Remove fruit to encourage bigger crops

Saxifrage is looking superb in the garden. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Saxifrage is looking superb in the garden. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Thinning out of fruit is advisable.

As May progresses, there’s a strong hint of bumper crops ahead, but what about the quality? Who wants hundreds of apples come autumn if they’re only golf-ball size?

Certain trees that are laden with fruit shed some of it naturally during June. If, after that event, you think there are still too many competing for space on a branch, remove one third.

Remember, the less left on a tree, the bigger they’ll be.

Peach tree fruit thinning is so necessary. Mother Nature bypasses our greenhouse peach, which left in its present state would offer only tiny fruits at maturity in early August. There must be upward of 150 cherry-sized fruits crowded on the branches.

Thinning-out is best done in two stages; the first comes now, leaving a 10cm gap between each, and the final thinning to 20cm apart is executed when they’ve reached golf ball proportions.

Be it peaches, gooseberries or bunches of grapes, aim to remove one third of the crop.