Hello and welcome to our farm newsletter.
Having finished the last apples from last season, we have been asked 'when will you next have apples?'. This does depend somewhat on the weather. Discovery is our earliest variety, normally we would start picking around the first week of August, but we have started as early as the 24th of July and as late as the 10th of September. This shows how much influence the weather has on our picking dates!
This year has been slightly slow to get started, but with a combination of some warm weather and enough rain, the apples are starting to catch up from their late start.
In the picture are some Queen Cox apples, these we normally start picking in early September, but the next task is thinning the fruit which will start in about 2 - 3 weeks time. Thinning is one of the most important (and expensive) jobs in the orchard. Some growers use blossom thinning machines at the beginning of the season, but we still hand thin our trees. Depending on the variety, we can remove as much as 70% of the fruit from the trees. This has two important effects. The first is that any fruit that is mis-shapen or damaged can be removed and the second is that the tree doesn't have to spend too much energy, therefore ensuring that the trees do not turn bi-anneal. Making sure that we have a better quality, crop of larger apples every year.
If you have apple trees in your garden, this is one of the ways you can improve the size and quality of fruit when it comes to picking time. Hopefully we will get time to post a video on our facebook page, showing you how to thin your own trees.
That's all for this newsletter, we hope you enjoyed reading it.