As you know, we are all about apples at ThirdLeaf NW. We were formerly named Apple-A-Day, and we still aim to honor this name by delivering new apple varieties every week! There are actually thousands of apple varieties grown in the US and even more worldwide, and not all are grown by farmers. If you are a green thumb (or an aspiring one), here’s what you need to know if you are considering breaking into the apple business!
First, it’s important to decide what type of apple you want to grow. Different apples have different tastes and purposes! Do you want apples to bake with? Snack on? Or maybe it’s just decorative for the front lawn. However, when considering the apple variety you want, there are other factors that come into play.
Certain apple varieties grow better in certain climates, so when picking your apple tree, make sure it is suitable for your growing zone. Various types of apples also need different temperatures, some prefer colder climates while others warm. Most apple trees, though, require “chill hours” throughout the year where the temperature is between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
One of the biggest considerations when planting apple trees is pollination. The majority of apple trees require another apple tree variety to pollinate with in order to produce fruit. However, the key here is that the two apple varieties pollinate during the same season. You may be able to find some varieties as “self-pollinating,” but it’s highly recommended that you have a second type of apple tree.
There are many other important factors to address regarding apple tree planting such as harvesting, diseases and pests, soil type, space, and more, but these basics will get you started on your journey to becoming an apple tree parent!