Apple tree cultivation

Another essential fruit tree in our garden and in Gardenprue. We bet, now that summer is approaching, to tell you information about the main fruit trees. If you learn to grow it, to fertilize it and to give it the indicated irrigation, and to control the pests and diseases that it may have, you will ensure a good apple production . And the thing is that those from your own harvest will always taste better than those from the supermarket!

The apple tree is among the best known fruit trees throughout the world, along with the pear tree, the peach tree , etc. They are classic fruit trees that are not lacking in the pantry or refrigerator of our homes, but that sometimes, due to the ease with which they are bought in the supermarket (it is not the same as buying jínjoles del jujufaifo or jinjolero) we sin of comfort and do without of the fruit tree in our garden.

Its scientific name is malus domestica and it belongs to the Rosaceae family. The apple has always had a hole in the history of man and it was already known and cultivated for more than 15,000 years. Although its origin is not exactly known, it is believed that it was from the Caucasus (the region between eastern Europe and western Asia) and the Caspian Sea (area of ​​Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, etc).


If the apple tree has become one of the best known fruit trees, it is, apart from many other characteristics, due to its adaptation to the climate . It is resistant to cold and tolerates a wide range of temperatures. Between hot and cold he prefers to choose the former, since he tolerates it very well, especially in the winter season. The late frosts at the beginning of spring can only be a problem as it can damage the flowers. The cold-hour requirements are abundant and it may be, depending on the variety, that in some areas this number of hours is not reached. The indicated thing is to choose the indicated variety, since in a matter of cold needs there are varieties that only need 200 and others more than 2,000.


In terms of the characteristics of the soil, the apple tree is a crop that supports various conditions, even some bad ones. Of course, what they require above all are good drainage conditions to avoid problems of ponding at the roots.

When choosing a soil, the apple tree prefers loamy, deep and light soils, according to John Seymour in his books . The heavy earths do not benefit him but he develops the same.

At first it is convenient to aerate the soil where we are going to plant the apple tree, either by tillage or manually. We have to mix that land with manure or compost . Regarding the pH, the conditions of its development are quite neutral and around 7, with slight variations.

A highly recommended technique for growing apple trees is mulching. With this we will have numerous benefits, such as improving the characteristics of the soil, moisture retention (and therefore reducing irrigation), increasing the content of organic matter, etc. The best thing is that you take a look at this article to know more about this technique.

Irrigation is important in the apple tree , since a period of drought can cause a precipitous fall of fruits or leaves, which the tree itself cannot maintain and therefore discards. It is important to keep the soil moist (without puddling) and preserve it with the mulch. In short, abundant and frequent waterings when the heat hits.

Malus domestica
Autor: Kor! An

Now, if we want to carry out a nutritional fertilizer plan with the contribution of chemical fertilizers, we must first look for the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium needs that the crop needs. The way to find it is relatively simple, since it is based on the extractions that the crop makes of these elements during a year.

As can be seen in the book “practical guide to rational fertilization of crops in Spain”, a recommendation for apple tree fertilization (kg / ha) is the following:

Nitrogen (N): 100 fertilizer units (kg / ha)

Phosphorus (P2O5): 35 fertilizer units (kg / ha)

Potassium (K2O): 110 fertilizer units (kg / ha

This is an example of a recommended fertilizer for a production of around 40,000 kg / ha. However, if we look for more fertilizer plans for apple trees, we can see how these data vary, depending on the author and the area where the crop is located.

If we have a production of 80,000 kg / ha, calculating about 1,200 plants per hectare (intensive cultivation), the fertilizer units, logically, will increase. An example of fertilizer needs for this case could be the following:

Nitrogen (N): 151 fertilizer units (kg / ha)

Phosphorus (P2O5):  67 fertilizer units (kg / ha)

Potassium (K2O):  201 fertilizer units (kg / ha

For a subscriber plan in which 120 UF of nitrogen, 55 UF of phosphorus and 165 UF of potassium are contributed, the contribution can be divided as follows:

Subscriber plan for apple tree (UF / ha)

An example:

In March we can provide 15.1 fertilizer units (44 kg of ammonium nitrate, for example), distributed over as many irrigations as we do. If we carry out an irrigation every 2 days (15 irrigations a month), in each irrigation we will contribute 2.93 kg of ammonium nitrate , for example.


With thinning we are managing to eliminate a part of the fruits at the beginning and before their development in order to regulate and balance their growth. In the case of the apple tree, fruit thinning takes place at the end of May or the beginning of June. The way to do it is usually manual and those that present a defect or simply those whose size is lower than the average are eliminated , and on which it is expected that in the future their development will be lower than the rest.


A long time ago, the truth is, we did an article about the main pests and diseases that can affect the apple tree . You can take a look since numerous insects tend to come to the fruit trees, attracted by the sweetness of the fruit, and without proper treatment we can miss a good harvest.


In case you don’t know, we will help you. In a past article we talked about apple tree pruning and laid the foundations to properly care for and cut the tree. If you need more information you can always turn to a good book on pruning.


The multiplication by seeds is not very advisable since in the future we will have to carry out grafting operations to ensure a good quality of the fruit. Vegetative reproduction techniques, on the other hand, are adequate, such as cutting.

When it comes to fruit trees, we almost always have the same opinion. Getting to have a production of a tree that is planted from the beginning through a cutting takes many years (around 4 or 5 until it is productive), so it is best to acquire an apple tree that has a few how many years (2 or 3).

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