It is what it’s supposed to be

As the apples on my daughter’s tree were falling off in September, I asked her to pick them before they were all lost. They were on the small side, or rather they were much smaller than the one we sampled before we actually bought the tree. They also didn’t have the texture we’d expected.

Hopefully, this year’s experience of Scrumptious apples was because the tree had only been planted in January. On the other hand, my Ribston Pippin, which is in its second year in the garden, was less prolific but its one remaining apple,

picked this evening, tasted exactly as I expected it. I know it might have been better for the tree to have been spared a crop this year but being on an M26 rootstock, I just couldn’t resist.

Seems like a certain brown rat can’t resist the apples either, albeit the ones from the Orleans Reinette at the back of the garden…. At first, I thought I was looking at a female blackbird, as I watched from my bedroom window, only to see a rat’s head emerge from the undergrowth.

So, now what do I do!

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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14 Responses to It is what it’s supposed to be

  1. Clare Pooley says:

    Such a pity about your daughter’s apples! It could be because it is still young or because it didn’t have enough water during the summer. If next year’s apples are still unsatisfactory you could take a sample to an apple expert or back to where you got the tree for their opinion. You could ask an expert to taste an apple this year. You might have been given something else in error.
    Rats! Ugh! Such opportunistic creatures. We have them all around us in the country but fortunately not in our garden near the house. I had to stop feeding the birds a few years ago because that was attracting them. They had made a nest under the shed and in the compost bin. Rats in the town/city are a different problem. Have your neighbours noticed rats in their gardens and have you noticed a ‘run’ (the path they use to get from A to B)?

    • Helen says:

      I’m not really in the town but on the edge of a village, so there will be plenty of rats in the fields and open countryside round about. I’m quite fatalistic about the situation as they are undoubtedly going to be attracted by the windfalls and I want to keep them in situ for the benefit of the trees themselves as well as other wildlife. So, it looks like the rats need a dose of poison but having seen one, I feel uncomfortable killing it. Therein lies my dilemma.

      On the note of the tree, I have kept the receipt, so that the tree can be replaced if need be (I have heard of the nursery making mistakes before). However, this year’s crop have all been eaten and my hunch is that it is too early to be sure.

      Anyway, thank you for comments, Clare. As always, much appreciated 😊.

  2. skyeent says:

    Maybe the flowers didn’t get well pollinated this year. I think apples are larger if cross fertilized even if the tree is self fertile. Weather and sunshine when the apples ripen also make a big difference, although scrumptious seems to be a pretty tough variety, and if falling off must be pretty ripe. See what next year brings.
    If you kill this rat, but leave the windfalls, others will take it’s place. Better to tidy up the fruit I would have thought; windfalls can spread apple diseases and pests. Put some apples on a high table for the birds where the rats can’t reach may be a compromise.

  3. It’s always a battle of wits with rats, mice, squirrels and birds.

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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