Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Apples and issues
It’s apple season growing time and with that come some issues! Apples that grow in our colder climates are new, relatively speaking, in the plant world. The University of MN has done a lot of breeding to create some AMAZING cultivars. I’ll never forget back in the early 1990’s having my first Honeycrisp apple at the MN Landscape Arboretum. It was huge, red and the absolute best apple I’d ever eaten. We could only buy ONE!
Today there are a myriad of northern grown apples .
A friend of mine has Zestar and Honeycrisp. He doesn’t like to use chemicals to keep the bugs at bay so he uses nylon footies to keep apple maggot at bay. Yes, it’s a lot of work but, if you’re organic, then give it a go. It works.
Damage from insects generally happens before you see it, so if you had troubles last year, you likely will this year. Apple maggot is the worst.
You should have traps placed NOW. The adult flies lay eggs under the skin of the growing apples. Growing apples in the home garden [Univ. of MN]
Picking up and destroying fallen fruit once a week from early August through harvest reduces the potential for maggot infestations the following year. However, the raccoons don’t care.
A little “zing” on the fence will keep them away but not hurt them!
This time of year, you should thin the fruit. Leave one or two fruit per flower cluster. Thin when the fruit is about marble size, thinning is actually good for the tree.