Orchard visit of Summercrisp®
On August 14 of last year we visited the Demeter-Bio Fruit company of Hartwig and Tewes Quast. We asked them the following questions:
When did you become familiar with the Summercrisp® variety, and what was your first impression?
We heard about the Summercrisp® variety for the first time in 2016. We were looking for an improvement on our previous early varieties, the Collina and the Delbarestivale, as we were experiencing problems regarding alternation, premature fruit fall and also scab.
Our initial impression was that this was a productive and tasty variety.
What do you currently like best about the Summercrisp®?
The variety tastes extremely good. It is a very early variety and can be sold at good prices. Another advantage in its cultivation is the polygenic scab resistance (Vf and Va genes). Summercrisp is popular with children, and also suitable as an apple for snacks.
What can you tell us about the cultivation and production of Summercrisp®?
Summercrisp® grows well here in this plantation, without cloning. The leaves are vigorous and healthy. It is a robust variety, on which we have not been able to determine scab or mildew, although we have found a little fruit tree canker. Due to the extremely high fertility, early and consistent thinning out is important. When the trees reached second leaf, we didn’t thin them out enough, meaning that we determined alternating trees this year. Thinning the blossoms out is definitely necessary, and later manual thinning to 1-2 apples per flower head is recommendable in order to obtain fruit of a good size.
In 2018, we harvested the first Summercrisp® on 27th July. This year, we started on 3rd August. The harvest is early; it lies approximately 10-14 days prior to the Delbarestivale variety. The general advantage of early varieties such as their early appearance on the market, equalisation of the peak harvest times and the more economic utilisation of crates and warehouses are particularly evident here.
The plan is to grow the trees as vertical cordons in order to optimise the fruit size. We were assisted this year by the installed drip irrigation. Because we have no possibility for frost protection sprinkling in this plantation, we require a fertile variety in case the blossoms are damaged by frost.
How much Summercrisp® did you harvest this year?
The harvest was poor due to the severe frosts during blossoming, in combination with the individual alternation of trees and hail. In the first year after planting, in 2018, we harvested approximately 3 kg/tree. In full crop on our Demeter plantation, we trust this variety to provide us with 20-25 t/ha.
Tell us about the quality and size of the fruits.
The colour of the fruit may become an issue on older trees. It is important to keep the tree open, in order to guarantee formation of the top colour. The base colour is a good indicator of maturity. Most of our fruits are within the 60-65 mm range. Up to now, we haven’t stored the fruits for prolonged amounts of time due to the limited marketing time period; smaller quantities which had been in cold storage for longer periods still tasted very good.
Which disadvantages does this variety have?
During the year of planting, we found little transverse cracks in the area of the stalk on larger apples. However, this phenomenon was reduced over the following years, and only occurred very rarely thereafter. In case of superimposition, the apple forms a thick layer of wax.
How is the variety marketed?
Fully indirectly via the fruit trade, in the organic food trade. However, in fact the variety is predestined for direct marketers so that they can start early on in the new season with a delicious apple.
What can you recommend to your fruit plantation colleagues regarding the Summercrisp® variety?
It is important, in case of indirect sales, to first consider the marketable quantity of apples during the early time period, so that no competition is generated between the early apple varieties. This is a particularly tasty variety which should remain a speciality. The apple is worth it!
Gala Magma® has an very early colouring and ripens one week earlier than Gala Must or similar mutations. The colour of Gala Magma® is even and intense bright and dark-red striped. Regarding to Gala Galaxy Selecta® and Gala Brookfield® the colouring of this mutant is better. Download brochureView all varieties