Apple Farming – Introduction
Apples are one of the most delicious and prettiest fruits in the world. Apples are a favorite among fruit lovers since long. The apple trees naturally occur in colder regions with a lower temperature. With time, the demand for apple has increased and so has the cultivation.
Having an apple orchard is also a source of pride and joy. Due to advancement in technology, there are many high yielding varieties of apples which are available for cultivation in different areas. Apple has many important nutrients and minerals. The nutrition content of an apple is higher than most of the fruits hence doctors recommend eating an apple every day for a healthier body. The best quality apples also require proper cultivation techniques and also better input technologies. Apples are extensively used in making desserts and in fruit salads. The extract of apple is also used in the confectionary industry for preparation of many food items. For apple cultivation, a proper site has to be selected. Input materials have to be kept in mind before the cultivation of apple. Also, the soil and climatic conditions are also important to keep in mind for the cultivation of apple.
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Scientific Name of Apple: Malus pumila
Top Apple Producing Countries In The World
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Common Name Of Apple In Other Languages
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Different Varieties Of Apples Cultivated Across The World
The gala apple variety has a nice aroma and a very sweet taste. A crispy texture is the characteristic feature of the flesh of this apple variety. The color of the apple is yellowish with pink and red stripes. The gala is very popular as it is put in sauces, pies and other delicious items. This variety is said to have been originated in New
This variety is very famous for snacking and has a tart flavor. This apple is famous for making sauce, beverages, and pies. This variety of apple matures in August-July. This variety also can be frozen for long.
This famous variety of apple is extensively used in baking and is equally popular for snacking. This is a late maturing variety. The name is derived from the bright pink flesh which the apple variety has. The apple is eaten fresh as well as used for baking and other culinary purposes. The sweet yet tart flavor is what makes the taste of this apple unique.
The Fuji apple is world famous for its sweet flavor and crunchy texture. The Fuji apple is popularly eaten fresh and it is also used for sauce preparation and baking.
This variety of apple is most popular for its crisp texture and sweet taste. The skin of the apple variety is bright red in color with hints of green in it. The apple is usually eaten as a snack fruit as it is very juicy.
Like the name suggests, the skin is pale golden in color. The most striking feature of this apple variety is that the flesh of the apple does not brown for a long time as opposed to other varieties. The apple has a mild sweet taste.
Just like the literal meaning of the name, the taste of the apple indeed is like the food for gods. The skin of the apple is also beautiful with pink spots on the golden the texture of the apple is crisp and the grains are fine.
The skin of this variety of apple is bright red in color with hints of golden yellow. Fresh apples taste delicious as it is juicy. The taste of the apple is also quite unique with a tinge of caramel and cinnamon. It is popularly used in beverages as well as other culinary preparations.
The Jonagold variety of apple has a greenish yellow color with hints of crimson. The taste of the apple is tart-sweet and is crisp in texture. This apple variety is most popular for its sweet aroma. The size of the fruit is large and the outer skin is thick.
Apart from these varieties which are cultivated locally as well as internationally, there are also many other local varieties of apples such as sun hair, tropical beauty, Anna, Neomi, winter banana, golden spur, Priscilla, Florida, liberty, Shireen, all ambri, Tamma, red gold etc.
Cultivation Of Apple
Before starting cultivation of apples, a proper site selection has to be done; the proper variety of apple must be selected too based on the region of cultivation. While selecting the variety, the yield also has to be kept in mind.
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Soil Conditions For Apple Farming
For apple cultivation, soil having a slight acidic content is preferred. The ideal ph for growing apples is 5.5-6.5. Loamy soils are usually used for cultivating apples. The fact is that there are so many varieties of apples and the growing conditions are different for different varieties. The soil must have a rich organic content. The soil also must have a good aeration and moisture holding capacity. Well-drained soil is very much preferable for cultivation as the waterlogged soil has an adverse effect on the quality of fruit.
Climatic Conditions Required For Apple Farming
While cultivation of apples, the number of chill hours required is different for different variety. usually, 1000-1500 chilling hours are needed in the winter season for apple cultivation. Usually, temperate regions with a mild and moderate climate are well suited for apple cultivation. areas which have a height of 1500-2700m above the sea level are well suited for apple cultivation. Hot weather is not suitable for apple cultivation. however, abundant sunshine is needed for the growth of apple plants. The ideal temperature for growing apples is 21-24 degree Celsius. An annual rainfall of 100-125 cm is needed for apple cultivation. but, more than average rainfall may have detrimental effects on the color and quality of fruit. Areas experiencing high winds are also not suitable for apple cultivation.
Land Preparation Methods For Apple Farming
The land where apple cultivation is to be done must be properly selected at first. The land must be thoroughly ploughed and harrowed to give a fine texture to the soil. after the soil has been tilled and leveled, proper quantities of decomposed farmyard manure must be mixed with the soil. proper drainage channels must be prepared in the main field so that excess water can be drained out.
Propagation Methods And Planting Methods For Apple Farming
Apple is mainly cultivated through budding and grafting. Proper selection of the rootstock and the scion must be done. The union must also be done properly and the grafted/budded plants must be monitored properly in the nursery. Watering and fertilizer application at the proper time and at regular intervals must be done so that healthy plants are obtained. When the roots have developed properly, the plants must be transplanted to the main field.
The pits measuring 1m*1m*1m are to be dug out in the field one month prior to transplanting. The pits must be filled with soil and farmyard manure. The usual system of planting of apple trees is the hexagonal or square system. After planting of the apple plants, a light irrigation is recommended.
Plant Spacing And Planting Season For Apple Farming
The planting of the apple plants is usually done in January or February. The average plant density is slightly different for different varieties. The plant density per hectare of the land can be 200, 500 or 1200 depending on the variety cultivated.
Fertiliser Management For Apple Farming
Fertiliser must not be applied at the time of planting to the young plants as the roots may get affected. The application of decomposed farmyard manure is done prior to planting. Proper quantities of macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium must be given in split doses till the trees require. Along with that, micronutrients also must be provided to prevent micronutrient deficiency. It is better to do a soil test to find out the nutrition requirement of the soil. nutrition must be properly provided to the apple plants as the fruit quality heavily depends on the nutrition management of the plants.
Irrigation Methods For Apple Farming
The main irrigation requirement is at the time of flowering and fruit bearing stage. In summer, irrigation can be provided once every 8-10 days. In winter the irrigation frequency can be reduced at once every few weeks. Heavy rainfall is very harmful to fruit quality hence care must be taken so that water does not stagnate in the main field. Overall, heavy irrigation is not required in apple cultivation. Small quantities of water must be provided when the moisture content of the soil is low.
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Intercultural Methods For Apple Farming
Training and pruning are two important activities to be done while cultivating apples. After six years when the trees have gained full maturity pruning must be done on a regular basis so that the branches can grow properly and light can reach properly to the plants. Proper training also improves the color and quality of fruit. It also protects the plants from harmful effects of weather conditions. Weeding must also be done as and when needed.
Disease And Pest Control For Apple Farming
The main diseases and pests affecting the apple trees are fruit drop, apple scab, crown gall, collar rot, blight, cankers, dieback, white scale, thrips, aphids etc. Proper treatments such as planting disease-resistant varieties and application of chemicals such as chlorpyriphos, carbaryl, carbendazim, fenitrothion, Mancozeb etc can be applied for effective results.
Yield Of Apple
The yield can be high, low or average depending on the variety which is planted. Yield may be 6-12 tonnes per hectare of the land. The yield can be increased by proper farm management.
The apple trees start commercial harvest after eight years of cultivation. The production continues for thirty years. The apples are ready for harvest when the color of the fruit changes. The fruit must not be let go overripe. The fruits must readily come off when slightly twisted.
Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Apples
Immediately after harvesting, the fruits must be sold fresh to the market. Different varieties have different storage duration. The fruits must be sorted out and graded based on quality and size. The fruits are usually individually wrapped and packed in cartons for selling.
Apples have a huge market overseas. They must be stored properly and packed for selling. For long distance traveling, the fruits can be loaded into vehicles for transporting them to longer distances. Processing of apples can also be done if the facilities are present. In that case, the profit is increased.
Benefits Of Apple
- Apple is rich in dietary fiber which improves the digestion and also helps to provide relief from stomach problems.
- Apples contain antibacterial properties which when eaten clean the gums and the teeth.
- Eating apples can improve brain health and also improve memory function. It can help patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Apples contain compounds which can help to improve the heart health. It does so by reducing the bad cholesterol in the body.
- Apples can help improve the vision. It is especially known to prevent and treat night blindness.
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Apple Farming – Conclusion
Apple cultivation is a lucrative business if proper methods for cultivation are followed. Apples are one of the most delicious of all fruits and also popular among other fruits. Therefore a ready market is available for apples which will give handsome returns.