How to Grow Amazing Apples Your Family Will Love
If you are looking for a fun fall activity then visiting your local apple orchard is a must. This past weekend, my family and I visited The McIntosh Orchard in beautiful South Haven, Michigan. With the apple blossom being the state flower, Michigan is a state that is sure to produce some amazing apples. The orchard hosted row after row of ripe, crisp, juicy apples. The children ran up and down each isle of apple trees, picking apples and placing them into big wooden barrels to be weighed and brought home.
Visions of apple sauce, apple pies, and sweet cider ran through our minds as we picked apple after apple. While the experience was exceptional, crunchy, and sweet, I could not help but envision apple trees growing in my own backyard.
Maybe you are like me, and want to grow your own apple tree. It might feel like an intimidating task, however, with these tips, you will be enjoying your own, home grown, juicy apples before you know it.
- Determine what apple trees are best for your climate
Would you be surprised to know that apple trees can grow in cold climates? There are many varieties that are considered hardy and will survive harsh winters. In fact, apple trees grow in all fifty states.
When you decide to grow your own apple tree, you will need to determine what varieties grow the best in your climate. If you have a favorite apple variety that you have in mind to grow, then verify that that variety will grow in your climate.
- Learn about apple varieties and purposes
An amazing aspect of apple trees is that they come in so many amazing varieties and each one offers something just a little different from the next. Throughout the world there are over 7,500 apple varieties. Depending on how you want to use your apples will help you make the decision of which tree to grow. Here is a list of some favorite apple varieties and what they are best used for:
- Honeycrisp: A sweet apple with a touch of tartness. They are best for eating, pies, baking, and salads.
- Granny Smith: You will recognize a granny smith apple by its green color. It is a great all-purpose apple with a simple tart taste. They are best used with pies, sauces, baking, salads, and freezing.
- Pink Lady: With the Pink Lady, you will experience a crisp apple with varieties sweetness, tartness and even a little tangy. These apples are best for eating, pies, sauces, baking, add to a salad, and freezing.
- McIntosh: These apples have a soft bite and are a great adding for blending with other apples for cooking, or just eaten raw.
- Crab Apples: These apples might not taste the best raw as they are so tart, they will still make great ciders, jelly chutney, and can be used even for pickling.
- Jonagold: This apple has a sweet/tart taste with a crisp bite. They make great uses in baking, pies, and salads.
- Red Delicious: This crunchy and somewhat sweet apple is best used in salads.
- Golden Delicious: This bright yellow apple is another all-purpose apple that has a sweet taste, but not too much. It can be used in pies, sauces, baking, salads, and freezing.
- Gala: This apple is sweet with a somewhat crisp bite that can be used for eating, baking, pies, sauces, and salads.
- Ida Red: This is a firm, sweetly tart apple that is best used for eating and baking.
- Arkansas Black Apple: This apple will go almost black when stored. It’s long lasting apple that is best baked, roasted, or sautéed.
- Fuji: This apple as a super sweet and crispy bite that is great for cooking, eating, sauces, and pies.
- Empire: This apple has a dark red skin that almost looks purple has almost a spicy taste that is crisp, sweet and juice. Great for eating, fruit cup, and salads.
- Cortland: A crisp, juicy, and somewhat tart apple that is great for baking, eating, or added to salads.
The best time to plant an apple tree in the northern and central areas of the country will be in the spring. If you live in an area where the winter will be more mild then planting in the fall will be fine as well. Once you have planted your apple tree, the hardest part will be to wait. An apple tree doesn’t produce its first fruit for four to five years.
When planting new trees, one of the most important steps that you could take is to make sure that the tree is receiving the adequate amount of water. Giving a new tree the amount of water it needs can be a difficult task.
Using Rootwell Pro 318s will help you give your new apple tree the water and hydration that it needs to start off strong. This could be a matter of life and death for your trees. The way the Rootwell works is that is a direct to root water distribution system. A Rootwell Pro 318 works because it is highly permeable, providing oxygen exchange with the soil surrounding the device. The open design on the top allows to assist the water and fertilization to directly deliver to the tree roots.
Water can be delivered by drip emitter, hose, spray, irrigation, or from precipitation. The main goal that you want when growing your apple tree is to allow the roots to grow strong and become well established. You can also use the Rootwell’s Pro 318 root aeration tubes to help your trees best establish the roots.
Whether you love to go apple picking at an orchard, buy from your local grocery store, or plan to grow your own apple tree, we can all appreciate the gift an apple brings with its fresh, crisp, juicy taste. It is another amazing addition to the fall season.
What is your favorite variety of apple? Do you have a favorite apple picking orchard? We would love to hear your thoughts.