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Dwarf Apple Trees

I planted two dwarf apple trees in containers earlier this year, both are growing well, in fact one has blossomed already. As a complete novice, do I allow these trees to fruit in the first year or not? And is there any advice as to anything else I should do with them this year?

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,066

    Don't let them fruit in the first year Paul.  They need to develop a good root system before you let them produce apples.  All you need to do for now is keep them watered and occasionally feed them.  In the winter you will need to prune them to make sure that they develop a good shape - see the RHS advice here:

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=164

     

     

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DorcasDorcas Posts: 159

    Paul - I'd leave the fruits alone to see what happens after 'June drop'.  This is when the immature apples fall off naturally.  Usually you'll be left with one or two per cluster of stronger apples.  Overall, you are aiming for this number otherwise as they grow, there will be too much weight and they'll all fall off.  You may have to rub out some of the small apples yourself to achieve this balance.  The main job to do this year is keep the pots well watered as irregular watering will cause stress to the tree which will affect the fruit as well.  Also cover the roots with a layer of mulch to conserve the water.  As for feeding, each year I give mine a handful or two of pelleted chicken manure (6X is really good) before I mulch.  Other than that, sit back and wait to pick your 1st apple!

  • Paul AntonyPaul Antony Posts: 37

    Thank you both. In actual fact I did put a couple of handfuls of chicken pellet manure in the pots, around the roots when I planted them - never knew whether this was right or wrong but it doesn't seem to have done them any harm so far. I do water them regularly BUT here is another question, every couple of weeks I water everything with some miracle grow plant food ... is this right or wrong?

    I once did some advertising for Bayer Plant Food, they told me that the Miracle Grow encouraged lots of foliage but did little for the flowers whearas there product did the opposite, any thoughts on this?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,066

    I tend to use fish, blood & bone on all my fruit trees in early spring as it is well-balanced and long-lasting.  You can supplement with liquid tomato feed once the fruit has set as this is higher in phosphate which benefits fruit and flowering.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Paul AntonyPaul Antony Posts: 37

    So, finally and sorry to be a pain but would you say I should feed them with the fish, blood and bone throughout the year? How often? 

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,066

    Just once in early spring is enough in my experience Paul.  Just sprinkle it on top of the compost (check the dosage rate on the packet, but I would say a small handful for a 50cm diameter container) and 'tickle' it into the surface of the soil/compost.  You could repeat in mid summer, but avoid over-feeding anything as this will lead to lush leafy growth which is prone to pests & diseases and may actually retard fruiting.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Paul AntonyPaul Antony Posts: 37

    Brilliant. Thanks Bob. I shall now leave well alone until late July ish.

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