'An apple a day help keeps the doctor away' - an age old saying that holds true today because apples contain so many beneficial chemicals.
Apple trees can typically be planted from late autumn to early spring. If the roots are dry, firs soak them in a bucket of water or seaweed fertiliser for 24 hours or overnight. Many apple varieties need a second variety for pollination however self-pollinating varieties are available. Dwarf varieties are available, which produce full sized fruit but on a smaller tree. This can be particularly useful in small gardens or for those who would like to fit a lot of trees into their garden.
Apples are ready to be harvested in autumn. The colour of a ripe apple varies greatly depending on the species so check with the nursery when you purchase your plant, otherwise taste one to see if it's ready.
In areas where fruit fly is a problem, you must pick up fallen fruit. This is a legal requirement in some ares but apart from that, fallen, rotting fruit attracts the pest.
Apple pies and crumbles are a very popular use for apples.
Apples contain large amounts of a wide range of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) in their flesh as well as their skin. They also contain both malic and tartaric acids, which have been shown to aid in the digestion of fatty foods. Apples are also a good source of vitamins C and K as well as fibre. Research has also shown that cholesterol levels can be lowered by up to 10% just by eating two apples a day. The also help to maintain blood sugar levels, something that is beneficial to those with diabetes.
- In an airy place, ensuring the fruit isn't touching
- Freeze stewed and puréed apples