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  1. #1
    sirdick is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Isle of Man
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    1

    Default Apples, Plums and Pears

    Hi everyone, I'm new here so please be nice

    I have been playing around with some home brew efforts the past couple of years, and recently one of my friends was talking about getting some organic brewing on the go. Sounds fun so far.

    At the same time, we have just moved house and found an apple tree, a pear tree, a plum tree and a rose hip bush (good for wine apparently) in the garden. I was a little weary at first as although all the trees are abundant with fruit there are a lot of damaged ones.

    I'm pretty new to gardening so I don't really know what I'm looking at but I managed to pick about a dozen plums and a few apples before I got scared of the rotten/bug-eaten/funny-looking ones and left them. The apples are delicious but I have no idea what type they are though. The plums are really sweet too. The pears I wasn't too sure about picking though; there seems to be a lot of them with black splodges on which the internet says is a kind of disease. Again, I'm not too hot on stuff like this but just to be safe I'm not going to risk trying them.

    I don't know when the right season is for picking but looking at the trees it looks like we might be at the end of it, however I would be really interested if anyone had any good advice for what to do over the winter to get a good batch of fruit next year (to try and make some wine where I started off!). I read that as there are so many fruits on each branch I should trim them back to encourage a smaller yield of better fruit next year?

    Any help would be much appreciated, especially if anyone can tell me more about the pears and what would be best to do with them. I'd prefer not to use any chemicals if at all possible. Thanks again, and sorry for the really long post!

    Alan

  2. #2
    rustylady's Avatar
    rustylady is offline Gardening Guru
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    Oct 2006
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    Lowestoft, Suffolk
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    Default

    Any fruit is good fruit. You just need to be careful how you prepare or use it. I have a massive apple tree in the back garden, no idea what variety it is but it produces pounds and pounds of cooking apples every year. They are windfalls cos I can't reach to pick them, but as long as you pick them up promptly and cut out the dodgy looking bits off/out they make wonderful stewed apples/apple chutney/mixed chutney/apple pies etc. etc. etc. Same with most fruits. You only get perfect looking tasteless ones from supermarkets and they have usually been sprayed with goodness only knows what. I don't like using chemicals, so I always advise anyone I give fruit to to cut them open before eating to make sure there aren't any little visitors inside. Apart from that everyone agrees that the fruit (apples and plums) taste superb. As for thinning, yes you really should but I hate doing that (I'm tight I guess). This year I did pick over my Victoria plum (I can actually reach that) and just gave the branches a good shake every now and then to get rid of the fruit that hadn't set properly. This gave the remaining fruit a good airflow and I've had far less problems with rot this year.

  3. #3
    Headfry's Avatar
    Headfry is offline Early Fruiter
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    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oxfordshire
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    4,226

    Default

    Morning Sirdick and welcome to the vine!
    some plums crop every other year, so don't be alarmed it one year you are up to your neck in fruit and the next year you have none-
    If you have the pennies, get a man/lady in who knows about fruit trees, money spent now will be worth it i think, and they can prune and advise you how to look after your trees.
    As Rustylady says.... any fruit is good fruit! and always cut open fruit before eating
    Enjoy the forum and let us know how you get on please!

  4. #4
    Palustris is offline Rooter
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Shropshire
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    Default

    The pears have scab which is a fungal thing. Spray with a suitable fungicide or Copper sulphate if you want to be reasonably organic. They can be eaten peeled, but they will not store.
    There is a really good RHS book on Fruit growing which is worth getting. It explains pruning and health care etc.

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