Not what you thought, huh?
Whenever someone asks why we have pantyhose on our apples and pears Tom responds with “They’re getting ready for a night out on the town.” Yes, it looks a bit odd to have pantyhose covered fruit hanging off of a tree, but I’m telling you it really helps keep the OMG-I-just-bit-a-worm-in-half-while-biting-into-this-apple-surprises to a minimum.
Oh the codling moth. We don’t have a problem with them yet, but I don’t want to encourage them so I’m proactive with keeping them out of our fruit trees. Bagging them is the most effective organic control for codling moth and doesn’t need any additional controls.
Unfortunately it’s really time consuming so it’s really only useful for backyard growers with small trees. I spent 2 hours and I only got about 2/3s of the tree done. I’ve actually been dreading doing this so I’ve procrastinated. Hopefully I didn’t wait too long. You’re supposed to bag them when the fruit is only about a 1/2″ in diameter. As you can see from these fruitlets, they are much larger than that. The one thing that is on my side though is this weather. It hasn’t gotten warm yet and they don’t start getting active until the sunset temperature reaches the mid ’60s.
We used these nylon covers last year with good success. Unfortunately they don’t stop the squirrels from taking chomps out of the apples.
5 thoughts on “The Barrier Method – Or Getting Ready for a Night Out on the Town”
Wow, that is a great idea! I'll have to try that, we have several pear trees on our property, and we haven't been able to harvest much fruit. Thanks for sharing the tip. 🙂
Do you have a good resource for the nylon covers? It's not like I buy pantyhose so I'd be buying these just for the barrier. At the nursery it's about $25 for a gallon-sized bag – maybe 200 pieces? Where do you buy yours?
Hey Erica, I totally meant to include a link but it slipped my mind (I think this cold has me all loopy because I published a post yesterday that wasn't finished either). Peaceful Vally Farm Supply carries them ($12.99 for 144) http://www.groworganic.com/maggot-barriers-tan-144pk.html
When I got them they were $19.99 for a bag of 300 but I don't see those available anymore.
We use the same nylon bags from Peaceful Valley Garden Supply too. Like you, even though they haven’t (yet) been a problem here, I don’t want to wait until they are. There are some varieties of apple that are more resistant to codling moth damage too, like our locally adapted Hauer Pippin (supposedly a result of the thicker skin on the fruit). Not so helpful if you’ve already got an established tree, but for planting new trees, or grafting, it’s something I hadn’t considered when we were first planning our orchard.
Clare, I’ve heard that Gravensteins are also resistant.
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