With hundreds of apple varieties, suited to fresh eating, cooking and cidermaking amongst uses, we have selected a range to crop over the season and a mix of appearances – and all are dwarf trees – Bramley, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Snow, Blue Permain, Rome Beauty, Gravenstein, Abas. Apples are frost sensitive at flowering but hopefully the last frost will have passed in Newstead. A mix of varieties will aide pollination – specific varieties are needed to pollinate other specific varieties.
Autumn – Harvest. Clean up and compost fallen fruit and leaves to minimise pests and disease. Apply good dose of compost. Weed. Mulch with basalt dust or sow a good bug mix around the base of the tree to create a living mulch and attract pollinators and predator insects.
Winter – Planting or transplanting time. Prune for structure. Feed with compost. Consider a tree paste application or BD 500 application.
Spring – Put codling moth pheremone traps out and sticky banding around the trunks for pest control. Sow spring good bug mix around tree as a living mulch. Foliar spray of seaweed and wormjuice each month.
Summer – Keep plants mulched and watered. Thin fruits. Late summer prune for fruit production.
Generally – Apples take to pruning well and can be espaliered. More on pruning here from Woodbridge Fruit Trees in Tasmania, a good authority on the topic. Also see Simon Rickards notes. As with pears, good companions are good bug mix, any of the alliums (garlic, chives) and nasturtiums are said to be good, as are nettles, grown nearby. But keep trees away from the potato crop.
Eating – The early and mid season apples don’t store as well as the late season types. But mid season ones will store if picked just under ripe and stored in cool dark spot. For storage, pick gently and wrap in newspaper. Leave the late season fruit on the tree as long as possible without getting frosted before picking. Keep stalk attached, and out of reach of bruised fruit, pears, potatoes or onions.