On this post we are going to look at how to grow apple tree. The following are the steps on how to grow apple tree;
- Locate a sunny site: Before you plant your Apple tree make sure you look over where you want to plant it. Find out how much sun does the site have. The apple tree actually requires at least a half day of sun or the leaves can’t produce enough energy to make fruit buds. The apple tree might grow, though it will take longer to bear fruit.
- Soil requirement: One of the best soils for Apple trees is loam soils with good organic matter, however they can do fine in clay. Sandy soils can dry out faster and is not the best place for Apple trees unless some loam soil is present. Pre-dig the place you want to plant your Apple tree and mix in organic matter. If you are planting in sod, try to remove it from the area you want to plant. Grass can easily deny the apple tree plant roots of moisture and soil nutrients and also provide habitat for field mice and voles.
- Store the Apple tree smartly: Whenever you receive your Apple tree, make sure you keep it in a cool place until you are ready to plant them. If possible you can place the Apple tree in a pail of water to allow the roots to re-hydrate for a few hours or overnight before planting them.
- Plant the Apple tree properly: You have to dig a hole at least twice the width and depth of the root system. You have to look for the graft union on your Apple tree as well as the slight change in color on the bark just above the roots. Actually that color change indicates the original planting depth so try to anticipate the soil level when you backfill the hole and also try not to plant the tree much different from this line. Don’t forget that the dirt in a deeply dug hole can settle in and cause your Apple tree to be planted too deeply. It doesn’t hurt the Apple tree but if planted too deep, the graft union could send out roots of its own and your Apple tree will grow larger than you want. It is actually a good idea to leave a cone of soil in the bottom of your hole and spread the roots out over the cone so they point in all directions. Hold the Apple tree or have someone hold it for you and then backfill the hole with soil. Make sure you gently firm the soil around the roots to provide good contact. Make sure you backfill the hole only halfway and generously water in the Apple tree with a bucket of water. Make sure you don’t use a garden hose as it can wash out the roots. You have to let it soak in and then add more water until it won’t take any more. Let this alone for some few minutes and then finish backfilling the hole, leaving a raised berm around the Apple tree to hold water in for later on.
- Fertilize requirement: A small amount of fertilizer can really help your Apple tree to grow, on the other hand avoid fresh manures unless already composted. If you wish to fertilize your Apple tree, a fertilizer with a low nitrogen level is actually the best. Excessive nitrogen fertilizers like lawn fertilizer can easily cause excessive growth which can make your Apple tree susceptible to bacterial infections like fire-blight. You can use a composted turkey manure fertilizer that is rated at 4-6-4 (N-P-K). A light handful mixed in the soil after planting your Apple tree will give your Apple tree a great start.
- Pest control: from the moment you plant your Apple tree you have to take steps to protect them from voles, rabbits, mice, and deep predation. These pests actually love eating fruit trees and overnight can be enough time for them to make waste of all your hard work. A simple wrap around the trunk with some window screen is an easy way to keep voles and mice away. A hoop made of poultry netting (which is also known as chicken wire) can help to keep away deer and rabbits.