The Q&A Archives: fruit trees apples and grapes - how to trim fruit to make them bigger

Question: we have an apple tree that is starting to get little apples - i heared you are to pick off a bunch to make the rest big is that true ? is that also true with grapes - and strawberries - what do you use to keep bugs off the leaves
we live in ellwood city pa - near new castle pa


Answer: Apples can be thinned in June. Sometimes they thin themselves by dropping excess fruit all by themselves. If your apple trees do not drop immature fruit in June, you can thin the fruit yourself. Just twist off 2-3 fruits per cluster, leaving the largest fruit in the cluster. Same for grapes. If you remove some of the clusters the plant can put more of its energy into ripening the fruit that remains. This results in larger, sweeter fruit. Strawberries normally are not thinned. Their fruits are borne individually on separate stems. As for bug control, it depends upon the bugs. Some can simply be hosed off with water. Others react to specific chemicals, but the chemical of choice depends upon the critter you're trying to control.

Best wishes with your edible landscape!

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