Growing organic apples can be an enjoyable experience, but it does take some work. Organic farming is not only better for the environment, but it can also be great for your consumer’s health.
It can be a difficult task if you are not prepared with the right steps. Growing organic apples is weather-dependent, and requires protection. In this post, we will cover steps on how you can go about growing and caring for your commercial organic apple trees.
Here are some tips on growing healthy and tasty organic apples:
Why Grow Organic Apples
Growing Organic apples is the best choice you can make. Here are the reasons why you should take up organic apple farming:
- Nutrient benefits -They are more nutritious than conventional Apples.
- Natural and better taste – This comes from well-nourished soil
- Direct support to farming
- No pesticides
- Fetches more in the market
- Rising consumer awareness on healthy concerns
Steps in Growing Organic Apples
Now read on to find out how to plant your own natural organic apple tree in 6 simple steps!
1. Go for the Right Size
If you’re planning to get into organic apple growing, it’s important to plant the right size tree.
Decide to plant a dwarf or semi-dwarf apple. Dwarf trees:
- Grow to 6–8 feet
- Have a width of 8–10 feet
- Produce apples that are 7–9 inches in diameter.
Experts recommend choosing a semi-dwarf or semi-vigorous variety. Semi-dwarves:
- Grow up to 10 feet tall
- Mature to about 15 feet wide
Semi-vigorous trees can grow up to 15 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
2. Grow in the Right Place
Apples do very well in most areas. They can be grown in both colder and warmer climates depending on the particular variety that is planted. Organic apples can tolerate temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some cultivars such as ‘Baldwin’ may develop bitter-tasting fruit when temperatures fall below -10F. The best locations for growing apples are in areas that receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
Less than 6 hours will cause the fruit to be small and hard. The best locations for apple trees are areas where they can get good air circulation because this will help prevent disease problems such as mildew and scab.
3. Control Pests and Diseases
Organic apple orchards have the same pests and diseases as conventional apple orchards but use different strategies. Organic growers use a variety of tactics to deal with pests, some of the methods include:
- Physical controls like fencing and traps
- Biological controls like predators and parasites
- Chemical controls like pesticides derived from natural sources.
- Physical barriers such as netting and row covers can keep insects out of the orchard.
All of these methods can be used on their own or in combination with other methods.
These barriers are used throughout the growing season to protect against insect damage during bloom and to prevent the spread of disease spores between trees in the orchard during times when they’re vulnerable.
4. Controlling Weeds and Ensuring Fertility
You should aim to keep weeds from competing with their trees, thus reducing the use of chemicals. Control weeds in the orchard by hand-pulling, mowing, and tilling them into the soil. This will help minimize weed growth each year and add nutrients to the soil.
To maintain the fertility of your organic apple orchard is important for growing organic apples. Fertility can be maintained by adding organic matter to the soil, such as manure or compost, which provides nitrogen. In addition, maintaining a healthy microbial environment in the soil also helps improve fertility.
5. Provide the Right Hail Protection Measures
Hail is a serious threat to your organic apple growing. Hail will injure your apple fruit, shoots, and limbs. The injury your apple suffers will depend on the size of the hail, its shape, and the duration of the event. Some of the Injuries they cause can vary greatly:
- Torn or shredded leaves
- Small dents that don’t break the fruit skin
- Severe that an entire crop is lost because of physical damage
Hailstorms are unpredictable and prevention is better than cure when trying to combat hail damage in your orchard. If you want better growth of your organic apples, you should build a hail protection system. The anti-hail net is made of a strong and durable fabric that can be stretched tightly over the field.
Both structured and drape netting can provide you with a degree of protection from severe damage. The anti-hail netting will protect you from 100% loss this season. If you find the cost high, spread the cost of netting. plan to net small proportions of your blocks every year, beginning with the most valuable blocks.
So, you will save money on the cost of replanting your crops or trees altogether because you won’t have to do so often if they are protected with hail netting
6. Get Certification
Growing organic apples is a bit different from growing other fruit. And the rules are different depending on whether you’re growing the apples for fresh market sales or for packing into boxes of organic fruits. Your apples are then labeled USDA Organic, EU Organic, or just Organic.
For instance, to sell your apples as organic in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program requires that 95% of the ingredients be certified organic.
In the European Union, all products carrying the EU “organic” label must be certified organic and contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients, although certification is voluntary in other countries
When Growing organic apples:
- Get the inspectors to certify
- Ensure our nursery stock is certified.
- Check your soil every year for chemicals.
Growing organic apples is not all that difficult to do, but with the help of a few new skills and some adjustments to your approach, you can reap greater rewards from your orchards. What’s more, it doesn’t take long before your good habits become second nature. With more time spent in your orchard, you will learn, even more, making you one of the most knowledgeable growers in your state.
EyouAgro offers quality netting products and accessories for your apple growing. Our fruit netting is affordable and with a warranty. We have different types of netting products to suit your requirement. Our goal is to make improve your life as an apple grower and help you take care of your fruits.
Please visit https://eyouagro.com or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our netting products.