It’s apple season at the house of GoG! I have three apple trees, however only one is doing well, the Jonathan apple. The other two (granny smith and cox orange pipin) will be moved from the front yards during winter as they are being starved of water and nutrients from a large tree quite close to them.
We planted this tree back in 2007, so it is now seven years old. I have been using organics methods to grow it. That means no pesticide sprays, no artificial fertiliser, and lots of love. I purchased it as a grafted tree from Diggers Club, then planted it about four metres from an ANZAC Peach tree, also on dwarf root-stock.
It has grown well in this position next to the small chicken house. It has found lots of moisture from the downpipe that is near it, and fertilizer from chooks.
The tree has reached a height of around 3 metres, and a diameter of about 2 metres. During the last few years, I have been shaping it so that it stays like this.
The chickens keep the codling moth away from the base, with their scratching antics, which limits damage via this pest. However, the biggest pest are these rainbow lorikeets. They bring all their friends and have a party in the tree during the height of summer, when food is scarce, and when the fruit is still developing. They take bites out of as many of the small green apples as they can, not happy with a single fruit. If you let them, they would eat the entire crop.
What we have to do is bag each individual apple to protect it from the birds. I use simple cloth sacks that you can tie with a bit of cloth around each piece of fruit. You can read about it in this post titled Pest Control for Apples.
So what do the apples look like this year?
Well, the photo below is a sample fresh off the tree yesterday and compared to a commercially grown Jonathan apple. My apple is the one on the left. Not much of a contest really, is there?
They are absolutely massive! We have been eating one a night, sharing it among four people. They are deliciously juicy, and crunchy. Who needs sprayed and waxed piddly little apples, when you can have your very own home-grown Jonathan apples!
Do you grow apples where you live, and what sort of success have you had with your crop?