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Botanical name

Malus pumila

Plant Care

Size

Categories

Common name(s)

Apples

Origin

Maintenance

Early pruning is vital and it is best to develop a vase-shaped frame of branches, allowing light and air into the centre of the tree. Once four strong scaffold branches are developed, it is only necessary to maintain the shape with light annual pruning. Thin out well, without taking off the spurs needed for fruit production.

Fruit

The apples do not grow well in warmer areas, as they need cold winters and mild summers to thrive. Most apple varieties are self-sterile and two varieties are needed for cross-pollination.

Soil conditions

Well drained, acid soil.

Interesting planting ideas

Plant African marigolds, blue flax, chives, clover, foxgloves, nasturtiums, wallflowers around apple trees, they act as protection and and tonic.
Don't plant carrots, potatoes, sweet peppers, brinjals or tomatoes near apple trees, the tiny amounts of ethylene gas that apples exude stunts their growth, spoils their flavour and the shape of the carrots and potatoes.

Interesting info

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Which is true, apples have pectin in them, that helps to clear irradiation from the body. Its high vitamin and mineral content, especially vitamin C, makes it a wonderful health food.

Common pests and diseases

Codling moth and fruit fly on young fruits; powdery mildew.

Harvest

Apples bear fruit on spurs and two-year old laterals. They are ready to be picked when the stalks can be gently twisted from the stem.

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