Apples

Apple JG 1s

James Grieve apples

As mentioned in my last post, we have a small apple tree in the garden. It’s now the fourth summer after it was planted and, much to my surprise, it has produced an excellent crop. I’m surprised because the weather was pretty miserable when it was in flower and there was hardly a pollinator to be seen, but it seems at least one must have sneaked into the garden when I wasn’t looking.

It’s a triple tree, meaning that three different types have been grafted into the same stem – James Grieve, Cox’s Orange Pippin and Katy. In its first year, we had one apple – a James Grieve. In its second year, it produced a couple of Katy apples. Last year, we had about a dozen James Grieve. This year, the whole tree produced so many baby apples that I had to thin them out! This is exciting for me because it’s the first year that the Cox has bothered to produce and I’m looking forward to the results!

Today I decided to pick the James Grieve. Over the past 2-3 weeks, we’ve had a few fallers, both Cox and James Grieve,  most of them with worms inside. Everything worth saving on these has ended up either in the stew pot or in fruit crumble, along with several of the Cox that I picked early because I could see the worm holes. This morning, though, I found two perfectly good James Grieve apples on the lawn. Apparently, the tree got stressy after yesterday’s heat and decided to start throwing its apples about. So, since they bruise so easily and appeared to be ripe, I decided not to wait for a repeat performance. According to the internet, they aren’t supposed to be ready until September, but I don’t think my tree knows this. It did exactly the same last year.

Today’s pickings? Eighteen apples weighing a combined total of 6lb. Not bad for a little tree. Here it is:

Apple Tree 2s

Triple apple tree

The picture was taken in mid July. It’s mostly the James Grieve that you can see, though there are some Cox’s Orange Pippin behind. We have about twenty of those still left on the tree.

The Katy only  has three apples. This is because it hasn’t grown very much and is the smallest part of the tree. However, all three apples are a good size.

And how do the James Grieve taste? Well, I’m happy with them just as they are, but the experts on the internet say they should be used for cooking when picked early and I think my husband would concur. It would seem that not all of us sit eating chunks of cooking apple when we are supposed to be putting them in the pot…

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3 thoughts on “Apples

  1. beetleypete

    That is truly an impressive crop from such a tiny tree, Ros. When we had apple trees at my parents’ house, my Dad used to paint around the trunks with some tar-like substance. He swore that it kept most pests from ruining the crop. (I have no idea what it was though!)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Ros Post author

      Thanks Pete 🙂

      I’ve just consulted the interwebs on your little tip and the RHS seems to think it’s no good for this particular pest (codling moth), although it does help with other pests: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=518 From what I can gather, with codling moth, it’s pretty much the luck of the draw unless one is prepared to use insecticides (which I’d prefer not to) and can time them exactly right! I’m not sure whether living in cider apple country is a potential help or hindrance. It probably means there are more of them about, but it may also mean that they find better pickings elsewhere. We can hope 🙂

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