Ontario apple growers experiencing bounce-back season
Drought last summer gave trees chance to 'rest'
Last year’s drought has given way to a potential bumper crop of apples across Ontario.
Farmers said trees have a natural way to help themselves recover from bad weather, as happened last summer when some lost as much as 80 per cent of their crops.
They also said apple trees are only supposed to produce a crop every two years, so the chance to "rest" in 2012 is paying off this year.
"The blooms were all killed off. When that happens the trees set up a big bloom for the next year, so they had a huge blossom," said Phillip Lyall, co-owner of Mountain Orchard near Ottawa.
"They took the summer off last year – they were able to relax, take it easy, which gives the trees time to set up fruit buds for the next year," said Shelly Lyall.
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Early start to picking season in Ottawa
The Ontario Apple Growers association said many orchards are literally overloaded with apples, which can mean broken off branches or tipped-over trees if enough rain falls.
Farmers whose crops survived the spring frost said they’re reaping the benefits.
"Apples really like this kind of weather," Lyall said.
"It's cool. It's wet. They're growing like crazy."
Apple picking season starts next week at some farms in the Ottawa area, which is about a week earlier than normal.