Sep/04/2011 07:25 PM Filed in: orchard
We had a satisfying couple of days fitting in orchard work amidst nonstop food preservation and firewood gathering. We picked up drops in a large portion of the orchard, especially under varieties that are susceptible to apple maggot fly (which we control solely via picking up drops). These apples are now sitting in buckets so that if any pests crawl out of the fruit to continue their life cycle, they will not find the soil they need to do so. We also cleared around the young trees and refitted cages around their bases, for protection from voles this fall and winter. We found two trees infected with apple borer, which eat the inside of the tree until it snaps off. Out of a few hundred trees, that is not a bad rate, but sad nonetheless. We will endeavor to be more vigilant about this pest, which must be caught before it can burrow too far into a tree. Our boys helped with these tasks, and we all got to enjoy the many monarch butterfly crysallises we ran into while clearing around the trees. Our dog Watermelon also enjoys orchard work; she alternates between digging giant holes after voles, and running up to the brook for a quick dip.