Rain timing helps apple crop – WTVG

SWANTON, Ohio (WTVG) – It was a tough start to the season for farmers in the area and after all the recent rain, some say it could still be worse.

It could be fall 2021.

That includes Martha Mora, she says her parents started the business in 1954 and she is always in the orchards at Johnston Fruit Farms.

She now co-owns the business. She tells 13abc, “My husband and I added a lot of different varieties of apples. We probably grow over 85 different kinds now. We’re pretty well-known for strawberries, pumpkins, getting well-known for the you-pick flowers that we offer.”

So, the farm is at the mercy of mother nature.

“Good amounts of rainfall like we just had,” she explains, “they can be detrimental, or they can be really helpful.”

This time the rain was helpful.

“Since [the apples are] green and the trees are still really growing, it’s great for the apples,” said Mora. “The pumpkins are still definitely in the growing stage. So, they’re going to take that just fine.”

The farm’s location in Fulton County helps the crops handle the rain.

Mora explains, “We’re not on clay soil, we’re on nice sandy loam soil. Our soil drains pretty well,”

Last fall, the soil couldn’t drain fast enough. So just in case, Mora says, “we kind of learned from last year, and we planted our flowers on raised beds,”

After a tough 2021 harvest season, then a dry planting season this year, Mora is hoping mother nature is finding her balance.

“I’d rather not repeat a fall like last fall,” said Mora. “I’m just praying for a good fall and winter. I would choose days in the 70s, so not cold days but cooler days, with a lot of sunshine.”

The rain comes at a time when other local orchards and pumpkin farms are announcing their opening dates for welcoming in the public next month. Even in muddy fields, farmers are hard at work right now.

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