An update from our organic orchards, July 2023 by Robert West…

I met Bean yesterday afternoon at Hays Head’s Pembridge orchards to see what the set of fruit was like. There was plenty of blossom in April and May and the weather was good at that time so bees and other insects were flying, there was no heavy rain and high winds or late frosts that could damage a potential crop.

Now we are into July we wanted to see what sort of crop we might anticipate this autumn. We are now past the ‘June drop’. This is when trees will shed small, immature apples – a natural thinning to leave on the tree a viable crop. Across the orchard there seems to be a good amount of fruit on all the different varieties. The Breakwells Seedling trees that didn’t have apples last year have plenty this year. The rows of Breakwells Seedling that had lots of apples last autumn have none. It always seems a bit odd that the same variety in different parts of the orchard can have biennial cropping in alternate years. All that I can add at the moment is that some rain would be useful. But summer is coming so there’s sure to be some.

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