Celebrate the apple...and fight off the fungus

Give apples a day to remember.
Give apples a day to remember.
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Apple Day is when the UK recognises the wealth and variety of apples available throughout the land.

The first such day was organised in 1990 by Common Ground, the charity and lobby group, in Covent Garden, London. By 2000, the day was celebrated in 
600 events around the country, and abroad. This year, Apple Day is October 21, and the country will be celebrating with even more enthusiasm.

But there’s always a downside; with apples, it’s often the fault of a nasty little fungus that goes by the name of Venturia inqequalis. It may not be that well known, but the results of its endeavours are – apple scab, one of the most common diseases to attack apple trees. It usually appears in early to mid-spring and is more prevalent during wet weather.

Apple scab first appears as small, olive-colored lesions on the undersides of the leaves. Severely infected trees may become defoliated by mid-summer, making the tree vulnerable to other diseases.

One way to tackle it is to pick up fallen leaves and fruit and to mulch around the base of trees in autumn. Don’t give Venturia inqequalis the chance to get to work. Another way is by spraying with a proprietary fungicide in early spring.