It amazes me how quickly they form. One minute there's a dried up blossom and the next a miniature sized fruit. The next time you look and the fruit is the size of a golf ball. As the apples started to grow I realized we needed to get thinning as quick as possible. It takes no time for the apples to attain a large size and it's easier to remove them when they're small.
When I went to do some thinning I noticed a funny thing. On the ground below the trees were dozens of tiny apples.
|Do you see the tiny green globes hiding in the grass?|
Just because the tree has decided to rid itself of apples doesn't mean the work is done though. In addition to Mother Nature we also thin our apples by hand. We let the apple grow large enough that you can see any deformities or blemishes that indicate it won't be a good fruit. We try not to wait too long, as the earlier you thin the apples the more energy is then directed to the remaining apples so they grow nice and big. Late June and early July was that time for us. We kept our eyes open for fruits that had spots, were oddly shaped, or were too small.
|You can see the apple on the right is significantly smaller than it's buddy|
|This apple has scab as well as a spot on it.|
Another task we accomplished at the same time was to remove some of the leaves. If you find a nice fruit that is hiding behind a leaf it won't receive the sun to grow well and ripen. Simply pulling off a leaf or two to expose an apple can help.
While we attempted to complete the bulk of this work a month ago we have continued to pull less desirable apples off trees as we see them. There are so many fruits on these big trees and it is easy to miss them the first time around. The first of the apples will start to ripen in late August and until then we will check and re-check our trees to make sure we have a good healthy crop.