We've all heard the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," and there are numerous articles online enumerating their health benefits, which include being a good source of fiber and vitamin C, boosting the immune system, keeping the heart and brain healthy, aiding in weight loss, and fighting diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Apples are a healthful snack on their own. They come in many varieties and are great in pies, cakes, sauces, vinegar, juices, smoothies, and a range of other recipes.
But, how exactly does one grow an apple tree? We've put together a list of six simple steps to get you started.
1. Study the optimal conditions to grow them. Consider temperature first. This is an essential factor for your plants to thrive. Apples, depending on the type you want to grow, must be planted in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. The soil that will be used comes next. The best soil is loamy, sandy, and well-drained. It's also best to have a PH of 6.0–7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral.
2. Inspect the area. Find a location where your trees could grow 15-30 feet apart or 10-15 feet apart for dwarf trees. In the winter, the area must also be protected from wind gusts as this can saturate the soil and cause uprooted trees.
3. Ready, set, plant. As soon as early spring comes in, start digging a hole. The ideal measurement is 6 to 12 inches wider and about 18 to 24 inches deep than your root ball. Then, for about 30 to 60 seconds, fill the hole with water. Plant your apple sapling or tree with garden soil up to a point where it reaches the trunk of the tree, and then mulch over the soil. This will provide your plant with a strong foundation.
Next, water them for 30 to 60 seconds. Continue watering them for the first year as it grows an inch every week. One long watering per week will benefit your tree more than several short watering. This is due to the roots' increased ability to absorb water.
4. Mulch, compost, and fertilizer. Mulch and compost are most effective from late spring to late fall. They help keep weeds at bay while also keeping your plants hydrated and could provide nutrients to the plants over time, such as natural hydrogen. After your trees have fully grown and matured in 3 to 4 years, you can fertilize them.
5. Protection and prevention. Build a fence around your apple trees to prevent animals or other pests to eat the fruits, or damaging the branches. When the first frost of the year comes, consider covering them with burlap or a protective wrap, protecting them from cold winter and gusts. You may take these down in the spring.
6. Pruning for healthier plants. So, it's been a year, your apple trees have grown and you can now see the branches. Maintaining them in a healthy state is the next step. As it grows, you might find some trees with fewer buds that can be cleaned with a bud trimmer. It will just need a little cut to make sure they're ready for the growing season.
Some branches that are broken, dread, or growing downward may also appear. In these cases, the branches should be pruned by a branch cutter, but not excessively to cause weak trees. Apple trees that have just been planted should not be pruned by tree trimmers. To produce good quality apples, you must wait a year and do minor pruning every year after that.
Some are hesitant to prune their fruit trees for fear of cutting the wrong branch, hurting, or even killing the plant. However, trimming is especially vital for fruit trees. By doing so, you may expect consistent, plentiful and healthy produce each year.
Haus & Garten was founded with the goal of providing tips and techniques to avid and professional gardeners so they may perform pruning activities the right way, as well as to avoid common mistakes when pruning apple trees.
Pruning fruit trees can be tedious and overwhelming to many, but it doesn't have to be when you are equipped with proper knowledge and garden tools.
Greg Schultz, the founder of Haus & Garten, has developed a line of high-quality gardening tools for gardeners of all skill levels. As someone who has worked in the landscaping industry for 28 years, he understands the fear and daily struggles every gardener face.
At Haus & Garten, we take into account the many pruning chores that gardeners confront throughout the year. When it comes to pruning apple trees, you'll need a gardening hand tool you can trust. Through pruning, we hope to assist gardeners in achieving a season full of good produce.
We've gone over six steps to help you develop your apple trees, the importance of keeping them healthy, tools or garden scissors to consider in making it a pleasant and easy experience for you. Now go ahead and grow your trees for that power snack and ingredient that you and your family will surely benefit from.
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