If I use baggies for my apples this year, do I cut off both bottom corners or just one? Also Sooty Blotch and Flyspeck are are problem here in foggy RI. How do the apples get the spray of Captan in August to prevent it? Many thanks Mrs. G
Cutting off both corners works better. The rainwater always seems to accumulate in the corner you don't cut.
I've had more sooty blotch in unbagged apples than bagged.
We just eat the sooty blotch and fly speck. There is likely a point in the summer when the bags could be removed and spray could be applied for these diseases. The majority of pest pressure occurs early in the season, at least around here in SE PA. Ted
Thanks Itilton and tedgrowsit. Are baggies just as good for apricots, or are footies better?
What a timely thread! I have six or so apples on my Honeycrisp, planted as a potted tree nearly two years ago (Fall 2010). I thinned most of them off, as it still needs to grow more. I have some nylon mesh bags that I'd like to use to cover the apples, do you think insects get through mesh or should I just use plastic? (They're currently just lying around, I got them for veggie produce, but they let too much moisture escape in the fridge and the veggies go limp.)
I would use the plastic. I had plum curculio damage on all
my fruit when using the nylon type footies and great success with the ziplok type bags. The thinnest cheapest bags have been best for me as the thicker bags broke stems with the back and forth motion of the wind.
I'm dubious about bagging any fruits w/o stems, like peaches and cots.
Thanks all. I too, Itilton thought a tough skinned fruit like an apple can take a baggie, but any fruit with a soft, furry exterior might be too delicate to fool with and cause rot. Also, fruitmaven, the inexpensive bag sounds like the way to go on apples. Spray will take care of the insects its the the squirrels that are my concern. Netting is my only other alternative.
I must be the only person with horrible results from bagging. It must have been my method (not sealed enough around the stem). On my bagged apples I was actually catching plum curculio in the bags. Its tough to bag here without at least spraying one spray because PC start hitting such small fruit, which is difficult to bag.
Earwigs get into the ziplocks. I find them there at harvest but they don't seem to do any real damage. Earwigs also get into the nylon footies, which is another reason I don't use them on stone fruits.
Yes, cut both corners. Yes, Sooty Blotch and Fly Spec are still a problem with baggies. The baggies may reduce it by 30% or so, but for me, here in RI, they often get completely covered by SB/FS and become quite unappetizing on some of my SB/FS-magnet varieties. I too will try spraying captan over the bags this year, but I'm not sure about my schedule, etc. I'll likely see what the label says about it. We'll have to compare results!
Thanks all and thanks Glenn. Never thought I'd have to spray a bag! But I'll try it, why not? It looks like I'll have a nice crop of Pristine and Jonagold this year. Throw in a few Enterprise and I'm such a happy camper. I am really more concerned with losing my first 25 cots! I'll net the tree tomorrow. Squirrel prob. Mrs. G
I cut the whole bottom of the baggie off on the ziploc. I agree about earwigs. They get them, but they're not a problem. We don't have plum curculio here. Footies work, but footies with surround kaolin clay work much better for codling moth.
Okay, I'm going to add a question here: Is it important to remove all but the "king" fruit on a cluster, or will any good fruit do?
Well, make that two questions: How big do unpollinated pears get before they drop? It looks like I may have my first harvest of pears on my grandpa's tree...thanks to a beehive that took up residency nearby and a tree I planted for pollination. The pears seem larger than last years got before they all dropped; I sure don't want to bag them if they are just going to drop.
The timing is always the problem. If you wait till after the "June" fruit drop to bag, the pests have already got the fruit. If you bag earlier, some bagged fruits will drop, but they're protected.
Milehigh, pears generally don't take to bagging like apples do. With pears, bagging can do more harm than good by reducing sugars and messing up skin color.
We don't thin our regular pears back to the king or queen like we try to do with apples -- instead I go for two nice fruits per cluster. Thinning increases fruit size and quality, and keeps the tree from getting into an alternate bearing groove. Our 15-year old mature Potomac seldom has pest problems.
Here is a link that might be useful: study on bagging pears
Thanks again all! Off to buy my baggies and cut off the two corners. I have no choice but to net my apricot tree. After almost 8 years this will be my first crop.
skyjs, no curculio? Wow are you lucky!
planatus, thank you for the info. I am sooo glad I asked because I would have been bagging the pears for a week.
So, is the king or queen important on apples?
All other things being equal, bag the king and cut off the others. If the king is damaged and you remove it, there are usually a couple of other inside apples that will develop into good fruits. The outside apples, with thinner stems, will probably drop or not grow large.
I'm not sure what your question is. What do you want to do or not do that would make this information useful?
Most people thin and bag apples at the same time, picking one fruitlet per cluster to bag and removing the rest. Sometimes, with a too-heavy fruit set, alternate clusters are removed as well.
This year, with a low fruit set to begin with and frost damage on top of it, I'm bagging a couple of apples in some clusters where the fruitlets look particularly good.
Right. I'm not sure if my plan to spray the captan on top of the bags will actually work or not. We'll see this year. I'm going to leave some apples unbagged just so I can compare.
Also, don't forget to cut the top of the bag too, just above the pleat. I also do a small V cut in the top center of the the pleat to allow it to grab around the stem better.
ltilton, I was planning on bagging my pears, but if they do not do well bagged then I am saved the hassle. I would have never found the information without your help. Thank you again.
They seem to keep the diseases off my apples. This is how I make and apply them.
I'm trying them on some plums. The only time I got plums before was when I put a bread sack over the whole branch. I don't see why it would be different to have a ziploc on the fruit.
myk1, thank you for the video. I didn't even realize I was supposed to remove the top of the bag above the zipper.
MYK1 many thanks for the video. Why two cuts on top of the bag if you only use one? Great video. Mrs. G
I've bagged pears. The bags tend to slip off the fruit sometimes, but I've had no other problems with it.
Perhaps he was just doing that other cut as an example? I only cut one area on mine... though I do a V cut instead of just a single cut.
You don't have to remove the part above the pleat, but it's just one less thing to get in the way.
My asian pears don't really need bagging for insect and disease reasons. But, the bags to help keep the deer off, so often I'll still bag 'em. I find it rare for the bags to come off. More often for me, it's because the tree decided to drop that fruit for whatever reason, and the whole thing comes off. But, for me, I think I only have a couple bags (out of 300 or so) slip off. And, those, I wonder if I really did seal the pleat 100%.
I think the codling moths get into my pears. I often find small black spots surrounding a suspicious hole, which of course turns the fruit rotten by the time it's ripe.
So I bag them.
Right now, though, I have something that I suspect to be birds, making large holes in the fruit even through the bags.
"MYK1 many thanks for the video. Why two cuts on top of the bag if you only use one? Great video. Mrs. G"
Just an example of using scissors to make the top cut and using side cutters.
That example bag wasn't used. The white lettering of name brand tends to leave uncolored spots on the apple (useful if you want to send someone a message on your apples).
Bought generic sandwich bags. Putting them on the apples was a little tedious till I got the hang of it. My trees are now protected! Thanks Glenn, Itilton and MYK1. Now that I get the process of cutting the bags I'll cut them all in advance.
I also bagged more than the 'king' apple in some cases. The second largest apples looked too healthy to pick off.
I bagged a second apple in a lot of clusters this year, because it was an "off" season to begin with, then I got frost rings on maybe half the fruits.
I also kept a lot of inside apples that I might otherwise have snipped.
Are your inside apples still on the tree? No frost rings here.
By "inside apple" I mean the ones growing in the interior of the tree, where it's shaded. When I get a good fruit set, I like to remove those and leave the fruits furthest out and near the top of the tree, that get the most sunlight.
I decided to keep fruits where the frost ring was partial but get rid of the ones where it went all the way around. Although if there was a non-ringed apple in a cluster, that's the one I kept. More often than not, it was the king fruit with the ring.
I also did a lot of pruning, because so many branches had no fruit that I had no compunctions about removing them to get more light into the tree.
Got it. Thanks Itilton. Mrs. G