon along with garlic perpper tea and other add-ins.

Well, I utilized 1 oz per gallon of orange oil (just a little over) as a foliar pest control over fruit trees, bell pepper, cantelope, and tomatoes. I did a thorough wetting of all foliage, stem, and a 2 ft radius around plants. Pests in general hopped away... but 30 mins later, after application, close inspection showed spiders, grasshoppers, and two hornworms on my tomatoes.

I guess I wasn't exactly impressed so far, put I'm thinking I need to give it a little time. If it controls other, smaller insects, that's fine...

but I'm hoping the addition of molasses & garlic pepper tea, will at least do the trick when it comes to grasshoppers, as they have truly been my biggest problem over the last two seasons.

Hss anyone seen use of orange oil actually kill any insects, or is it just a deterrent?

What insect repellent blends are all of ya'll using?

Howard's book confuses me a little, as his recommendations from one section to the next, vary some. On p. 338 of his (TX Gardening the Natural Way) he has a "Garlic Pepper Tea Repellent" recipe. It calls for garlic & peppers, but then mentions adding 1 oz of seeweed and molasses to each gallon of spray for additional power. What happened to the orange oil?

I'm thinking I may need to be using the 2 oz per gallon of orange oil for my foliar spraying, but I want to test that gradually, as killing my 30 peach trees would not be very desirable. So far I've sprayed 2/5 of the orchard at the 1 oz rate.

Trees and garen plants are generally small, and it's already looking like it will take a lot of orange oil. I will either need to purchase Medina Orange Oil in Bulk, find a cheaper source, or perhaps stick primarily with a home-made garlic pepper spray. Would love to hear others' feed back.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:42 pm 
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Yes, I, too, would be interested in the correct proportion of orange oil to spray.

For my citrus trees, some of which are indoors, I've been fighting scale, fungus gnats, and whiteflies, etc., all little hitchhikers who came inside when I decided to house the citrus in various rooms from now on. We have few freezing days/nights in Austin, TX, but, the last two winters, we've had two major 2-4 day blasts of cold each season and wrapping the trees, keeping them warm with holiday lights, etc., just was not worth it for a few dozen pieces of fruit, as delicious as the homegrown flavors are.

For the soil drench (Garrett Juice) I have been using 2 oz/gallon of orange oil for about 6 weeks and all the plants seem to be thriving. I'm now on a just-as-needed basis, should I see a fungus gnat or ant colony, etc. trying to take up residence in the indoor pots.

For foliar spraying, I have NOT been using the Garrett Juice mixture, any more, as the soil drench, plus a few specific fertilizer powders for my citrus, roses, etc., seems to be keeping these all thriving.

I'm now just left with brown scale, which seems to be impossible to kill, completely, since I have to put down tarps to spray the large trees and just can't muster doing that every 3 or so days for two weeks. I hit the inside plants with:

1 quart water, 1 Tablespoon orange oil, 1 tsp Murphy's Oil Soap (Please NOTE I wrote "quart").

I spay the tree leaves and branches and, at least for scale, this seems to kill 95% of the little buggers, as they dry up and flake off in a day or so. I say 95%, since I apparently either miss some leaf surfaces or some stage of the scale is more immune to the spray than other stages are. I always seem to have a single leaf or two that gets the sticky indication of the crawling scale insects before I see the immobile brown, waxy ones appear.

Still, the plants are all thriving and doing well, even with a hint of scale that seems to regenerate, every other week or so.

NOTE: I just checked on my orange oil bottle and the recommendation from the company was 2 oz. per gallon for foliar use and 4 oz for soil drench. I don't think 1 oz per gallon will do the trick, but I remember seeing 1 oz per gallon listed, somewhere on this library on this website. I've also seen the 2 oz proportion listed on this site.

Since I'm using the drench for container plants, I've been hesitant to use more than 2 oz per gallon. As I wrote before, all of my container plants are thriving with this concentration, but I have stopped after 6 weeks of constant use and only use as needed.

On an earlier post, someone mentioned using the orange oil all season long on vegetables and, I supposed, if I were dealing with a huge vegetable garden and tons of soil, I'd feel good about continual use.

Hope this helps.

~K


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:03 am 
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Location: Hill Country
Thanks - K!

I'll be keeping close watch on all of this. I found 1 oz OO per gallon listed most frequently in Howard's rec's so I went with it to be on the safe side.

The container did say 2 oz, but I like to work my way up to full strength rates, when making foliar applications. Burning leaf material can be counter-productive.

Also, I thoroughly wet leaf material as opposed to a quick light mist. (Mostly due to the lack of uniformity in my sprayer nozzle). So while not in strong formula concentration, the plants still got quite a bit of orange oil overall.

I don't know if the difference in concentrations is response to what it is being mixed with or not. Some things have synergistic effects, some things don't. The kaolin clay is an option, but it's not cheap, and frequency of application can be a problem, if it rains much.

The hoppers are no where near as bad this yr, so I think I'll get by, but in future season, I'm pretty sure I'll be trying "nosema" Nolo Bait.

Thanks Again, I'll report back with my findings.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
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Location: Arlington, Texas
I think the 4oz recommendation on the bottle is too much. I mistakenly used 2 capfuls (which, for my measure is 4 oz) in a gallon of water and the plant got badly burned when I did a soil drench. I did it early in the morning and, even at that, it took nearly a week to recover.

I didn't recall reading anything about using orange oil as a foliar pest repellant, so was very interested in everyone's comments and experience with that. Thanks for sharing!

Finally, you can make your own orange oil. We are, and it works just great. We routinely use orange oil on our squash plants and we are getting beautiful, bountiful squash.

I save orange peels until I have a gallon freezer bag full. Then put them in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer it, covered, for a loooooooooong time. What you're looking for is for the peels to be totally soft where they easily break up if you pierce them.

That said, I have learned that it's better if you don't break them up. More on that in a moment.

Back to the simmering: I leave the pot on the stove and just turn it on whenever I'm in/around the kitchen and let it simmer for a couple or 3 hours at a time (adding more water if needed).

A guess is that I boil the peels anywhere from 7-12 hours total. Between times, allow the peels to sit at room temperature, which makes the oil more intense. My final process has ended up where I take 3-4 days to make the oil, simmering, then allowing to sit at room temperature many times over that time period.

Once you finish, drain the oil from the peels and you're done! One stockpot with a gallon of peels nets me one 2-liter bottle of quality orange oil.

My comment about not breaking up the peels is a result of experimenting. I thought it would be easier to cut through the peels while they were in the stock pot, rather than waiting until I poured all the liquid/oil off. However, when I did that, the membranous portion of the peel breaks down and adds a grainy pulp to the oil. Solution? Cook the peels, pour off the oil and containerize it, then chop or blend the peels and add them to the compost pile.

It's all win, win, win, win, win! :D

Homemade orange oil has a short shelf life. Again, I learned this by experimenting. After just a month, it started fermenting inside the 2 liter bottle. Fortunately, I froze 2 bottles, so those are still on hand. Next year, I plan to save the orange peels and make the oil as we need it, instead of making it ahead of time (which is what I did this year).

Happy Gardening!

_________________
God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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