[NAFEX] Apple Bagging Update

John Barbowski jbarbowski at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 12:12:17 EDT 2005


Jim,
 I recall reading somewhere that to help control plum curcullio, that you 
should spray at 3/4 petal fall. Was your success without any spraying at 
all? (namely dormant spray followed by the the PC control) Being allergic to 
work, if I can avoid these early sprays, it would be less labour for me.
 I try to bag when my apples are roughly quarter size. I was a little late 
this year and did experience roughly a 5% increase in apple damage. 
(scabbing, insect and cracking). 90+% of my apples are great! Moisture was 
not a problem (snipped the corners). I take my bags off a week to ten days 
before picking to get a bit more colour. Because of the damp cool spring up 
here, ripening is about 2-3 weeks behind. Just picked my macs 10 days ago; 
these usually are ready mid to late August.
 I used twist ties on apples with long stems and zip-locks (slightly more 
expensive) on the shorter stems. I find the zip locks easier to use and will 
probably use only these in the future.

jb 
Canadian zone 6b just north of Toronto
  On 9/18/05, Jim Fruth <jfruth at uslink.net> wrote: 
> 
> Hats of to whomever invented apple bagging; you have my gratitude. It
> is the only reliable method of growing apples organically that I know of.
> My farmers' market customers thank you too because mine are their first
> opportunity for buying truely organic apples that are not wormy.
> Of my fourteen varieties, about 20% of the Harlsons and only a few of
> the Parklands had moisture build-up cracking damage. I used Zip Lock bags
> with both bottom corners snipped off. All apples gained some of their red
> blush and, in all cases, were somewhat less than unbagged controls but 
> still
> gained enough blush to be recognized as true to type.
> Though all bags were zipped tightly against the stem, Fly-Speck and
> Blotch fungi did manage to gain access but infected fruit was in
> insignificant numbers and most of those were still sellable. Some bags
> were loosely stapled around the stem using a chisel stapler to ensure a
> tight fit but some of these fruits were also infected with fungi. No
> stapling will be used in the future. Zero insect infections are/were
> observed.
> The time spent bagging apples was approximately the same, or less, than
> the time spent spraying in any one past year. The cost of Zip Lock bags
> (purchased in bulk from Sam's Club) was significantly less than the cost 
> of
> spray that was used in any one year.
> When sprays were used in the past, there were always some apples with
> insect and/or fungi infections. The number of these in any one year
> exceeded the the number of infections when bagging was used. Also, the
> number of apples from any one previous year that were unsellable exceeded
> the number of unsellable apples when bags were used. While only one year 
> of
> bagging apples is being compared to many years of spraying, the results
> obtained from bagging indicate that the trash man will be picking up my
> spraying equipment upon his next visit.
> --
> 
> Jim Fruth
> Brambleberry Farm
> Pequot Lakes, MN
> www.bberryfarm.com <http://www.bberryfarm.com>
> 
> 
> 
> 
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