BROWN ROT ON APPLES, WE ALL HAVE IT, DON'T WE?
|The ones who got away|
APPLES IN 2013 WERE FINE TO START WITH, AFTER A LATE SPRING
Apparently the rot is a fungal disease, according to a helpful leaflet from the Royal Horticultural Society entitled (wait for it) 'Brown Rot'.
The leaflet explains that it affects apples, pears, plums, cherries and other fruit. You can't win.
PLUMS GET IT TOO
My plums, supposedly Marjorie's Seedling, had the rots so bad that I got not a single plum to eat this year. The plum tree is on the allotment, and I chose this variety because it is said to have some resistance to rot, but not a bit of it. The tree is the object of my displeasure and if it does not behave itself, it is for the chop.
THE SYMPTOMS OF BROWN ROT
It spreads out "from wounds, especially those made by birds, codling moth and apple scab infection".
The fruit may "remain hanging on the tree in a mummified state"
Yes, I get the mummies, and I pick off the apple mummies, but the plums? The tree is too big for me to reach them.
THE WEATHER WAS HOT AND DRY THIS SUMMER
I though that might stop the rot, but no. I think I spent many happy hours crawling on all fours, picking up the rotten fruit from under the trees. Apparently this is what you do, and you must remove it promptly, according the the RHS.
|This is just some of them, there were more!|
NETS TO STOP THE DEAR LITTLE BIRDS DAMAGING THE APPLES
If possible, I should 'net to reduce bird damage'. Easier said than done, when you have three apple trees and your collection of rather ragged nets is in use on the raspberries and strawberries at the crucial time. Maybe I should just fork out for more nets ...... ££££
BONFIRES NOT ALLOWED
I should also "prune out and burn infected spurs and blossoms to reduce the amount of fungus available to infect fruit". Sounds good, but where do you burn the spurs and blossoms? There are not many of these spurs, so not enough for a bonfire, and in any case we are not supposed to light bonfires on our allotments otherwise we might annoy the neighbours.
|Last of the early eaters|
FINALLY, JUST TO CHEER US ALL UP
Note this: 'the fungus remains in the dead fruit and cankers over winter and releases spores in the spring to cause the blossom wilt phase of the disease."
Well, this particular blossom is feeling decidedly wilted, just thinking of all the extra work next spring!
We have got quite a few apples, nevertheless and am still eating them. There is nowhere much to store them, since they have to be stored in the house.
One year I put the apples in the greenhouse, while we were away on an autumn break, and found lots of nibbles had been taken out of them when we got back. Mice, I though?
That year I then put the apples in the house and so the RATS moved in too! We had an invasion of rats, who gnawed any apple they could find, even gnawing away at the carpet by the closed door of the room where they could smell the apples. Trying the get through the gap at the bottom of the door.
So (its a long story) we blocked up every possible hole where the rats gained entrance, and are very wary of where we store our apples now.
|The last apple of 2013|