My Least Favorite Orchard Task

Thinning fruit!

Second 5 gal bucket, still more to thin…


Sweep walnut-sized fallen baby avocados and mangoes out of the walkway. It always hurts to see that, even though the trees are only thinning themselves out of self preservation

Bagging esp. Clemson bags. I used to like it but now it is a chore. Thinning is a pain but bagging is a greater pain. Doing a bad job on thinning has some (but not too bad) consequence. Doing a bad job on bagging, it defeats the purpose.


The problem I have with bagging is half of the fruits fall off inside the bags.


Cutting grass


You need to thin a couple of rounds and spray 2-3 times with pesticide and fungicide so fruitlets can size up sufficiently before bagging.

To me, bagging is not for totally without spray (I have high pest and disease pressure). It is for me to cut down a number of spray.

1 Like

I’m not anti-spray either, and I’ll do what I need to. The main reason I started bagging is that I seem to have a lot of trouble getting the “good” sprays that actually work, the ones the commercial orchardists use.

What size do you aim for @mamuang ?

I used to have a large number of bags fall soon after bagging with undeveloped fruit in them. Now I spray the apples with Spinosad mixed with Surround after bloom a couple times about a week apart or after heavy rain, then bag when about marble to gum ball size. By then, the unpollinated drops have mostly fallen and the apples remaining will probably stick to the tree. If the stem has a yellowish cast to it, that apple will probably fall, so avoid bagging those if there are other choices nearby. To wait like that cuts down considerably on thinning. After that, you can mostly forget about them until harvest, when squirrels and other critters can be problems. I bagged about a thousand apples this year, but don’t expect to harvest that amount.

I have planted a number of peach and apricot trees over the years, but have never had any set any fruit to need to be troubled by having to thin them. The peach trees all winter-killed. Count your blessings!


What fruit you refer to? Peaches/nectarines or apples and pears?

Bag the whole tree. Worked beautifully for my Saturn peach last year and sour cherry this year.

Watering.It’s tough carrying a five gallon bucket of water,ten feet up a ladder.:grimacing:So,I switched to automatic drip.:joy:


@Auburn … a few years back my cub cadet riding mower finally kicked the bucket… I had to decide if I was going to buy another expensive mower and keep doing that myself… or give in and just pay someone else to mow. I choose to pay someone else… and the cost turned out to be more reasonable than I thought it might… and I sure don’t miss mowing or weed eating at all.

Right now it is HOT and I am at a restaurant eating with my wife… and my mower guy is mowing my yard. :wink:


It did not work where I am.

Last year was the first time I payed someone to cut my grass and he is still on my payroll. My orchard is different and I do all the work/grass cutting.

pulling bindweed. I hate it. that and skeleton rush weed, they both burn my hands a little for some reason and I just hate them both. bindweed is everywhere here I’ve been fighting it for 6 years.


Ugh, bindweed! Its everywhere here too and while I think I have done a pretty decent job weakening it, I am pretty sure I will never kill it. We’ve also been getting a lot of poison ivy here too…

1 Like

Is it worth bagging cherries or surround, wanted to bag, did it take you a while?

Get a good quality net, some rebar and some PCV pipe in 3/4 and one inch diameter. Telescope the pcv pipe together, put both ends onto pieces of rebar and arch it over the bush(es). Drape the net over the top. Weigh down the lower edges of the net with boards, rocks, or whatever you have on hand. I use milk jugs filled with water. There are several past posts with pictures of net supports other members have made. Don’t waste your time trying to bag cherries.

1 Like