Heavy rains: cracked apples

It seems to be turning into a tough year for the apples. The spring was damp and windy, meaning pollination, and consequently fruit set, was quite low.The summer has been unusually damp and, up until last week, quite cool. This meant that the apples were growing OK, if a little slowly.

Then last week we had a little of the “heatwave” that was mainly felt in southern England. That was short-lived and followed yesterday by 12 hours of heavy rains – nothing like the short summer showers the gardens had got used to – and only a cool 13C. All that rain was great news for the soft bodied fruits. The raspberries, currants, strawberries and blueberries were all visibly fatter this morning.

It’s not such good news for the apples. They’ve been a little too exuberant in taking up the water and now lots of the developing apples have cracks in them.

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Tough, russet skinned apple varieties (like these) are especially prone to cracking
Tough, russet skinned apple varieties (like these) are especially prone to cracking

It’s not the end of the world for the cracked apples. They will mostly keep growing, but the cracks will grow as the apple grows. That means that lots of them will be better suited to cooking or juicing than munching straight from the trees.

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