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’.