An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Is this saying familiar? Is this true? I bet it is. Apples are one of the must-have fruits on your daily menu list because of their excellent benefits to your health. Apples provide nourishment to your body because these fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Further, it is a rich source of antioxidants responsible for the prevention of cancer cell development.
But how do we obtain these nutrients? Are we going to buy a bunch of apples every day? Is it even practical? If it is not, why not grow our apples? This way, harvesting and storing these apples are within our reach every day of our lives.
Thus, discussed below are the five successful strategies to grow your apples. These are just easy steps for you to follow. You will know everything about growing it in detail, from picking an apple tree to harvesting and storing. Of course, harvesting and storing are the best part of all because it is where you reap the benefits of your labor. You need to be cautious with this last step and store apples after harvest correctly to complete your experience.
So, here are the strategies:
1. Choose a Tree
First and foremost, you must begin by choosing an apple tree variety you would like to plant and grow. It depends on your preference. Do you like red apples or green apples? Or do you want fuji or gala apples? Your choice will dictate the kind of apple tree you desire to keep. Thus, you may visit various apple farmlands, call agriculturists or apple experts, or do your research to find out what apple tree will suit you.
2. Select the Best Site
One of the considerations of growing an apple tree is selecting the best site for it. This means that you have to consider the location, climate, time temperatures, and season upon where you will begin planting the tree.
For instance, a particular apple variety needs chill hours to set fruits, and these chill hours range from between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Or for example, the spring season might cause spring problems to your apples if the chill hours are not observed accurately. More importantly, know that your apples’ qualities depend on these factors.
3. Plant Properly
This refers to the actual planting. Once you have chosen your apple tree variety and selected the best site for it, you must now dig a hole for your tree. The hole must be as deep as the roots and should be three times its width to allow your tree to grow and breathe well. Then put your tree gently into the hole, refill it with soil, firm it up, water it well, and provide something like a stick to support your tree.
You see, it’s like planting your regular plant or tree. You just have to be hands-on with it.
4. Spray Up
There’s not much you need to do after planting your apple tree. But it’s the appropriate time to protect it from pests and possible diseases. To prevent your tree from being attacked by a host of problems, just spray some fertilizer on it to scare them away.
If you are hesitant about it, there are organic sprays available. You can even use natural pest killers like ladybugs who feed on pesky aphids. By using natural methods, you’re not putting too much chemicals into the apples come harvest time.
5. Prune the Tree
Prune your tree regularly to produce good fresh apples. Pruning allows your tree to get as much sunlight and air as it needs because the sunlight and air will be able to penetrate your tree’s core. Consequently, your tree will thrive, thereby affecting its fruits positively. Thus, you only need to remove diseased, broken, dead, or problematic branches. Further, remove all water sprouts that adversely affect your tree.
6. Thin the Apples
Thinning the apples will allow your tree to provide so much room for fruit development. Sometimes your tree will naturally drop off its fruits. But in your case, you must deliberately thin your apples and pick the smaller ones before they reach one inch in diameter.
This strategy benefits your tree because it reduces the tendency to alternate-bear. Meaning, if you thin your apples, chances are, your tree will bear many fruits consistently in consecutive years. Who wouldn’t love to see your tree bearing many fruits every year?
7. Harvest and Store
You’ve reached the happiest part of this whole apple-planting process. But you cannot just pick the apples capriciously. You must harvest them patiently and at the peak of their perfection and readiness. It’s best to pick them when they’re no longer that green. Also, storing your apples after harvesting is crucial. Remember to keep only apples with no blemishes to prevent the rot or decay from entering and developing.
The apples are already part of your life. You can not get away with that. Thus, the practical thing to do is to grow your very own apple tree and take care of it as if it is your baby. Don’t worry; it will love you back like the love that you’ve always deserved.