Growing Apples In Your Backyard
Apple trees are a great addition to any backyard. In the spring, their bʟᴏssoms are a visual feast, and in the autumn, their fruits are excellent. Apple trees can serve as a focal point in the garden while also providing structure. They also provide a diverse range of habitats for wildlife, including bees, birds, and moths.
Planting bare-root apple trees is best done in the winter. These are less expensive than container-grown kinds and come in a larger variety of variations from fruit nurseries. Depending on the rootstock, trees grow to varying heights.
When determining where to plant your tree, make sure it will get plenty of sun and that there will be enough room for the branches to grow. If you just have a tiny garden, don’t worry: trees can be trained and pruned as fans, cordons, and espaliers to grow against a suitable wall, fence, or trellis.
Before you start planting, make sure the soil is ready. After that, drill a square hole, hammer in a tree stake, and set the tree in place. Hold the tree in place as you fill in the soil around it. Make that the graft point, which is a protrusion on the stem where the rootstock was grafted, is just above soil level. Remove any air pockets from the dirt surrounding the roots and fasten the stem to the stake. Throughout the year, keep the tree adequately watered.
An apple tree will mature and produce for decades if properly cared for and fed. Apply a balanced fertilizer, such as pelleted chicken dung, at the base of the tree once a year in late winter. Use a sulfate of potash fertilizer to promote good blooming and fruit production. Spread a layer of garden compost mulch under the tree each spring to condition the soil, keep moisture in, and keep weeds at bay.
Summer pruning aids in the conversion of leafy branches to fruiting ones. Shoots longer than 20cm should be pruned to three leaves. Any side stems from these should be cut back to one leaf. Remove any ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇd fruits and thin out congested fruits to one every 10cm. To establish an open structure that admits light and air into the center of the tree, winter prune by eliminating crowded, crossed, or improperly placed stems.
Some apples begin to ripen in August, but the majority of them ripen in September and October. To avoid fruits dropping and being ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇd, pick them as they ripen. Lift them with your hand cupped in yours. Leave the apple for another week if it doesn’t softly pull away.