Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Apple Harvest

After a chilly start it never really warmed up on Monday. We had some short sunny spells and it felt pleasant in the sunshine and light wind. Out of the sunshine it felt a little bit on the chilly side. In the end the temperature didn't get higher than 12.8° C. That's our lowest daytime temperature since the beginning of May this year. The average for the day was 8.3°C the lowest since the 02 May this year. 

Tuesday was more or less a repeat but with less sunshine and a bit less chilly over night. 
Temperature and Solar Radiation Records from Monday 12 Oct to Wednesday (am) 14 October 2015
Over the last weekend we finished harvesting our apple crop. Well into summer I didn't think we were going to have very many apples. Having finished picking our crop I will have to change my mind as we've done very well. 
As you can see from the table we have harvested seven different varieties of apples. I think my favourite tasting apple is Egremont Russet. For a small tree it’s managed to produce almost 11 kg or 24lbs of apples. Fiesta another small tree produced more or less the same amount.
Egremont Russett
When we took on the renovation of this plot we knew it had a row of cordon apples which we now refer to as our apple hedge. The trees are old and I think most gardening experts would reckon that they needed replacing. We can’t bring ourselves to do that and the trees are “pruned” in early autumn and left to do their own thing after that. They do get the treat of a codling moth trap hung amongst their branches.

In the table above we think our apple hedge includes Discovery, Golden Delicious and Worcester Pearmain. This year we’ve harvested 23.5kg (52.0lbs) with Golden Delicious producing the heaviest crop this year. 

At the moment most of our apples are stored in the summer house. They’ll need checking on a regular basis and any apples showing signs of deterioration will have to be removed and used quickly or discarded. 
I’d like to improve the air circulation around them a bit so I’m thinking of using some small pieces of timber to increase the spacing between the boxes. We haven’t the space to store the apples so that they’re not touching which would be ideal but as that’s not possible it does mean inspecting them more often.

We've already eaten lots of our Bramley apples in blackberry and apple crumbles. It will be interesting to see how long our eating apples will store in the summer house. They may need a bit of extra protection if any frosts are threatened.


  1. What a fantastic apple harvest. My Worcester Pearmain has never produced many apples, although I think it's in a less than ideal spot, and it's still quite small. Very pleased with the two new trees planted last winter though - Sunset and Christmas Pippin. The latter isn't quite ready to pick yet, the apples are still clinging to the tree. Apparently they are best stored until November as well. I've got an Egremont Russet, and you're right, it's delicious. We've been eating those this past fortnight. And a Ribston Pippin which is also fantastic, a really good flavour, although not many apples this year. And I've been picking up Bramleys free at people's gates whenever I see them. Another crumble tomorrow I think.

    1. We never get many apples from our Worcester Pearmain. I'm convinced it's down to the way we prune it but I can't put my finger on exactly on what we do wrongly. As we can't tell which branches belong to which tree they all get pruned the same.

    2. Worcester Pearmain is a tip bearing apple and so needs different pruning to spur producing apples, so tricky to manage in a mass of trees.

  2. It seems to be a good apple year all over the country - in the SE I think it was due to lack of frosts at blossom time combined with plenty of bees flying in the pleasant early weather (all the early fruit & veg was well pollinated, unlike later in the season when fewer bees seemed to be on the wing).
    Similarly, so many apples dropped in June that I thought we wouldn't have any, but the Bramley, Jonagold and unknown eater have all done well.

    1. The pears have done well too this year!

    2. We've had a decent pear harvest this year. Not very big but only had to beat no harvest at all last year. Our garden Conference pear produced our best crop.

      Last weekend chatting to our local greengrocer he was complaining about the difficulty of sourcing English apples at the moment. Odd when it seems to have been a good year.

  3. Wow! Good apple harvest! They look so juicy! What you do with all of them?

    1. We're hoping that they will keep okay to the end of the year so we should mange to eat most of them. Some might get used in apple pies and crumble.


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