Want more and better fruit from you fruit trees? Then you must thin the fruit soon after it sets.
Why? Because thinning will give you a more consistent produce. It will prevent the limbs from being to heavy and eventually bending and breaking. And it gives you bigger, tastier fruit in the long run. It’s hard to pick off these small fruits, but it’s for the overall good of the tree.
How to thin your trees. Very soon after your trees have set their fruit, pick off the smallest ones or those that have damage. It’s best to leave about 4 inches between small fruits or about the size of an adult fist. And don’t throw the fruit on the ground! It will encourage insects and with them comes disease. Dispose of the picked fruit in the trash.
If pests are a problem, consider wrapping the lower part of the trunk with a wire mesh. This will deter deer, mice and rabbits that like to chew on the bark or lower leaves.
Rake up the leaves at season end to keep insect and bugs from enjoying them and taking up residence. You can simple dispose of the leaves, or you can buy them beneath the mulch and let them compost down.
And keep insects away by pruning dead branches out and letting in the light and air.
Want better fruit trees? You’ll find some great tips here on the the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Enjoy your fruit trees and don’t forget to donate all that excess to a food bank or food shelf to help Feed Many!