realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

June and July fruit calendar points

Summersun

Summersun

This time of the year, many fruit crops are ripening and will soon be ready to harvest. This is also the reason why many birds are showing increased interest in our gardens. If you have a fruit cage without holes in the netting, you are doing well. If you are not in such a privileged position, it is important to cover the ripening top fruit such as cherry and all the soft fruits with netting to stop the birds doing major damage to the fruit, just before picking is imminent. Scaring devices are far less satisfactory at this time of the year.

Also at this time of the year, start removing the eating apples which are hidden underneath dense foliage. These apples usually lack flavour and tend to keep less well compared with the ones growing in full sunlight. If there are too many apples on the tree this year, the tree will be off next year.

The other point of importance is to check the trees for developing stem and main branch cankers. These cankers need to be cut out now and painted with an anti fungal paint such as Heal and Seal.

If you like to keep the trees free from pests and diseases, without the use of chemicals, you could consider using the Soil Association-approved products by Aston Horticulture. These products are totally organically based and need to be used throughout the growing season for full effect. Follow instructions on the packaging of these garlic based products. (www.astonhorticulture.com)

Regarding pests active on the fruit crops at this time of year, there are various pests depending on the crop. Some can be very destructive such as gooseberry sawfly, apple sawfly and codling moth; a range of aphids such as black aphids on cherry, rosy apple aphids, woolly aphids, leaf curling midge and various other weevils. The overall strategy should be to stop these pests building up in excessive numbers. We mustn’t forget that what we call pests are food to other creatures living in the garden. So therefore total elimination should not be our goal. A balanced approach is the best long term objective.

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