With the multiple varieties of apples available, surely you can find one type that you find worth growing in your background. From the red Cortlands that are ideal for applesauce to the yellow-red Winter Banana that actually combines the taste of its name with the taste of its species, the sheer diversity of this fruit makes it an ideal choice for the home gardener. Each specific type of apple has its own idiosyncratic requirements, but the following tips can be applied across the board to growing apples.
Thinning the Herd
When it comes to apples, they can start to grow thicker than Nazi refugees in South America. Unless quantity counts for more quality, you will want to start thinning the herd just as soon as the little bobs begin to set. Look for what is known as the “June drop” in subsequent weeks. Both these periods are excellent times to thin your crop down to a manageable size. Management is less important than improving quality, however. Once you have removed the less impressive initial growths from the scene, what remains will have the chance to grow not only in size, but in quality of sweetness.
Pomme a Trois
You can significantly increase your chances for success growing your own apples by multiplying the sexual partners. Two trees that are located within a hundred feet of each other will work together to produce a more robust crop of apples. Even better is three apple trees working in concert together. Planting your own little mini-orchard of apple trees in your yard is one way. Another means of pollination to consider is more cooperative and less expensive. If the neighbors on either side of you are willing to go in together on their own individual apple tree, proximity of the three trees within that hundred foot window of property means each of you will enjoy a more productive growing season without increasing the cost to yourselves either in money or time.
Don’t Upset the Apple Cart
If you want to ensure that your apple trees continue producing quality fruit over the course of many years, take care to treat them with due respect. When you see an apple that has fallen from to the ground, pick it up and dispose of it immediately. Prune damaged limbs and cut away any black spots on the bark that has begun to push back inward into the tree. If you see an apple on the tree that has been attacked by insects, pluck it off and throw it away. An apple tree that is kept healthy and free from the ravages of insects or disease will produce far better tasting fruit that one that is ignored.