Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery

Certified Organic Hard Ciders and Apples

Thinning done. Phew!

At last, the pick your own varieties are thinned. We just don’t have the labor to thin everything, and with apples we will cider it is not necessary. We got a start on pruning off watersprouts too, usually an August job but thinning is easier if we cut some of the rampant growth out of the tree first. We have a giant pile of thinned-off apples - we keep them in 5-gallon buckets for a week if possible so that exiting pests can’t find soil to pupate in, then we pile them in a wagon until they are good and aged, again so any possible pests have difficulty surviving. Eventually we compost them. The apples we left on the trees are getting huge. It is so satisfying to see them sizing up, all spaced out and healthy looking.

Now we move on to worrying about our last pests of the season - keeping our eyes open for codling moths, checking apple maggot fly traps, and watching for secondary scab lesions. We will find out if our work last season picking up all late season drops has reduced these pests. Let’s hope so!
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