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It's getting a little fruity at Wisley...

Posted by Sara Draycott on 10 Jul 2013 at 02:45 PM

Orchard/fruit blog 9/7/2013 by Jim Arbury

Hello again. I promised to keep you updated on the fruit at Wisley this year, so here you go.

The late start to the season has helped our fruit at Wisley and most fruits are cropping well.

The strawberries were the first to ripen and the fruit was very good.

The plum crop is light but the apples and pears are fine. I am particularly pleased with the pears as they will not require fruit thinning but have a good crop. If you have a good set then thin fruit to avoid branch breakage and produce good sized fruit. Over-cropped trees often fail to fruit in the following year. There is some natural drop of fruitlets known as June drop. Our apples had some June drop but we have been thinning from mid-June and should finish next week (you can see Sigrid at busy thinning apples in the photo below). If you need to thin remove small misshaped and damaged fruit to leave dessert apples with one or two fruits per cluster 10 to 15cm apart and cookers single fruits 15 to 20cm apart. It may seem a pity to remove them but it is not how many you take off that matters but how many you leave on.

The hot weather is great with a high of 29°C this week and this is good for the fruit development but tiring for us. However I always have some worries and the hot weather can sometimes trigger hail storms. Hail stones can cause significant damage to fruits. This is in the form of dents but sometimes cuts to the skin which often develop as rots.


      

Some fruit is starting to show an increase in size including the early cooking apples such as 'Emneth Early' (above left). On the right is a pear which is looking good called 'Doyenne D’ete'.


Our vines are starting to flower which is a bit later than usual but the conditions are suitable for a good fruit set. This is the grape 'Orion' in flower on 9th July 2913.


I am a beekeeper and on the lookout for swarms in the garden in the summer (hopefully not from my own hives). I know some swarms have been out and two have gone into buildings on site but so far I have not manage to catch one. If I can it will be good to increase the bee numbers for next year’s fruit blossom.

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