Bootie failure

Make your apples look like Hannibal Lecter's Christmas Ornaments

Around Seattle, organic gardeners use nylon booties to keep pests like Apple Maggots and the Coddling Moth out of their apples. I'm not sure which is the dominant pest here, but invariably apples left untreated on trees are infested with one of the bugs.

I'm guessing there's a whole lot of something crawling around in there.

This year is the first real fruit-bearing year for our espalliered apples, so I set up a ladder and bootied all one hundred or so fruits. Unfortunately, I experienced a massive bootie failure.

If you look carefully, you can see munch holes in this bootie.

Tell-tale signs of insect penetration blemish almost every apple. What did I do wrong? Should I have tied the booties closed, despite advice that this is not necessary? Did I apply the booties too late (mid June)?

Last year we had only one apple. It had a worm of course. I cut it out, ate the apple anyway. It was still delicious. I guess we'll just be eating oddly carved apples this year. Or lots of applesauce.

But I may get a reprieve this year: An expert gardener suggested the brown spots might be scab! That's a fungus that marrs the peels. If she's correct, it's an aesthetic problem, not a creepy crawly problem, but it wouldn't explain the nibbles in the nylons. But perhaps the crop can be saved! Hooray!


DaleA said...

Just had to leave a comment, if only to pay homage to the post title. I love the pics; they're sort of creepy looking.