red apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so they say! But we think it’s because growing apples (and a garden, for that matter) helps keep you happy and healthy. Apples can grow into large trees, but you can also find miniature forms, which are perfect for growing in smaller spaces. You will need at least two different apple varieties to help with pollination and fruit set. Get that right and she’ll be apples!

How to grow apples in your garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well. 
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised ring around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most. Water in well. 
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed and improve the soil yearly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser – once in spring, summer and autumn. When in flower, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Plant Food to help promote more flowering and fruiting.

     
red apples
apples on the board


How to grow apples in a pot

Apples can be grown in pots, but look for the miniature varieties, such as the Fleming’s Trixzie Minature Fruit range, which grow up to 2.5m tall and wide. Sensational space savers!  

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed and improve the soil yearly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser – once in spring, summer and autumn. When in flower, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Plant Food to help promote more flowering and fruiting. 
     
red apples

Growing tips

  • Best planted in winter, however, they can also be planted in other seasons.
  • For maximum fruiting, apples must have another variety that flowers at the same time and is within bee-travelling distance. This could deter many space-challenged gardeners, but the problem can be solved by selecting a double or triple-grafted tree (two or three varieties on the one set of roots) or by planting two small growers very close to each other.
  • Apples need cool-cold winters for fruit development – chilling hours (number of hours a fruit tree needs to be exposed to effective winter temperatures for flower buds to break dormancy) vary between varieties, so check your climate and area before purchasing. 
  • Picking up fallen fruit is critical to help prevent pests and diseases. Prune trees to encourage an open-centred vase shape – this allows for better air and light circulation. 

  • Fruit develops on branches that are two-year-old or older, so take when pruning, otherwise you may affect your next harvest. Early flowering and fruiting varieties include, ‘Gala’, ‘Early McIntosh’ and ‘Red Garvenstein’.

  • Late flowering and fruiting varieties include, ‘Delicious’, ‘Pink Lady’, ‘Jonathon’ and ‘Granny Smith’. 

  • Pre-spring application of copper-based products, such as Yates Leaf Curl Copper Fungicide or Yates Liquid Copper will help control some common diseases.

Project guides & articles

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