Thinning apples

I consider turning compost heaps, picking up hedge cuttings and thinning baby apples to be boring, laborious and tedious jobs; they’re essential but I’ll try desperately to avoid them! Thank goodness I don’t have an orchard, but I do have sixteen apple trees, so I’ve made a deal with myself to try and thin fruit on one maybe two (if I’m on a roll) trees a day.

Thinning apples down to two fruits per spur at this time of year has a variety of advantages: space is made for large fruit to develop, you can discard any unhealthy looking apples, and it allows air to circulate reducing the chance of pests and diseases to establish. Just pull by hand the apples you wish to discard from the cluster.

Apples to be thinnedA group of apples ready to be thinned

Apples after thinningThe same apples after thinning

Apples before thinningA very congested group of apples

Apples after thinning The group of apples after thinning

To make the job even less appealing I stupidly dropped the apples to the ground; tomorrow I will come armed with an apple thinning bucket!

Discarded applesDiscarded apples that need collecting up for the compost heap; before my boys find them for ammunition!

After completing the removal of apples from the first tree I wandered back up the kitchen garden, and was rewarded with my first Gladioli buds of the year.

Gladioli Purple Flora in budGladioli Purple Flora in bud

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2 Comments

  1. I’m trying to be better about thinning apples this year. Although I know the benefits, it seems counterintuitive to snip off perfectly good fruit.

    • Oh, tell me about it Matt! I find it so boring and my resolution to complete a tree a day has gone to pot already, there really are so many more fun things to do in life!

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