Apples set for vintage crop

Wednesday 22nd Sep 2010 by theWeather Club

Things are looking distinctly rosy for Britain's apple growers with a bumper harvest and some of the tastiest fruit in years. Apples growers across the country say weather conditions in the past few months have been perfect for growing one of the nation's favourite fruits. And it is not just a case of yields being up. Apple experts say 2010 has been one of the best years in living memory for producing sweet, juicy fruit that is full of flavour. It seems that the coldest winter in 30 years was actually a boon for our apple orchards as it allowed the trees plenty of time to rest before budding in spring. The late frosts and snows also killed off pests that usually attack the trees and their fruit. This was followed by spring and early summer sunshine giving the trees plenty of light, converting a lot more of the apples' starch into sugar, leading to sweeter apples. Then despite the lateness of spring, our apple orchards escaped the harsh frosts that can sometimes strike in May, which can ruin apple blossom and kill the young buds. It all added up to the perfect start for apple trees everywhere which the ensuing summer – with the occasional lapse – has done little to undo. Finally the late summer has seen night time temperatures dipping down as low as 6℃ with day time highs of around 20℃. These temperature swings are just what the apple doctor ordered, as the fruit likes drastic temperature fluctuations in the run up to harvest. All of this means that if the old adage about apples and doctors is true, the nations GPs could be enjoying a bit more time on their hands over the next few months.