Thanks to nets stretched over the trees, they were not only protected from hailstones, but also partly from the intense sun.
The abundant rain this weekend would have been what many fruit and vegetable growers wished for in the summer months. The long drought in July and August did not do many plants any good. The Steinsel apple trees however survived the overly hot summer relatively well.
Diederik Collas, orchardist, spoke to RTL about this year's harvest. "There are perhaps a few places on the plant where we would have liked it a little better, but I think in general we should not complain at all. Even if the apples are sometimes a bit smaller, on the other hand, the taste is exceptionally good", he explained.
"On average, we have much more sugar in the fruit than in a year with fewer hours of sunshine. In that respect, we are not complaining."
Nets have been stretched over many trees to protect against hailstones. But as it turns out, these nets also have a positive effect when the sky is blue.
"Today we can clearly see that when there is a lot of sun and extremely high temperatures, the trees are also spared. The sunlight is filtered through the netting, so the trees have less stress and are also less sensitive to drought", Collas stated.
In Steinsel, 13 apple varieties are grown on 12 hectares. If temperatures continue to rise and Luxembourg is plagued more often by long periods of drought, new varieties will have to be grown.
According to Henri Reuter, president of the Steinsel orchardist cooperation, "we have to see what else comes onto the market. If this continues, we will have to try 2-3 new varieties."
The apple festival, which is organised by the Steinsel Basket's booster club, takes place on 3 weekends. This coming Saturday and Sunday, people can also pick and taste apples here on the apple orchards.