apple bagging questions

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)May 9, 2013

Looking to buy some apple trees next just researching.

Who here bags their apples?

Since the apples are essentially sealed up, is there a danger in hot-summer areas of having baked apples inside? If so, do the bags made for this purpose work better than, say, a ziploc?

How soon do you remove before harvest so they color up? Are early season apples harder to do due to pest pressure at harvest time?

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Mileage seems to differ a bit. I use ziplocks and leave them on til harvest, unless earwigs become a problem.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:12AM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

I bag my apples and pears although this year I'm not going to do the pears.

I keep the bags on up to and sometimes after harvest.

Just make sure you cut little holes in the corner of the bags to let water drain out. I've never had a heat/sun burn problem.

Bagging is a pain, but not having to spray is wonderful!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:56PM
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Like Bart said, don't forget to cut two bottom corners of the bag for water drainage and (to me) air circulation. I get earwigs in bags at times, one or two a bag. I squish them.

I think bagging should work in your zone. In a hotter zone, it may cook the fruit. I leave bags on until harvest. By then, my bags look pretty used up so I throw them away and put on new bags every year. Yes, it's labor intensive but no spray.

If you search this forum for old posts, people posted pictures how they bagged. Some gave tips like cutting a slit (or hole punch) in the middle of zipper so an apple stem won't interfere with zipper when you zip it up (hope I don't confuse you).

I only bag apples with ziplock bags. My Asian pears don't need bagging. So far, little bugs don't bother them. The great enemies are squirrels and a groundhog.

I use footsies on peaches.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:23PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

deleting a duplicate post

This post was edited by bart1 on Fri, May 10, 13 at 20:57

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:55PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

i might try again with maybe a couple dozen. I did it in the past, but had Plum Curculio going right into the bags and getting stuck, but in the process they would lays about 20 eggs in each apple...on top of that, squirrels just grab the bags with the apples...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:13PM
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Maybe, you could try cutting smaller openings at the two bottom corners of a bag. I am often worried about apple maggot flies or PC flying in through those openings but so far, they have not done it.

I, too, got all but one apples took away by squirrels, bags and all. A friend lends me his BB gun this year.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:37PM
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Earwigs don't really damage apples when they get into the bags in the fall, but they leave a mess.

The one time I used footies to bag stone fruit, tho, the earwigs got in and ruined it when the fruits were young.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:01PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

I do a couple of early sprays on my apples right after petal fall in the hopes of eliminating the plum curculio. Lately, I've been pretty effective with the timing so I've only had to deal with small numbers of damaged fruit. All the damaged fruit gets eliminted during thinning and then the bags go on.

Luckily for me, I haven't had the PC in the bag problem that Frank has had.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 8:34AM
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With so few fruits last year, I tried bagging with plastic ziplock sandwitch bags. I did a few apples on several different trees. I had one bag somehow blow off over the summer but the rest did great!

I did spray for PC at petal fall and then bagged the fruits when about the size of a dime. I have too many apple trees to bother with bagging but I will do it on my haralson as they were the best crop I ever had on them.
Since I spray with Imidan normally, I never got good Haralson as the fruit would russet up heavily. I heard Imidan is phytotoxic on Haralson and my results seem to show that too. The tree is on M26 or Bud 9 (not sure which) so easy to bag.

The photo I am showing is from last year.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:04PM
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I bag my apples and have close to perfect looking fruit. The water and humidity drip out from the holes in the corners of the bags. It really isn't all that time consuming for 10'tall trees. Anything larger would be time consuming. (also the number of trees you have is a time factor). I too squoosh the earwigs in the bags. I leave the bags on till the apples are really to pick (they drop off in your hand) or you get the bigger signal, seeing one on the ground. I swear by bagging apples, but have never tried it on other fruit. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:29PM
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dan_j(SE MI 6a)

The squirrels in my neighborhood seem to view zip-lock bags as gift wrapping. Sometimes I think they take those apples to their SO back at the nest, "Look what I got for you, Honey."

For the most part, zip-locks work well for me. Every year I manage to bag a few that have already been stung. The problem I've run into lately, is that more bags are coming with double zips, which I found a PITA.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Oddly, the cheaper the bags, the better they work for this purpose. I buy generic sandwich bags.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Historically, my experience has been more with foot sox.

This year, I am trying a more mechanized approach with plastic bags and will have more to say about that at the end of the harvest season, I suspect.

Another "fun" option is to use #2 bleached white paper bags and then take the bags off the first week of September.....before the apples color up you put on some stencils to spell your name or a "tatoo"

(if links don't work, you may have to type them in)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 3:50PM
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