how to plant apple orchard

Growing Apples

May 01,  · Larger orchards can make more efficient use of machinery and equipment, but will require more hired labor, and more management skill. Management Apple growing is an enterprise that requires a great deal of knowledge on the part of the orchard owner or manager. Jun 15,  · A minimum base to start is a small apple orchard of 1 hectare ( square meters) with trees or more. The average apple tree is able to produce notable quantity of fruits from the 3rd to 6th year of its age and can continue to do so until the 35thth year of its age.

Growing apples is so rewarding because the trees are delightful to have in the yard, with their delicate, fragrant spring blossoms, and you can use the fruits in tons of different ways. Apples have been grown domestically for the past 8, years. They originated how to be active and energetic always Eastern Europe where they quickly spread, and were common in Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations before making the leap to North America.

Now they dominate the world, and new types have been developed to grow in most climates, which is good, because choosing the right variety is an important step in growing apples. Some apples are better for storing, others best fresh, and some are ideal for making cider. Some varieties need cool weather, and some can tolerate a bit of heat.

First, let me assure you that YES! The fruit has a reputation for being hard to grow — period. And many agriculturists will tell you its impossible to grow apples without using chemicals and conforming to a ridged spray schedule.

You can grow healthy, quality apples using good management strategies and some helpful aids from mother nature. There are hundreds of apple varieties to choose from. Check out our eight favorite varieties if you are looking for apples that are all-around superstars. Apple trees require cross-pollination with another tree. When choosing your plants, pick two of the same type, or two that flower at the same time. You can check an apple pollination chart if you need help. Plant trees when temperatures are cool.

Avoid planting during a hard frost, but otherwise, you can put them in the ground during mid-fall or early winter. You can also plant in spring as soon as the ground can be worked. The bigger the hole, the happier your tree will be. Growing apples successfully requires fertile soil. Do a soil test before planting to be sure that your trees will have what they need. Apples need a pH range between 6. Amend your soil with peat moss, compost, and bonemeal before putting how to plant apple orchard tree in the ground to give it a healthy foundation.

Apples need an average of 15 feet between trees, depending on the variety. Pokemon fire red how to get entei trees are best off with 10 feet between trees, and a standard size tree needs closer to 20 feet.

Nutrient management practices are the steps you will follow to provide your apples with rich, healthy soil to grow in. This is different from fertilizing. Fertilizing is a short, concentrated dose of nutrients. Nutrient management is a long term solution. In the first three years of an apple growth, it is important to encourage good root growth. This will help the tree get established and develop a network of healthy roots that will feed the tree and help it be productive.

Place a ring of 2-inch thick compost around your trees every year. Keep the compost 6-inches away from the trunk. Let the soil microbes do the job for you. On top of the compost, you can place a thick 4-inch layer of mulch such as straw or wood chips. This will help keep weeds from growing around your trees. Keep the mulch 6-inches away from the trunk. Cover crops let you add nitrogen and other nutrients to your orchard. They also look attractive and help you keep down on the mowing.

Clover is probably the most popular cover crop for orchards. Clover adds nitrogen to the soil, helps with erosion and is high-quality food for livestock. Apples need 2-inches of water per week when they are young. Keep the soil lightly moist as trees get older, but avoid letting it get waterlogged. Some livestock species are helpful in the orchard, and some are how to plant apple orchard. Livestock can be part of your long term nutrient management solution.

Geese and ducks are helpful in the garden. Both are grazing birds but will also readily eat grubs and other pests. Chickens are also good pest controllers for the orchard. They will scratch at the soil, which will aerate and mix in the minerals on the surface. Sheep can do mowing work and add fertilizers. Sheep how to plant apple orchard grazers and are not interested in nibbling on your trees.

They will eat the grass, weeds and cover crop and keep everything nicely trimmed. Rotating your sheep in and out of the orchard as needed will keep the sheep from overgrazing or getting sick from the rich grasses.

Goats cannot be trusted in an orchard due to their mischievous nature and the fact that they are browsers. They will climb on your apple trees for a nice snack of twigs, buds, and fruit. This makes me laugh out loud.

My rescue horse Rocket does have access to the orchard area, and he has used a tree or two as a rubbing post. For the most part, Rocket does not pull the fruit off the trees although I do put some how to plant apple orchard fencing up in fall to make sure of that. One benefit is his manure. Pruning your apple trees can be a bit intimidating. After all, what if you how to improve your basketball game your tree or set back its growth?

Pruning lets in more light and air which will help your tree be more productive. Pruning is best done in late winter while your tree is still dormant.

The exception to this is older trees which need a heavier pruning to get them back on track. These trees do better with a summer pruning. Good pruning equipment is essential. You pruners and how to plant apple orchard saw should be sharp and easy to hold. Make your cut above the branch collar. The branch collar is the wrinkled bark where the tree and branch intersect. After the third year of growth, you want to start shaping your tree.

Apples grow best in a central leader style. This means they will have a main trunk with branches that come up at a degree angle. If you feel overwhelmed, watch a YouTube video or two to help you visualize the pruning process. Peaceful Valley has a great video for pruning young trees. The Organic Gardener has a great video on pruning an older tree that what color shoes should you wear with a gold dress been neglected.

Once how to plant apple orchard tree becomes productive, it may be necessary to thin the fruit. Crowding can result in smaller apples or disease. Thinning also helps prevent the branch from breaking because of the weight of the apples.

The best way to prevent diseases and pests is to keep a neat and tidy orchard. Utilize pruning to remove diseased limbs so that they do not contaminate the rest of the tree. Pick up and dispose or feed to livestock any fruit that either has a disease or is harboring pests. Apple scab is one of the most serious apple problems in North America.

It is caused by a fungus Venturia inaequalis and affects the leaves and fruit. Severe cases can totally defoliate a tree. Rake up the fallen leaves and burn how to plant apple orchard. Pruning also helps maintain air circulation which helps control fungal diseases.

I spray with kelp in late spring when my apples are developing fruits. Kelp is high in minerals and helps the trees to fight off disease and aids in fruit development. In extensive cases, you may need to spray with potassium bicarbonate fungicides. The larvae of the codling moth are 1-inch worms that burrow into growing apples. The adult codling moth lays her egg on the top of the apple. When the larvae hatch they burrow into the fruit. You may not realize you have a problem until your experience apple drop.

After dropping, the worm crawls out of the apple, goes to the tree and finds a hiding place. There it spins a how to plant apple orchard so that it can start the process all how to calculate percentage increase in sales again. Keep an eye out in spring for the emergence of the adult moths. You can fill a half gallon milk jug with the following lure formula and hang it in your apple trees.

Cut a hole in the side for the moths to enter. Birds like chickens and woodpeckers love the larvae, as do Trichogramma wasps.

How to Plant Apples

Mar 16,  · How to Plant Apples When to Plant. Plant trees when temperatures are cool. Avoid planting during a hard frost, but otherwise, you can put them in the ground during mid-fall or early winter. You can also plant in spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Getting it in the Ground. Soak the tree’s roots for a few hours before planting. Do not plant trees near wooded areas or trees. The ideal soil pH is to but a pH range of to is acceptqable. Take a soil test prior to planting your apple trees. Your local Cooperative Extension Service can instruct you. Planting the Tree in the Ground. Before planting, remove all weeds and the grass in a 4-foot diameter circle. Oct 29,  · For the same reason, you should dig the hole a few inches deeper than necessary, backfilling the bottom with loose soil prior to planting so the roots can easily grow downward. If a potted tree is root-bound, take a knife and slice some of the outermost roots to free them up and encourage outward growth.

Special Note : All material here reprinted from Grow It! The title of this excerpted chapter is "Fruit. Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide. There's no place on the farm quite like the orchard. For dew-fresh fruit, but also for picnics in blossom time, watching the bees gather nectar for your honey, and simply enjoying life.

Making a detour on your way to feed the chickens in the morning and stopping by the orchard for a night-chilled Transparent apple is a country experience hard to pass up. The only problem is, unless your land comes with an established orchard, it's going to take a couple of years' wait. That's why starting an orchard should be one of the first things you set out. If, as is likely, you move to the country in spring or summer, planning your grove of fruit trees right away and getting the trees in time for fall planting will give you a year's head start over putting it off till you're settled in.

Even if you don't have time to get the trees, you can sow a green manure crop of rye to help prepare the land for early spring planting the next year. Fruit trees can be set in either season as long as they are naturally dormant when transplanted. To speed up your first yield even further, try a few dwarf trees.

You probably won't bother much with these once your big ones start bearing, but they will give you an initial crop to tide you over the second or third year of waiting. The orchard is going to be around for some time. That's your first consideration in deciding where to locate it.

You can put a vegetable garden on a slope that you expect to be part of a pond in a few years. To do so with the orchard would be a waste of either orchard or pond. As a permanent addition to your homestead, the orchard should have not only good soil, but good air and water drainage as well.

Thus a slope is the best location if you have one. Avoid low-lying sites, since these harbor the cold in winter, making any trees there more likely candidates for winter-killing than others in the area. A northern slope will delay blooming and subsequent fruit. A southern slope will speed up both. The ideal spot is on the small hills surrounding a valley or depression. Trees with early frost-sensitive blossoms can be planted halfway up the northern slope, the less sensitive trees halfway up the southern slope.

No trees should be exposed to the windy hilltops and none to the frost-retentive bottom land. Rows of trees planted on hills should, of course, follow the contour system.

The soil in your orchard should be as good as you can make it. If you want to plant fruit trees right away and your soil is hard clay or sand, you'll have to build it up for each individual tree. It will pay you to fill the excavations in which the trees are to be set with improved soil, compost, rotted manure, ground rock phosphate, and rock potash to a depth of — hold onto the book — about five feet.

If you've ever dug a five-foot hole, you'll have some idea of what it's like to dig ten of them, or twenty, or however many as the fruit trees you're going to plant. The minimum would be two, since you should never plant just one tree of a given fruit if you want a good crop.

There are two solutions to the labor problem. Either get someone with a hack hoe or other mechanical excavator to come in and make holes for you, or plant just two or three trees the first year, which will give you a good head start, and spend the rest of the year building up the soil for the others with cover crops of rye and clover alternated with liberal manuring.

Another possibility is to set out a couple of dwarf fruit trees near the house, and leave the orchard be entirely until you've built up the soil for it thoroughly. Of course, you may be lucky and have an orchard site with soil of good enough quality to use just as it is.

What you want is a nice medium loam rich in organic material, but also with some sand. If you have straight clay or heavy sand, start digging. Even if your soil is ideal, prepare to spend a bit of time with a pickax and shovel. The minimum size for a tree hole is three times the size of the root ball. In the case of fruit trees, the bigger the better. Usually one no smaller than three or four feet in diameter and two to three feet deep is dug.

Pile the topsoil separately, since this is what should go back into the bottom of the hole along with well-aged nitrogen-rich compost and ground rock phosphate and rock potash. Don't use fresh manure. Spread most of the extra subsurface soil elsewhere and grow a cover crop over it. If what you're removing is almost solid clay soil, and you're replacing it with the ideal light, humus-filled one, the improved area around the tree will act as a sponge.

Water retention will be too much. In this case, put a tile drain at the bottom of the hole. This is simply a single row, or a cross, of sections of drainage pipe, usually four inches in diameter, spaced out on top of a layer of gravel across the floor of the hole. It leads the water away from the root area, culvert-fashion, to the surrounding subsoil.

The mechanics of planting fruit trees are important. All injured and broken roots must be pruned back. The roots are then spread out evenly on top of a layer of enriched soil replaced in the hole to raise the tree to its proper level.

Make sure you keep the roots moist while you work. It's a good idea to mix up a bucket of mud slurry from your compost to pour over the roots when they are spread out. The slurry will coat the finer roots, keeping them moist, minimizing air pockets, and helping to settle them in. Fill the rest of the hole, tamp down the soil and give it a heavy dousing of water or light mud slurry. The tree should sit in the center of a slight depression about a foot in diameter.

At the same distance out put up a two-foot-high wire mesh "collar" to keep out field mice, rabbits, etc. Outside of this mini-fence cover the ground with an inch of rotted manure extended all the way to eight feet from the tree. Cover the circle in turn with about a foot of hay mulch. A regular fruit tree should be planted at least twenty feet from its nearest neighbor. Dwarf fruit trees can be spaced as close as ten feet apart.

Set the tree straight to ever so slightly leaning in the direction of any prevailing winds. The largest branch, like a weather vane, should point into the prevailing wind. Prune back the branches of a newly planted tree a little more, proportionately, than the root loss. This will give it a chance to build a good strong root system. Give the trunk a pole support to prevent wind whipping from loosening the roots.

One final thought on planting. Science is discovering more and more about the roles bacteria and fungi play in crop growth. There are no doubt some of both interacting with the orchard. An old farmer I know would never plant a new fruit or nut tree without going around to an orchard he particularly admired and, picking the best tree of the kind he was planting, "borrowing" a shovelful of dirt as a "starter" for his own tree.

Now I'm not saying this is necessary Even organic gardeners spray their trees. Lest this make you sit up and wonder what happened to the natural approach, the spray referred to is not DDT or one of the countless other chemicals used by many commercial orchards.

What the organic gardener uses is a miscible oil spray. It is a dormant spray, one applied before a tree begins its annual growth and which disappears before the leaves begin to emerge.

Instead of poisoning insects, and the tree with them, a miscible oil spray simply puts your fruit tree in a temporary baggie, suffocating everything that moves inside If it's not, well, you take it from there. Even miscible oil sprays call for caution and common sense in using, but, properly applied, they will not harm your trees.

Miscible oil sprays for dormant spraying are available in concentrated form through mail order and probably from nurseries in your area. Dilute and use according to the instructions. If you have an old established orchard on your spread and are trying to rehabilitate it, miscible oil sprays may not seem to be much protection at first because of the sheer number of bugs around.

But have patience and eventually you will restore the natural balance. With new orchards and healthy, well-fertilized stock, miscible oil sprays should keep most of your problems in check from the start. Early in spring, a month or so before a tree blooms, work into the soil around it some high-nitrogen fertilizer. A quarter of a pound of blood meal or eight pounds of manure for each year's growth is about right. Cover with a new layer of straw or hay mulch, keeping the area immediately around the base of the tree clear to discourage mice.

For the little ring around the trunk, work in a two- or three-inch layer of well-aged compost instead. The compost should not actually raise the soil level at the trunk itself, or it may induce rot. A rule of thumb for young trees is to build the fertilizer layer out in a circle encompassing the widest branch of the tree.

How to Grow Apples. Growing Cherries. Growing Peaches. Growing Pears. Growing Plums. Pitch in wounds only increases the chances of rot as moisture ends up between the pitch and wood and doesn't dry out fast. All educated arborists know the use of pitch is a net loss. The use of pitch in wounds actually speeds up rot as moisture ends up between the pitch and the wood and takes longer to dry out. Any trained arborist knows this.