RHS Says This Year’s British Apples Are Fewer But Sweeter
The Royal Horticultural Society says that apples will be smaller in number but sweeter in taste this year, following a warm September.
Extreme heat and droughts in the UK in 2022 caused stress to apple trees, which has resulted in an inconsistent crop in 2023. While some trees have produced a decent amount of fruit, others are significantly less laden.
However, favourable conditions in September have meant that while the British apple harvest may not be abundant this year, apples will be particularly flavoursome.
Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturist of the RHS, said:
“The last 70 days before picking influence apple flavour and this year the lack of heatwaves in August and good sunshine with some, but not excessive, warmth in September is bringing fruits to maturity with plenty of sugars, some acids and bright colours – all of which make for tasty, appetising fruits.”
Monday 2 October marked the start of the 2023/4 British apple season while this weekend the RHS Festival of Flavours continues at RHS Garden Rosemoor and will be celebrating the harvest from their Heritage Devon Apple Orchard.
The festival, which is running from 7-8 October, will feature a number of apple focused talks and activities – including a demonstration of how to press apples, and talks by the founder and owner of Sandford Orchards Cider on the history of cider making in Devon, as well as by pomologist Liz Copas on her new book ‘The Lost Orchards’.
In addition, visitors can bring in home grown apples for identification and RHS Rosemoor’s edibles team will be giving expert advice on how to grow and cook your own food. There will also be an artisan food and craft market, as well as live music and campfire cooking to get visitors into the festival mood.