Apples are a favourite fruit and easy to grow. They come in a wide range of varieties but there are two main types. Eating apples and cooking apples, which are what they say they are! It is of popular opinion that growing from seed takes too long.
Bare root apple trees can be planted from November through to March when the tree is dormant and providing the ground is not too frozen to dig. You will need to dig a hole as deep as the roots in a sunny spot avoiding very wet soil and allow for roots to spread out in parameter.
Your chosen location for your apple tree should not shade other crops, remember that they can grow very tall and wide! You may want to train your tree using supports or wiring. Some can even be grown in large containers.
During Spring, feed them with some fertiliser that is rich in potassium, giving a generous amount to cooking apple varieties that are hungrier.
Pruning should be done to encourage re-growth but when to do this will depend on your variety and when it was planted and so on. Generally, as a guide this is done early Spring but some you can do throughout the winter. Pruning helps the tree to produce a good crop, stay in good shape and allows air and sun to it.
Watering is required throughout dry spells and when the fruit begins particularly for younger trees. Mature trees are more resilient.
During the summer and into the autumn your apple tree will be laden with fruit, some will naturally fall off if they are not picked. You should also pick off deformed and smaller fruit to allow room for larger, healthier apples.
Apples will pull off easily if they are ready and ripened. Not so easily if they are not ready. If you are unsure, one way of finding out is if the pips are brown inside. You should use fallen and bruised apples straight away.
Ideally you need to store the apples in single layers where possible, inspecting your crop for any issues before contaminating your crop. Some varieties can last for months if they are stored correctly. They should not be touching and are best wrapped in some tissue paper or similar and kept in a cool place.
There are so many differing varieties that you do need to check for your specific variety for planting, pruning, harvesting and storing and when to do it.