Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bagging Apples

Ever heard of this? Apple bagging is simply placing individual apples inside bags while they are still on the tree. Bags are put on when fruit is about quarter-sized. Bags remain on til about 3 weeks before harvest. Bagged apples will not color up properly, so taking them off well before harvest is a must.

Why, why, oh why would anyone do this? Well, apples get plenty of disease and insect pests. Most backyard fruit growers do not want to apply lots of pesticides. So....by bagging fruit we are physically keeping the pest off the fruit without having to spray. An organic pest control method.

In addition to using the Japanese apple bags (from the website above), a UK entomologist gave me some nylons. Yes, there is anecdotal evidence that nylons (like what women slip on when trying on shoes) can work to deter pests.

I grow Liberty apple which is very disease resistant, but no apples are insect resistant. Here are my photos of bagged, nyloned, and not-bagged apples.

Pretty cool. But let me tell you, putting bags on apples is dang time consuming, especially the Japanese apple bags. Most of the bags I had put on had fallen off mid-season. The nylons were much easier to put on and did not tend to come off with bad storms and weathering.

The bagged apple was the biggest of the 3, shown below. And you can see what covered each of the 2 bagged apples.

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