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Malus pumila Apples
Planting position: Full sun.Ideal for regions with cold winters and a high spring rainfall.Spacing of 4,5m or, 3m for dwarf varieties.
Requires regular watering, especially while establishing and during dry spells.Well-draining, compost-enriched soil and generous layers of mulching.Winter pruning, see introduction.
Propagate from grafting or budding.
Fertilising programme after planting:1st year - summer application of 250g LAN; 2nd year - spring application of 750g 2:3:2 and summer application of 250g LAN; 3rd year - spring application of 1,5kg of 2:3:2 and 1,5g of 3:1:5 after Harvesting; 4th year - spring application of 1,75kg of 2:3:2 and 1,75 of 3:1:5 after Harvesting; 5th year - spring application of 2kg of 2:3:2 and 2kg of 3:1:5 after Harvesting.
Harvesting should be done just before fruit is ripe and when fruit twist off easily. Tip: Fold a newspaper sheet length wise to a width of 10cm.
Repeat with another sheet, so that you have two equally broad folded sheets. Staple them together on one end. Measure the width of an average apple and staple with intervals for the fruit. Store your fruit in these pockets.
Pests, diseases and their cures: Powdery mildew - cut back infected parts during winter. Spray with benomyl or dinocap, fortnightly from buds opening, until late spring. Codling moth - spray two weekly with thiodan, starting a month after flowering. Fruit fly - spray half-mature fruit with dimethoate.
The apple tree is quite easy-to-grow and is popular for its sweet, edible fruit and culinary uses.