Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Tag Archives: September

September 2019: tasks in a garden orchard

This is the month when many varieties of apple, pear, plum, greengage and quince will need to be picked. It is important to ensure that the trees are picked at the correct time. If you pick too early, the fruit will shrivel and it will lack taste. If you pick too late, the fruit will not keep and the wind will cause serious fruit drop. So you may ask, when is the correct time for picking? Taste the fruit: if it eats well, pick the fruit. If it is difficult to pick and the fruit will not come off easily, then delay picking. Test the tree again 3 or 4 days later, and you may find that things have changed very quickly, particularly after a couple of really cold nights. This applies particularly to apples and pears.

Once the fruit has been picked, select the best fruits for keeping and use the damaged fruits for processing, soon after picking. Store the fruits in single layers and make sure you choose the coolest place available for storage. Also make sure the location is vermin free. Lots of other creatures, such as mice, will soon discover where the next meal will be available, particularly in the late autumn and winter months.

Remember to visit your fruit storage place weekly and remove any fruits that are rotting. If you forget to do this, it will adversely affect the quality of the remaining fruits.

Click here to see the complete year’s calendar of garden orchard work.

Dan Neuteboom

Dan Neuteboom

Take a look at our latest videos:

Suffolk Pink apples and their colour
In Suffolk Pink, colour is produced not just by the effect of sunlight, but requires another factor as well. Which is it? Click to find out.

Chip budding
Nurseryman William Seabrook demonstrates the chip budding technique. Click to watch.

Grafting, success and the occasional failure
Grafts are not always successful. William Seabrook examines two grafts performed in April, one showing excellent growth, while the other evidently went wrong. Click to watch.

Summer pruning on Suffolk Pink
Summer pruning is important to develop colour on ripening apples. Click to watch.

Summer pruning on pears
When doing summer pruning on pears, think ahead to next year’s crop. Click to watch

What to look for when buying apple trees
Dan Neuteboom talks about what to look out for when buying fruit trees. A healthy tree is essential, but you can also look for characteristics that indicate a rapid start of fruiting. Click to watch.

Pruning pear trees in August and September
How to keep pear trees in a shape that stimulates good cropping and keeps the fruit low down on the tree for easy picking. Click to watch.

Top ten tips for garden fruit trees in September

Points to remember in September:
1) Remove all fallen fruits form under the fruit trees. These harbour the rot spores of different fungi and will affect next year’s crop of fruit.
2) Once harvesting of plums and cherries is completed, apply winter wash, obtainable from any good garden centre.
3) It is more effective to ripen pears in the fridge. Therefore pick the pears as soon as the abscission layer at the end of the fruit stalk gives way.
4) Mow the grass and the tall weeds in the fruit area. Mice are preparing for the winter. Make sure there is no hiding place close to the trunk of the trees.
5) Now is the time to plan and order the fruit trees that you would like to plant, so that the nursery can deliver them ready for planting in the December to the end of March period.
6) Start setting out the proposed planting spots with tall bamboo canes.
7) Obtain the right advice regarding pollination.
8) Cut back overhanging branches of hedges/trees which will reduce the light in the fruit area.
9) From time to time, fruit trees need an extra water supply. Make sure a tap connection is not far away
10) If garden compost or manure is available, it is a good idea to mix it into the soil where the trees are going to be planted.

Read our month-by-month fruit tree care calendar.

Top ten fruit tree tips for September

1. Start preparing the ground where you are intending to plant your new orchard, cordons, fans or espalier-trained fruit trees. Check the pH of the soil which needs to be between 6.3 and 6.8. If the pH of the soil is below 6.3, apply some lime and work into the soil.
2. Make sure the site and position is right; not in a frost pocket or on the northerly and shady sites of buildings, walls or hedges.
3. Apply plenty of well-rotted farmyard manure and work into the soil up to a depth of 15 inches.
4. Remove and kill perennial weeds such as bramble, stinging nettle and couch grass.
5. Eliminate wasps nests and remove rotting fruits, which will hide the wasps, from the orchard floor.
6. Remove any rotting or damaged fruits from the trees. Pick the fruit that is ready to eat. Do not store early-maturing fruits such as Discovery and Grenadier apples. Fruit for storage needs to be slightly immature. Fruit that is too ripe will not store.
7. Finish the summer pruning programmes as mentioned in the August tips.
8. Check the storage space for your fruit; it needs to be clean, cool and free from vermin such as flies and mice.
9. Check that the thermometer in the store is in good working order.
10. Start discussing which varieties would be suitable for your location with a knowledgeable and experienced fruit specialist. All types of fruit are site sensitive!

A good crop on a well-tended apple tree

A good crop on a well-tended apple tree