Monday, October 6, 2014


Hip hip hooray!  October finally arrived.  It's the gateway to cooler weather ahead.  We just need to make it through this last furnace blast and we'll be into excellent gardening weather.  Seedlings for the winter vegetable bed are coming along; but I may supplement the beds with nursery bought plants to fill in the bare spots.  Lettuce, beets, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are sprouting. It will be nice when they don't need constant moisture supplied by the garden hose.  Pray for rain.

Granny Smith - store bought & garden grown.
Granny Smiths are still being harvested to bake in tarts, muffins, apple sauce, and pies.  How are store bought apples so perfect?  I understand the glossiness from the wax; but why is the stem end perfect.  There is a scab of sorts that develops on the stem end of the apple.  How does it develop?  It doesn't effect the taste.  It doesn't effect me.  Just a curiosity I have.

Since publishing this post, I have found out that the "scab" is called russeting and is caused by humidity as the apple develops.  The example in the image above is an excellent example of very low humidity russeting since California is in the midst of an historic drought.  Chemical supplements can be applied to have apples of more consistent size with a pleasing appearance.  I found this interesting post regarding russeting.  UC Davis also has an interesting explanation of russeting on apples.  Scroll down to page 4 and read the article regarding russeting.  Irrigation after the petals fall and there after seems to be important in avoiding russeting. This is similar to cracking in tomatoes when soil is allowed to dry out then water is applied.  The plant sucks up the moisture and as a result, stretch marks are created. 

All the fruit trees and berries have been fertilized and given a layer of compost to tuck them in for the winter whenever it arrives.  The apples are the only fruit left.  Once the leaves start to drop, I'll have a better view of the limbs to enable some pruning before Farmer MacGregor applies the dormant spray.  Until then, we're still dreaming about some cold, wet weather.


dorothy said...

I can imagine that your home grown apples taste better than store bought. I wouldn't even worry about those slight imperfections! And you don't have to worry about those pesticides that they spray on apples.

David said...

Maybelline, the season here has already brought cooler temperatures and with it major leaf drop from the trees. We have been flirting with frost for about a week now and October 15th is our normal first frost date for my area. All garden harvesting is pretty much done here in Nebraska. I have a few potatoes to harvest and that will finish up the harvesting for this year. The planning for next year will start in a couple months and the seed starting will start in February. In the mean time enjoyment of the holidays is on the schedule.

Have a great seed starting and garden planting day.

Steve said...

Good question about the apples; I'm curious also. We
re just applying manure and are a bit behind you this year. Starts are up though and will be planted soon.

Donna said...

We're enjoying this cooler weather, too!
Interesting apple report. I wish I had an apple tree.