Monty gives his tips for ap­ple-grow­ing begin­ners

Kentish Express Ashford & District - East Kent Property - - OUTDOORS -

Ap­ple trees need sun­shine and good drainage. Don’t grow grass right up around them. Clear the grass for at least a 1m ra­dius around them un­til the trees are as big as you want them to be, then you can let the grass grow back up to the trunk. “Some ap­ples are self­pol­li­nat­ing, but you should al­ways plant more than one. There are eight groups of ap­ples, which are num­bered solely on when they pro­duce their flow­ers. Number one is the first to blos­som, and number eight the last. If you have two ap­ples, one from group one and one from group eight, they won’t blos­som at the same time, and if they don’t blos­som at the same time, they can’t cross pol­li­nate.” than one spade’s depth deep, loosen the hole and the sides, but don’t add ma­nure or com­post. “Plant the tree slightly higher than it is in the pot or, if it’s bare-rooted, slightly above soil level, so it’s on a tiny pyra­mid. Firm it in well, so it’s planted in a slight cone, not a well, be­cause more trees die from be­ing over-wet than too dry. Wa­ter it well, stake it and mulch it thickly with ei­ther gar­den com­post or wood chip­pings to keep weeds down and mois­ture in.” “If you want to re­duce the size of the ap­ple tree, do it in sum­mer. If you want to stim­u­late it to grow big­ger, do it in win­ter.” “My ad­vice is to go and taste as many dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties as pos­si­ble, see what they look like.”

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