How to Grow Apples in Garden Beds
It is not hard to grow your own apples in garden beds. In this article, Olle will tell you some tips to make sure you can harvest beautiful and delicious apples.
The key to successful apple planting is to choose the right place. All apples grow best in sunny, moist, well drained soil. Although trees thrive in a variety of soils, avoid planting them in low or wet places - they do not grow well when there is standing water for a long time.
You can plant apples anytime from spring to autumn. As with most trees and shrubs, dig a hole twice as wide (but not deeper) than the pot where your apple tree is located. Carefully remove the tree from the pot, release the root ball, and unfold the root so that they face outward. Fill the hole with excavated soil (not with improved soil), and then water the trees.
Select Apple Trees
There are more than 7000 kinds of apples - because each is different, please take the time to study the best choice for your region. The staff of your local cooperative promotion service or local gardening center or nursery should be able to help you choose.
Please note that when two varieties pollinate each other nearby, apples perform best. In fact, some apples must be pollinated by other varieties to produce fruit - so be sure to pay attention to such special needs when selecting varieties for the yard.
Growing Apples in Garden Beds
If you have a large container, like our raised garden bed, you can plant apples in it. Select a short variety, which is not too big for the container. Fill the garden bed with a high-quality potting mixture. It is best not to use garden soil because it does not drain well in containers.
It is important to keep the container planted apple trees watered. Every spring, you also need to use a universal regular release of plant food to fertilize your apples to ensure that the trees have enough nutrition to produce healthy apple crops.
Like many trees, apples have a central leader - a main, upright trunk - from which the branches grow. If your tree starts to develop a second central leader of the competition, remove the branches of the competition. This will help keep your tree stable and healthy.
In addition, cut off any branches that grow inside the tree. If you prune your apple tree, it will keep the most healthy and have an open frame, which means that the main branches are far apart, so the sun and air always pass through the crown.
When to prune: The best time to prune apples is at the end of winter or early spring, when the trees are dormant. Always remove any dead branches, shoots popping up around the roots, and fast-growing shoots growing vertically from the branches called water shoots.
In the year you plant the apple tree (or the next year if you plant it in autumn), it is beneficial to remove the flowers from the developing fruit. This helps the tree to build up faster.
Pests and Diseases
Unfortunately, apples are vulnerable to many pests and diseases.
The larvae of apple maggots burrow into the fruit, causing the infected apple to fall early. Prevent it by picking up and destroying all fallen apples every week in summer, and use apple maggot traps to catch adult moths in trees.
Apple scab is most common in cool and humid areas in spring. Look for olive brown spots on leaves and fruits. By clearing all fallen leaves in autumn, select anti scab varieties (such as "honey crisp" or "free"), and use liquid sulfur spray on the tree when the flower buds begin to open to prevent it.
Cedar apple rust will produce yellowish spots on the leaf surface and fruit. The spots grow up and become orange, with small black spots in them. It can be prevented by selecting anti rust varieties, spraying liquid sulfur spray in spring and removing any nearby junipers.
The moth is a common pest. Its larvae feed on fruits and form small holes. Two weeks after the petals fall from the flowers, spray Bt (a natural bacterium) to prevent it.
Fire blight causes flowers to turn brown and die, branches to wither and die, and leaves to still grow. Prevent it by pruning any infected branches, clearing all fallen leaves in autumn, selecting anti scab varieties (such as "Empire" or "Liberty"), and using copper sulfur spray on trees before bud opening.
Powdery mildew looks like a silvery gray covering on the leaves of plants. It often distorts new growth. It can be prevented by clearing all fallen leaves in autumn, selecting moldy varieties (such as "Gala" or "Goldrush") and spraying liquid sulfur on trees when buds begin to open.
If you want a perfect, flawless apple, you may have to use the spray program. Most garden centers sell home orchard sprays, which can be used up to four times a year. Follow label instructions carefully.
However, you can grow apples organically. The yield of these trees is very high. Even if they are not sprayed, as long as you are willing to bear some superficial defects, you should be able to harvest a large amount of edible fruits.