So now that I'm bringing in loads of apples, what about those footies socks I put on them earlier this year?
I am pleased to say that THEY WORKED! Apples with socks had little to no apple maggot or coddling moth damage. My socked apples are looking great.
However, they were a pain in the rear to put on and keep on. Every apple needs a sock, and every sock takes about half a minute to put on.... You get the idea. Time intensive. So I wouldn't recommend it for large trees or large orchards unless you have slave labor or kids. Or are really having problems with maggots and moths.
And once they're on, you have to keep pulling them up as the apples grow, or as the birds try to grab them for their nests.
The socks also act as a sort of sunscreen, so the coloring isn't as deep as the apples without, and if the sock slips so part of it is exposed, you get a little tan line. It doesn't affect the taste of the apple, it's just something to note.
And I didn't have any more problem with earwigs than I normally do.
The only really bad effect was on my non-scab resistant tree. I need to take a more careful look, but it seems like the apples with socks had a higher incidence of scab, possibly because of the increased time that the apples are wet.
This is where you say "where, oh where can I get these wonderful socks?" If you know someone who sells shoes, you might see if you can't snag a box, cheap (or free). Have friends save them for you after trying on shoes. Or Raintree Nursery sells them here, with $4 from the sale of each box going to fruit disease research at WSU Mount Vernon. They're $20 for a box of 300, and you can wash them out in the fall, and reuse them in the spring (no, I don't get anything from them for telling you that).
Socks for apples? Highly recommended!