If you’re mulling over planting fruit trees on your homestead, you may want to grow apple trees. Apples are a valuable fruit crop produced in 32 USA states, according to the U.S. Apple Association. Fragrant and nutritious apples are a feast for the senses, so let’s talk about how to grow apple trees successfully on your own property.
How To Grow Apple Trees On Your Property
How to Get Started
To get started with planting apple trees, be aware that you won’t need a lot of acreage. According to Motherearthnews.com website, it’s possible to plant these lovely trees in small spaces, by choosing to create an apple espalier or planting dwarf apple trees in a hedge formation. Experts from thetreecareguide.com recommend careful and regular pruning to keep apple trees within desired sizes.
Whatever your yard size, if you live in a northern or central region, you should prepare to plant in the spring. If you live in an area where autumn and winter weather is typically humid and mild, you should plant in the fall. Grow apple trees in a place that gets adequate sunlight and features adequate drainage.
Pick the Right Variety
Each apple variety needs a specific number of days to achieve “fruit maturity”. Since all apple varieties are different, with different “chill hours”, choosing the right kind will be important. To find the perfect match for your climate, look at tree tags.
If you’re planning to grow from seeds, check your state’s cooperative extension website for advice. According to The New York Times, trendy apple varieties to consider include Cosmic Crisp and Ambrosia. Other popular options are McIntosh, Fuji, Red Delicious, and Gala.
How to Care for Apple Trees
Once you’ve found the right variety and planted your trees, you’ll need to take good care of them. These trees do need some TLC and many homesteaders make apple tree care a family affair. Unless you live in a very dry area, you probably won’t have to water your trees much after their first year of growth. Rainfall will provide enough water.
For the first growing season, you should water your tree(s) once a week. A gallon of water per tree will be more than sufficient – do not over-water. Regular pruning is also necessary. Get rid of dead branches and keep limbs from getting too crowded. When you prune, look for pests and signs that disease is present.
Get Your Kids Involved
If you’re a parent, getting your kids involved with planting and nurturing apple trees will be a wonderful way to help them appreciate nature and self-sufficiency. If you’re planting solo, you may find that apple tree care is very pleasant and relaxing.
Growing delicious apples on a homestead may even lead to extra income, as you’ll have the option of selling what you harvest. So why don’t you grow apple trees on your homestead today?