Viewed from a distance I thought the apples looked really promising.Well, over the last few days, a few of the fruits have fallen off the tree, unaided. This tells me that the crop is ready for harvest. They say that the way to tell if an apple is ready for picking is to cup the fruit in your hand, twist gently, and if the fruit comes away from the tree easily, it is ready. Mine were. Today I picked 23 fruits from my tree.
|The apple harvest|
There are a few left on the tree which I didn't think were mature enough. Add to that the couple of "windfalls", and we get a total of about 28 or 29 fruits. Not a big crop, by any standard, but then the tree is only a Minarette, which is never going to produce a vast crop. By rights though, the fruits ought to be better than anything you could buy in a shop. Regrettably, the fruits are NOT very good. Some of them are OK-ish, but a lot of them seem to have suffered from a disease, which I think I have identified as "Bitter Pit". One of the books I have describes the disease thus: "Small brown areas appear on the surface tissue, each one marked by a small depression in the skin. The brown areas are occasionally scattered throughout the fruit, rendering it bitter and inedible." It goes on to say that "The cause of the disorder is complex, but is linked to calcium deficiency and a period of water shortage."
|A good one|
|The "Bitter pit"???|