Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Apple Tree Anti-Pest Method September 7, 2008

In a previous post, I mentioned the technique of putting “footies” (nylon half-sock hosiery thingies) on apples as they are forming on the trees, to protect them from pests like the apple maggot fly and coddling moths which can ravage the fruit. At the Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair yesterday (big post on that coming soon), I saw that they had used this method in their demonstration garden.

Apples With Footies

It’s pretty labor intensive, but if you only have a few dwarf trees (or a lot of time or many helpful garden elves), it’s doable. You just have to make sure to do it at the right time, before the pests emerge from dormancy in the spring and start doing their evil (but natural) business. Check with your local fruit tree growers’ society for more information, or click here for the Home Orchard Society’s how to’s and purchasing info.


5 Responses to “Apple Tree Anti-Pest Method”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    This is interesting Karen. I can see how it would help but it does seem like an awful lot of work! But I am sure that first bite of apple makes it work it!

  2. margaret Says:

    Love this idea. I use bits of old hosiery as “slings” to hand a heavy fruit like pumpkin or melon from the fence…keeping it up off the ground and away from animals and the moist earth where it might not grow so evenly and undamaged.

  3. PGL Says:

    What a great tip for someone that grows fruit. I had an apple tree in my yard but it wasn’t the bugs that were the problem, just squirrels. 🙂

  4. Philip Says:

    We will try this!
    Dwarf trees are a great way to go.
    I love this image of the apples.

  5. greenwalks Says:

    Cynthia –

    Too much work for me! But maybe if you have a few small trees, it’s not too bad.


    Margaret –

    Great idea! Always nice to repurpose stuff that would end up in the landfill. And as a bonus, you have perfect-looking veggies!


    PGL –

    Squirrels sure are pesky, huh? I guess if you have a big enough tree, there are some for you and some for the varmints. 🙂

    Philip –

    I’d be curious to hear how it goes, if you try it. My folks said that they didn’t put them on early enough this year due to the weather, so they lost quite a few to the pesky pests. Timing it right is key, I guess. Good luck!

    – Karen

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