Thursday 19 August 2010

The Apple harvest

Some of you will have seen my pictures of the "Scrumptious" apples at various stages of their development...

"Scrumptious" apples

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"???
So, a mixed result, but in the true sense of the word "disappointing". To add insult to injury, today Jane has come home from a friend's house absolutely laden-down with huge quantities (maybe 7kgs??) of cooking apples. These are probably destined to be made into chutney, whilst the decent ones amongst my "eaters" are going to take their place in the fruit bowl in the kitchen. Maybe next year will be better....


  1. Mark, the "good" one looks perfect! Chalk up the bitter issue to lessons learned and move on. Do you keep a journal so as to look back year to year?

  2. Hi Dave;
    Up till now I have only kept a record of what varieties I have grown, and where they are on the plot (to aid with crop-rotation). I haven't recorded what did well and what didn't. Perhaps I should? It's a matter of finding the time really...


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