Every other year we typically get a great apple harvest from our Gala tree. What you’re looking at is this year’s harvest, in a plastic bag in the trash can.
What happened? Well, probably a number of things, including less focus on the tree and the way we dealt with pests.
We usually do at least two of three things and get great harvests:
- We spray with Bacillus thuringiensis Kurstaki, or Btk (for winter moth and other caterpillars),
- We spray each apple with Surround (U Minn Extension sheet) to help ward off other insects,
And on our most successful years we bag each apple, when it is around the size of a nickel or quarter, in a ped. (The shoe store nylon sock things.) The peds form a barrier that most insects cannot penetrate.
Even without the peds we usually get a very good harvest of 40+ lbs.
- I sprayed with Btk,
- I sprayed with Surround but didn’t do a great job and never got around to reapplying it,
- Never wrapped anything in peds.
What you see above and to the side is the result of my negligence
I’ve also been adding apples from our other (non-palatable) apple tree to our compost, and these apples may have had apple maggots in them.
Lessons learned? Well, I already know what works, I just didn’t do it this year, so I suppose the lesson is to do what I already know works. (I generally do.)
The really unfortunate part is that I need to wait another two years for a harvest. The saving grace is that we’re obviously blessed with dozens of excellent high quality orchards in the area.