The knock-on effect of the drought?

For anyone who missed it, we had a drought last summer, followed by a dry winter and spring. I’ve only been in the CSA vegetable scheme at my local farm since last September, so I can’t be sure they have had to buy in vegetables because of this but I wouldn’t be surprised!

Irrespective of the difficulty in growing vegetables, it looks like my apple trees were weakened. I thought the Orleans Reinette at the back of the garden had shaken off the dreaded aphids, now it was bigger. Even better, the codling moth trap this year was catching them. Ah, but look at this:

Notwithstanding, the tree is laden with apples and hopefully not too many will fall in the June drop. The same goes for the crab apple tree, which has also been badly affected by aphids but has more fruit than I’ve ever seen before.

Even the two younger trees have apples on them, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they all fell. Besides, this is probably for the best, although I would like to try them. It would be particularly nice for my daughter to get one from her tree but all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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12 Responses to The knock-on effect of the drought?

  1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Great to hear you have apples. After two good apple years I think our trees have decided they need a break as we had lot less blossom this year. Time will tell.

  2. Helen, have tried spraying the aphids with neem oil? Patricia also sometimes just sprays them off with a jet of water from the hose (I’m not sure if it doesn’t just temporarily dislodge them, but she believes it works – well, it it waters the tree a bit more too!). There are also some home remedies made with vinegar and (organic) soap, but I’m weary of vinegar as some people use it to kill weeds too.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I would be wary of vinegar, too. As for neem, I have used it several times on the trees and currant bushes already this year. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked as I had hoped. However, I’ve seen ladybirds on the trees and perhaps the birds have been having a go.
      Anyway, the aphids don’t seem to affect the apples, so all is not lost 😊.

  3. Clare Pooley says:

    We have suddenly got aphids in the past couple of days and they have gone for all the new leaves coming on the trees and my husband’s lupins. I hope the ladybirds will be able to get rid of a few of them.

  4. I wish you joy with the apples

  5. I love Pinterest for so many reasons but one of the biggest is all the NATURA PEST CONTROL ideas that people share. This is one I recently picked up on:
    https://www.tipsbulletin.com/homemade-aphid-spray/
    all about natural aphid controls. They are such nasty beasties I am always on the look-out for a means to vanquish them. We also promote tons of “good” bugs like Lady bugs (you call them birds), and my fav the Mantis (love those brown and green creatures – didn’t know the males were brown until about 10 years ago – haha!). Hope this will help you too.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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