realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Top ten tips on apple storage

PaulaRed, photo courtesy of Lewis Farm Market/flickr.com

PaulaRed, photo courtesy of Lewis Farm Market/flickr.com

It has been a wonderful year for fruits to grow and mature. Above average temperatures during the early part of the growing season and plenty of moisture contributed to producing good-sized, flavoursome fruits. Apples are the easiest fruit to store. Pears can be stored successfully but only if you are able to keep the temperature as close as you can to 1 degree Celsius. Apples store well at 3 degrees Celsius. Plums, greengages, peaches and apricots are best ripened off in the kitchen and used for daily consumption or bottling.

If you’d like to start growing your own fruit, now is a good time to plan your tree layout. Make a choice from our variety list, and place a provisional order. Or contact us for more information on purchasing trees.

 

Tips on storing apples
This time of the year, remember the following if you want to store some apples for the winter months:
1) Only store fruits without holes, cracks or small patches of discoloured brown rot.
2) Pick very carefully. Handle the fruits like eggs. Bruising the fruit is as bad as a hole in the fruit.
3) Do not store over-mature fruit. These fruits won’t keep.
4) Colourless immature fruit from the centre of the tree tends to shrivel once in store.
5) The taste of the fruit must be fully developed, before it is ready to pick. Always taste the fruit first before you pick it.
6) Put the fruit on single-layer trays.
7) Keep the temperature ideally at an even level and as close as you can to 3 degrees Celsius.
8) Fruit stores best in the dark and at high humidity.
9) Make sure mice are not present where you store your fruit as they will nibble the fruit and destroy your harvest.
10) Inspect your fruit once a week and remove those fruits which ripen first and are ready to eat.

The effects of a Mediterranean climate on fruit trees in the UK this year

Moorpark, photo courtesy of sarahjb2007/flickr.com

Moorpark, photo courtesy of sarahjb2007/flickr.com

Fruit trees have enjoyed above average rainfall and higher than average temperatures. The winter months were practically without frost and therefore the season started earlier. Most types of fruit ripened earlier than usual as a result of these weather patterns.

There are some negative effects as well. There is a lot more brown rot to cope with. Also various fungal diseases such as scab and mildew have caused problems for many people. Orchard hygiene is therefore very important. Removal of rots and scabby leaves from the orchard area is very important. If this is not done then next year the problem is likely to be even worse. This also applies to peach leaf curl, Do not store any affected fruit. Only store clean undamaged fruit.

Click here to read an article on dealing with peach leaf curl.

Peaches, apricots, pears, gages, a great year

Golden Glow, photo courtesy of coblands_plants/flickr.com

Golden Glow, photo courtesy of coblands_plants/flickr.com

This has been a fabulous year for peaches and apricots. The flavour and the size of the fruit have been outstanding, and likewise the yield. In addition, it has been a year that has proved to me again that the disease called “peach leaf curl” is not difficult to control, even without the use of chemicals.

The apricot harvest has been completed, and, with us in Suffolk, the outdoor peaches are not quite ready yet. The flavour of the fruit is still increasing, particularly as the difference between night and day temperatures is now exceeding 10 degrees Celsius.

Young walnut trees are also beginning to crop with the help of very good quality leaf of deep colour and an open structured tree .

Pears are wonderful size. Unfortunately many little birds like to make small holes in some of the pears, which means these pears won’t keep very long. All the same, if you like to store pears, then the overriding factor is temperature. It has to be 1 degree Celsius for good results. Anything higher and the pears will ripen very quickly. Early ripening pears such as Beth and Williams are best used within days after picking. These are not suited for longer term storage.

The green gages equally have been a true delight. These do not ripen all at once and if several varieties are used , the picking time can be spread out over a period of 4 to 6 weeks depending on the season.

At Suffolk Fruit and Trees, we stock all these different varieties as young trees. However, in every season, supplies are limited and soon start tailing off. Early ordering is essential. Delivery will take place once the trees are fully dormant, as that is the time young trees transplant best. This year, this will probably mean a delivery period from late November onwards, depending on prevailing weather conditions. The varieties available are listed on this page at the website www.realenglishfruit.co.uk

Excellent crop from young trees

A customer writes: “I would like to say how pleased I was with the fruit trees that you supplied; here are some photographs of the orchard where our ducks and chickens freely wander. This year I have picked 7lb of plums from one tree and I managed to make some delicious plum jelly which my children love. The Bramley apples are doing amazing this year and are extremely heavy with fruit, plenty for my well adored blackberry and apple jelly and my apple and mint jelly.”

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