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Re: [nafex] Modified Approach? apples

> Hello All,
> Does anyone have a modified program for protecting apples, which
> the best of organic practices, with the lightest, most effective
> program?
> There must be a middle ground somewhere between the two techniques.
> need not be polar extremes.
> I would love to read some of these combinations, and the rational
> them.

We, the Hecksel clan, have evolved to a combination method.  I make no
claims about it being the greatest.  It is just what has worked for

We have mostly disease resistant apple cultivars.  The modern releases
have a second advantage that is little talked about.  They set a very
heavy crop-load.  I have no proof, but believe that trees selectively
drop damaged fruit during June fruit drop.  A heavy fruit load
enhances that mechanism....if it really exists.  Also, we favor later
blooming cultivars.  Our worst pest is curculio.  The pressure is
almost entirely in the three weeks after bloom.  So our spraying
(Imidan) is restricted to that period.  Later blooming cultivars
shortens the period the apples are exposed to the pest.  I suppose the
pest might evolve to better match up to the apples, but the genetic
reservoir is anchored by the wild plums in the neighborhood.

We like the smallest freestanding rootstock we can get away with.
Most of our "pretty fruit" are on MARK and M26.  I would like to try
B-9 with a t-post for support.  Maybe someday.

I could not sell my fruit to a chain store because it is not 100%
perfect.  I cannot sell it through organic outlets because it is not
organic.  It is acceptable to friends and family because we run +85%
beautiful fruit and the last spray it saw was usually 90 days prior to

Best regards and hope it helps.   Joe

> Regards,
> Tom
> --
> Thomas Olenio
> Ontario, Hardiness Zone 6a
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