Many of you will know that I only have one solitary (and not very healthy) apple tree. It is Minarette version of the variety "Scrumptious". Last year it was in very poor condition, and I nearly dug it up. The tree's main problem was that it was suffering from Bitter Pit, which is caused by inability to absorb enough calcium, normally as a result of being too dry. This year I was determined to do what I could to improve the situation, and I pledged to do my utmost to provide the tree with enough water. In this of course I was considerably assisted by the elements in our wettest Summer for 100 years!
This week one of the tree's few fruits fell off, which I took to be a sign that the fruit was ready for picking. I therefore picked all the fruits of any significant size. It didn't take me long!
Yes, there were only seven. Well, at least that is better than last year's total: zero.
The apples have some very attractive aspects. One side of each fruit (the sunny side) is deeply blushed - almost crimson - whereas the other (the shaded side) is pale green.
One of the apples was a real good-looker:
They weren't all so good. Most of them still showed signs of the Bitter Pit:
Fortunately these blemishes are not very deep, and when you peel the apple the flesh underneath is still OK. The taste of these apples is really sweet, and their texture is firm and crunchy. A very nice apple to have with a piece of good mature Cheddar chesse.
So what do you think? Should I persevere and hope that next year will be better, or should I start again with a different tree?
P.S. Here are a couple of pics of an apple that didn't make it to harvest. I quite like the grotesque wrinkliness of it!