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Growing Your Own Apples

Apples on Tree

Growing your own apples is not only fun and easy, but it is also very important if you are trying to gather food in your own backyard. Such simple tips can help you grow the most beautiful and delicious apples!

The key to successfully growing apples is to pick the right spots. Apples grow the best in full sun and moist, well drained soil. Do not plant your trees in low or wet spots such as areas that collect water for extended periods of time.

You can plant apples anytime from spring to fall but make sure you dig a hole that’s twice as wide (but no deeper than) the pot of your apple tree. Remove the tree from the pot, loosen its root ball, and spread the roots so they face outward. Fill the hole back up with the soil you dug out and then water the tree thoroughly.

Research the different types of apples (there are more than 7,000) and decided which is best for you. Talk to local garden centers or a nursery for help choosing the right apple.

Garden Tip

Apples grow the best when there are two varieties nearby to pollinate each other. Some apples actually have to be pollinated by another variety in order to grow fruit. So make sure you research what your tree requires.

Growing Apples In Pots

Apples can also be grown in large containers (at least 4-5 feet in diameter). Fill your pots with high quality soil mix because garden soil doesn’t drain as well within these containers.

Warmer climates will allow you to leave your pots outdoors all year but in colder climates, it’s best to move the trees to a protected area such as a shed or garage.

Trimming The Branches

Like most trees, apples have a main trunk that the branches grow out from. These branches require pruning and training so that your apples will grow correctly. If your tree starts to develop a second central trunk, remove the competing branch to help keep your tree stable and healthy.

Cut any branches that grow toward the inside of the tree. This will keep the apple tree healthy and allow sunlight and air to reach all parts of your tree.

When To Prune

The best time to prune your apple tree is in late winter or early spring. Remove any dead branches or vertically growing sprouts.

When To Pick Your Apples

There are different varieties of apples such as early, mid, and late maturing so the harvest season can be from August to October.

Pick apples from the tree when they separate easily from the branch and have a firm structure. Soft apples are overripe but can be used for cooking or baking. Keep the apples in a cool spot after you harvest them.

Keep Away Pests and Diseases

Like most plants and fruits, apples are also known for attracting pests and diseases. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent your apples from being destroyed by bugs.

– Cultivate your apple trees. Choose the most insect-resistant cultivars available at your local nursery.

– Clean up leaf and other debris around the tree regularly. Prune the dead or diseased wood from the tree and remove dried apples.

– Spray the tree with horticultural oil in the spring. This oil is a preventative insecticide meant to kill pests before they can infest your tree. Spraying the tree early in the spring will kill off scale and other insects before they have a chance to live within your trees.

– Apply a multipurpose fungicide to prevent diseases. Make sure you read the label (and it says for apple trees) on the fungicide before purchasing. The best time to spray is after the first sign of green tissue on the tree.

 

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