Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Crop: Coe's Golden Drop

My Coe's Golden Crop had a very good set this year, and looked to have a promising crop for once. But one by one, nearly every fruit has turned brown and either dropped or rotted on the tree. As the crop has been so small in previous years, I haven't really paid it the attention I should have, I probably assumed the rot was due to wasps nibbling the thin skin causing brown rot to set in. But this year I have religiously opened every spoiled fruit, and found every single one infested with plum moth. I'm slightly at a loss to know why the infestation is so severe; neither the wild plum nor the Denniston's is affected, and there aren't many plum trees in neighbouring gardens. I was left with about 7 unaffected plums from a 8 foot standard which had previously been over-loaded.

Not sure what to do, I'm not sure it's worth the bother of pheromone traps/spraying for one sparsely producing tree. The fruit is good, but not as outstandling a yellow plum as the catalogues suggests, and the few unaffected fruits ripen very unevenly, the area near the stalk shrivels whilst the other end is sometimes hard.

My husband's favourite plum is the Warwickshire Drooper that grow rather ferally in his parent's garden, as unusually this variety does very well on it's own roots. The flavour isn't as rich as Coe's, but large, sweet and juicy, skins are equal in terms of thickness/bitterness, but it very reliable, seemingly pretty immune to silverleaf and only mildly affected by moth. The drooping habit is attractive, and somewhat self-limiting re. height which is nice.

I know the poor soil here means that plums are very slow to come into production, maybe it's simply too poor for a fussy variety like Coe's. I'll give it one more chance.

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