Growing Apples in Home Garden - Mature Red Apples on Tree
Growing Apples in Home Garden - Mature Red Apples on Tree

Growing Apples in Home Garden

The desire to growing apples in home garden, that is to say, Malus domestica, does not pose any major difficulties for it to be carried out, provided that the basic prerequisites for the proper planting of tree are met.

What they are, how apple is planted, what fertilization is needed, and the watering of the tree are approached in detail, in yet another erudite article.

An article which, the tirelessly editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’, was painstakingly dilettanted.

An editorial team which of modesty stops here to admire itshelf.

But it will continue to do that on its own.

The home garden, provided that the climate and space allow it, can also include apple trees

Small Apple Home Orchard
Small Apple Home Orchard
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Climate & Soil

Climate and soil are decisive factors for the ability to cultivate Apples as well as to select its cultivars and varieties.

Climate

Growing Apples in home garden is successful in wet areas with cold winters and cool summers. In terms of temperatures, Apple trees can tolerand minimum -40 °C (-40 °F) while the maximum for a satisfactory production should not exceed 29 °C (84.2 °F).

In order to stop the physical dormancy of Apple, the tree must exposed at low temperatures from 0 to 7 °C (32-44.6 °F). Hours of exposure to cold depend on the cultivar or variety and generally range from 800 to 1700. Of course, there are also varieties that require less hours, 250 to 300, which are suitable for planting in warmer areas.

Soil

The Apple trees can be planted in a variety of soil types – except  heavy and clayey. In any case, it should be avoided to plant the trees in soils that are often waterlogged and those whose depth is less than 45 cm.

In relation to soil pH, Apples grow in moderately acidic to neutral soils, ranging from 6 to 7, but the optimum value for their cultivation is at 6.5.

Site and Exposure

Apple trees grows better and produce high quality apples in semi-mountainous or mountainous locations. In the plains however, apple production is clearly greater.

As far as exposure, Apple tree requires full sunny places or spots where it receives sunlight directly for at least 8 hours a day.

Growing Apples in Home Garden

Growing Apples in Home Garden - The Cold-hardy Honeycrisp Apple Cultivar
Growing Apples in Home Garden - The Cold-hardy Honeycrisp Apple Cultivar

Appropriate Cultivar Choice for Growing Apples in Home Garden

Apple is a tree whose most popular cultivars and varieties are self-sterile. Since the amateur grower wishes to establish some of them in his garden, then unfortunately for him and thankfully for the seedlings producers must plant at least two Apple trees, each one of different varieties. Indeed these Apple varieties should be excellent pollinators for each other.

A successful combination of such cultivars and varieties is, for example, Super Redchiefwith Golden Smoothee, Gala and Granny Smith pollinators, or Golden Delicious with Gala, Red Delicious and Granny Smith pollinators.

In case that there is not enough space to plant a second tree, then the amateur grower will necessarily limit his choices to the few self-fertile Apple tree varieties such as Granny Smith, George Cave and Red Windsor or part self-fertile such as Gala and Orleans Reinette.

Growing Apples in Home Garden

Growing Apples in Home Garden - Stark® Golden Delicious Apples
Growing Apples in Home Garden - Stark® Golden Delicious Apples

Planting Distances

Apple tree is propagated by grafting the desired variety on selected rootstocks. Rootstock have some attractive features, which inter alia have an impact on the growth and sizes of trees.

Knowing the rootstock as well as the dimensions of the mature tree, it is recommended that the amateur grower plant the Apples at a distance equal to their final height.

This will avoid the phenomenon of competition between the Apple trees, while their excellent lighting will be ensured, resulting in the production of excellent quality apples.

Growing Apples in Home Garden

Prerequisites for Apple Seedling Prootstocks Proper Planting

To growing Apples in home garden successfully is determined, inter alia, by:

  • The appropriate planting season
  • Proper preparation of garden soil and digging of holes

Appropriate Planting Season

The appropriate season is determined by the type of seedling rootstocks offered. If this is a bareroot then it can be planted throughout the Winter season, which will have dropped its leaves. Of course, the winter planting of Apple seedlings varies depending on the area: in relatively warm it is preferable to plant at the beginning of winter while in the colder in the end. However, no planting takes place before, during, or shortly after frost.

On the other hand, plants that offered in a pot or as B&B can be planted all year round
except during periods of extreme weather phenomena.

Proper Soil Preparation

The ground around the hole areas and at a diameter of at least 1.5 to 2 meters is cleaned by weeds and the same is done if the Apple seedlings are to be planted in a lawn.

Consequently, the holes are digging. The depth of the holes is recommended to be about 60 to 70 cm while their width is from 40 to 60 cm on the surface and 2/3 less on the bottom. The removable soil is placed on the side of the pit, which remains open for about 15 days.

After this time, 1/3 to 1/2 by volume organic matter – peat or compost is added to the excavated soil. Follows the mix of materials so that the final product is homogeneous. With this mixture the holes are covered and left for another 15 days.

Growing Apples in Home Garden

Apple Tree Blossoms
Apple Tree Blossoms

The Planting of Apple Seedlings

After that time has elapsed, the time of planting is reached. The holes are reopened, the depth of which is recommended to be slightly larger than the length of the roots of the Apple seedlings, while their diameter is twice the width of the roots.

The remainder of the procedure is carried out in accordance with what has been written in the relevant article on ‘Kalliergeia’, dedicated to the bare boot trees planting.

In general, the same planting process is also followed for the poted or B&B Apple seedlings.

Growing Apples in Home Garden

The Fertilizing of Apple Trees in the Garden

Harvesting apples from the trees means at the same time that are removing from the soil analogous of the harvested product macronutrients and trace mineral elements. Replenishment of these elements can not be accomplished through natural processes, so it is recommended to add fertilizers, whether biological or inorganic.

The addition of fertilizers allows the supply of Apple trees with the necessary elements for their development and satisfactory production.

Indicatively, it is mentioned that for young trees it is recommended:

  • In the beginning of spring, the first year, the application of fertilizer of the type (10-10-10) and in the quantity of 200 to 250 g (0.5 lb), 50 to 70 cm around them
  • In the following years, the addition of a fertilizer of the type (10-10-10) in an amount of 160 to 170 g per year for each 1 cm (1 lb/in) trunk diameter, measured at 30 cm (1 ft) from the ground

For the mature trees of Apple, it is recommended to apply the same type of fertilizer but the maximum quantity of this may not exceed 0.9 to 1.1 kg per tree and year (2.2-2.5 lb).

Additionally, in areas which is known that their soils lack Boron and/or Boron deficiency is recognized in Apple trees, it is recommended once every 3 to 4 years to add Borax and in quantities 200 to 250 g per mature tree.

Growing Apples in Home Garden

Partially Self-Fertile Dwarf Fiesta Apple Tree
Partially Self-Fertile Dwarf Fiesta Apple Tree

Watering of Apple Trees in the Garden

Apples needs sufficient amounts of water during the growth phase. In periods of drought or in areas with rare rainfall, it is necessary to regularly water the trees in order not to dry the soil in the area of the rhizosphere.

And for watering, it is reported that from May to October the Apple trees should receive about 600 mm of water.

More than half of the amount is recommended to be given in the summer months.

Section

References

The References of the article titled Growing Apples in Home Garden, are presented by Kostandis Pistiolis (Κωσταντής Πιστιόλης) with the traditional Greek song titled Black And Sweet Eyes (Μαύρα μου μάτια και γλυκά).

  1. Sanders, R. (2010). The Apple Book. Frances Lincoln.
  2. Teskey, B. J. (2012). Tree Fruit Production. Springer Science & Business Media.
  3. Βασιλακάκης, Μ. Δ. (1991). Στοιχεία Γενικής και Ειδικής Δενδροκομίας [General Pomology & Fruit Crops]. Θεσσαλονίκη: Ε. Δεδούσης.

With Pomp and Circumstance

Kostandis Pistiolis covers, sings and plays clarinet in Black And Sweet Eyes song.

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