• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
gardeners:
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Paul Fookes
  • Tina Wolf

Worms in my apples. An organic solution?

 
Posts: 64
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
13
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How do I get fewer worms in my apples? I have six apple trees and almost zero harvest. Last year one of my trees was loaded with apples but they were all so full of worms, they were unusable for anything. Our goal is apple sauce and some fresh eating, but the only applesauce we have done up in the last few years has been using a neighbor's apples... and theirs were full of worms this year.

I am not feeling like a very good gardener here.
 
author & steward
Posts: 6951
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
3212
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You might do things to disrupt the life cycle of the insects, such as keeping poultry or pigs under the trees, or spraying clay on the apples, or gathering fallen apples and disposing of them away from the tree.

You might learn to eat worms.

You might benefit from planting species of plants that are highly attractive to predatory wasps, and/or provide nesting sites for the wasps.

On a more philosophical level, some varieties of apples are less susceptible to insect damage than others. You might replace the existing trees with varieties that are known to be more resistant.

 
pollinator
Posts: 4487
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
1219
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:You might do things to disrupt the life cycle of the insects, such as keeping poultry or pigs under the trees, or spraying clay on the apples, or gathering fallen apples and disposing of them away from the tree.


I've heard that too. Their life cycle involves overwintering in the soil under the tree and coming out as a fly when there is fruit to lay their eggs on. Some people spread a tarp under an apple tree to catch all fallen fruit and break the interface with the soil.
 
pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Infestations of Cydia pomonella are hard to fight but can be reduced biologically.
One Butterfly can lay up to 80 eggs one by one on each single apple.

The life cycle begins in Winter with the first generation.

The Apple worm will leave the dropped apples overwinters in the ground and between May and August climb back into the tree bark where it changes to a butterfly..

Here you want to do following measurements:

Step one:
Collect all dropped fruits regularly to make sure the worm is not getting out and crawling back to the tree.

Step two:
Take a hard brush or a specifically made bark scraper and remove all hiding spots by meaning remove loose bark pieces (but make sure you not damage the living bark) starting at ground level and go 1-2 feet up.

Then tie a strip of about 30 cm (or 12") corrugated cardboard around the trees at a height of 50cm (or 20")  and check and change them as soon the first worms are hiding in it.
Burn the cardboard to make sure the worms are gone up in smoke...

Step three:
This you have to repeat for the 2nd generation coming.


Unfortunately the butterfly is very sensible on temperature changes so its almost impossible to say when the 2nd generation appears. But it should be around May to June on warm days.
(The eggs cannot develop if it is below 10 degrees.)

Alternatively:

There are traps with sexual pheromones on the market but the German apple farmers use them more or less to count the caught males and so determine  when the 2nd generation is popping up.

There are also some bio pesticides on the market but my family never used any of that stuff..  

Even you see no worms in your traps make sure you maintain them because one day the worms will be there just waiting to become a butterfly and start all over again.
 
pollinator
Posts: 365
Location: Appalachian Mountains
176
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When you get the calcium/phosphorus levels up and humate in the soil to sequester moisture and nutrients the plants will grow thicker skins and make their own insect repellant.  Spraying it on in a liquid solution, on the foliage is a quicker fix than just putting on the soil.  We do both.  If several years go by and we haven’t done this, ours get a little wormy.  Otherwise, they are excellent and don’t usually rot, they just dehydrate if you leave them sitting in a bowl for a few months.  Same for other crops.  

We also run baby pigs and chickens in the orchard after harvest, to clean up any fallen apples, and eat grass/weeds/bugs.  

Apples were smaller this year due to too many on the trees, and also we skipped 3 years without putting enough minerals out.  Still tasted amazingly good.  
F5334CD6-2CA5-4E2D-8117-3D740AE6B0D5.jpeg
Assorted produce, cherry tomatoes, peaches apples. All unsprayed. Did not mineralize apples past 3 years.
Assorted produce, cherry tomatoes, peaches apples. All unsprayed. Did not mineralize apples past 3 years.
 
steward
Posts: 3671
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
946
12
hugelkultur urban chicken food preservation bike bee
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a trap for codling moths, that could save at least some of your apples from worms:


Using a cleaned out 1 gallon milk jug, cut a hole about the size of a small egg just below the milk jugs shoulder.  This can easily be done if you first put hot water in the jug and shake it around until the sides get warm.  Empty out water and cut hole with a sharp knife.
Recipe: 1 cup cider vinegar
                   1/3 cup dark molasses
                   1/2 teaspoon ammonia
                   Add enough water to make 1 1/2 quarts liquid
Mix together and pour into milk jug using a funnel. Make sure to replace the cap on the milk jug.
When apple trees are just about done blooming tie the jug on a sturdy branch with a strip of cloth. Hang the jug with the hole facing slightly down so the rain can't get in but also so the mixture can't spill out.
As the season progresses, you'll notice the mixture evaporating, I just grab my lawn hose and add more water to the jug.
Keep jugs in the tree until harvest is over.  Discard the jugs, but first...be amazed at how many moths are in the mixture...pretty gross!
Place 2-4 jugs in different locations for an average sized tree.
 
Jon Sousa
Posts: 64
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
13
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Julia, and all. I will try the codling moth trap next year.

This year I tried to interrupt that life cycle by putting down a layer of clean cardboard to the drip line and covered it with cut grass and leaves. My apples were a lot cleaner this year - not near as many worms... and some had none!

Another problem that I had this year with all my fruit was poor pollination. Tons of flowers very little fruit... this in spite of my planting all kinds of bee attracting flowers and having my own colony of mason bees for the last several years. I had a total of one cherry on a tree that was covered with flowers.
 
pollinator
Posts: 375
Location: zone 5-5
135
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Has anyone had luck with planting marigolds under the tree?
That was suggested by a local guy.
I haven't tried it because there weren't many worms in my apples until this year.
 
Posts: 35
Location: SE France
13
fungi trees food preservation medical herbs wood heat composting
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello this bright and sunny day.
My company this morning: bucket loads of peaches and plums, needing to be sorted. Lots of ant and bee feeding in spite of the drinking facilities provided.
Juices and chutneys will follow.
What I have heard and had some positive results with:

- spraying fruit with diluted whey, from a local farmer with animals as clean as me.
The ph thing apparently disturbs insects. Not bad but can’t give you a recipe, I just do by feel or smell.

- On apple trees specifically, a largish yellow card, not as in football ok?, with a red circle with glue in the circle.
The red attracts the miscreant who gets stuck in the glue or goo. I haven’t tried this. Neighbours rather like this method.

- urine is our friend, freely availble, and possibly without horrid additives.
I have used my home produced liquid to protect walnut trees from a fly that lays eggs in the walnuts as described with the apple butterfly.
Extrapolating, now there’s a fine word, the method as very useful, I placed a jam jar with my homemade uric acid under the box bush when we had an invasion of very attractive white and black moths that decimated forests of box, withoutmercy.
My box survived with lots of happy moths floating in the jam jar.
I did add some rhubarb leaves, rich inoxalic acid, on top of the box bush.

- and finally, don’t know how or why, eggs shells in cute little net bags hung in the mainly peach trees, to discourage otherflying creatures. It seems to work though not for ants and beesand wasps.
They are part of the local tax system.

We had little fruit here, lots of beautiful fragrant flowers with hot weather in February, Ithink, followed by violent rainstorms and very late morning frosts, hence no cherries, not much on the apple front, but load of plums and peaches, to the extent of a recumbent peach tree, currently held up with a step ladder.

I wish us a fab weekend with sparkling blessings
M-H
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do this with fairly good results...BEFORE the blossoms come out... I get milk jugs...cut a SMALL piece off the lid, don't want my bees in there... 1/2 fill with water. 1 cup sugar 1 peeled RIPE banana, 1 cup apple cider vinegar...hang from tree...fills up with the buggers before they can lay eggs!!
 
Posts: 1507
109
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
here is some info I came across about what op is asking about

https://www.phillyorchards.org/2015/07/23/bacillus-thuringiensisbt-orchard-sprays/
 
gardener
Posts: 1069
Location: Zone 9A, 45S 168E, 329m Queenstown, NZ
472
dog fungi foraging chicken food preservation cooking fiber arts
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have been using pheromone disruptor loops on the apple trees in our community garden orchard for the past three years with spectacularly successful results.

The orchard was planted in 2009 and we had minimal codling moth damage for 10 years and it suddenly exploded, I guess that the population had slowly been building up.

All our trees have comfrey, calendula and borage planted around the drip line and windfalls are collected and not allowed to rot on the ground.

Here is how they work https://extension.usu.edu/pests/research/codling-moth-mating-disruption

We hang the loops on all our trees in the orchard and if your neighbours grow apple trees, you may wish to share some loops with them.

The loops are only available in large quantities but there are several members of the NZ based Tree Crops association who kindly  purchase and repackage the loops into packs of 5, 10 , 25 & 50 and make them available to domestic growers.

 
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't - Edison. Tiny ad:
6 Rocket Builds - 3d Plans - Free Heat Bundle
https://permies.com/t/193434/Rocket-Builds-Plans-Free-Heat
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic