Apples

If you are lucky enough to have even a small garden then investing in an apple tree could be a very good idea and provide you with a good yield and perhaps some pleasant shade for years to come. From full-size trees to dwarf varieties and restricted varieties, for example espaliered versions against walls, apple trees can be one of the most delightful sorts of tree to have in your garden and can provide a surprising amount of delicious fruit for very little effort.

Growing Apples:

Most people who choose to grow apple trees will not grow their tree from a seed but will buy a tree grafted into a certain rootstock to ensure that they get the right tree of the right size for their space. There are so many apple varieties to choose from that it can be a good idea to consult an expert on the type of apple tree that would be best for you. Choose and plant your new apple tree between late autumn and early spring.

Apples will do best in a well-drained loam that is at least 2ft deep. Mulching and watering well is very important while the tree is establishing itself and until it is growing well. Make sure that the tree is well supported during its early life in your garden. Apples prefer a sheltered spot in full sun but will tolerate a fair amount of shade provided they do get half a day's sunshine during the growing season. Cooking apples will require less sun than sweeter varieties.

Apples are self-pollinating but do better when they are pollinated by a partner tree. If you have space for more than one apple tree that is great. Those who do not, do not worry, there are usually apple trees (eating or crab apple) nearby in a neighbours garden or on public land, so you may find that your tree has no trouble in that regard and will produce a good crop when the time comes.

Apple trees do best, especially when young, if they do not have to compete with grass. Mulch an area around your tree and plant it instead with deep-rooted comfrey, a nitrogen fixing legume and other beneficial herbs and flowers that will work together to help the apple tree thrive. Companion planting should reduce the incidence of common pests and other problems.

Why grow apples in the garden?

Apples are so easy to grow, there should be at least one in every garden. The feeling of being able to go outside and eat an apple off your own tree cannot be beaten. After a few years (depending on variety) you should have a good harvest with plenty of delicious apples. You may even find you have enough to share with family, friends and neighbours. Apple trees can benefit the whole community.

An apple a day may well keep the doctor away. They are very healthy and if you grow your own, there is no need to worry about any chemical pesticides or other toxins. Instead, you can just enjoy picking the fruit and using it in your kitchen.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Malus Domestica