Fallen fruit is a waste. Bruised, fallen fruit becomes a major attraction for bugs and other creatures. The simple precaution of a fruit catcher can prevent this loss. Fruit that falls onto the soft, elevated surface of a tarp or sheet does not bruise and is out of the reach of small animals. Whether the fruit falls on its own or the tree is shaken to induce falling, a fruit catcher is a helpful harvesting tool.
Outline the area for the fruit catcher. The catcher will be square and should be underneath all fruit-bearing parts of the tree.
Dig a 6-inch hole at each corner of the catcher. Place a 2-foot piece of PVC pipe into the hole and surround it with dirt to hold it steady.
Place a 3-way PVC pipe connector on top of each pipe so that the openings face the adjacent pipes.
Measure the distance between each pipe and cut a section of PVC pipe to that length. Fit the PVC pipe segments between the pipe poles.
Use PVC pipe snap clamps to hold two tarps or sheets over the pipe frames. Stretch the fabric as far around the trunk of the tree as possible, and ensure that the two sections of the material overlap. This will hold the fabric off the ground and enable it to catch the fruit.
Poke small holes in the material to allow water to drain. Use white plastic to reflect light onto shaded fruit to help it ripen. Collect fallen fruit regularly.
Tips and warnings
- Poke small holes in the material to allow water to drain.
- Use white plastic to reflect light onto shaded fruit to help it ripen.
- Collect fallen fruit regularly.