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Apples are one of the most beloved and versatile fruits on our planet. Used for thousands of years due to their taste, fragrance and adaptability they've become a staple in most diets. Learn to grow apples by following our comprehensive growing guide below.
Growing calendar
Plant out/transplant Oct - Feb
Harvest Aug - Oct

How to grow apples

Plant single stem or part-trained trees. Choose a tree on a suitable rootstock, eg M27 for dwarf-growing trees, or MM106 for larger trees. It pays to do your research on this before buying anything.

Stake, water and mulch your apple tree. Train as a bush with an open centre (shorten the main stems and side shoots) or on a wire framework, for example as 'cordon' or 'espalier' trees (tie in main steps and shorten side shoots).

Harvesting and using apples

Pick apples when they break away easily from the tree - a gentle twist should be enough to remove the fruit.

Grow varieties that flower together in the same pollination group.

Eat apples on their own, crush them to make apple juice, or use them as an accompaniment for jams, pies, and crumbles.

Tips on growing apples

Apple trees are best bought as bare root trees - bare root trees come without plastic pots and tend to get established quicker in your garden.

Growing notes
Difficulty Moderate
Average time to harvest From 18 months
When to prune Winter (bush), summer (framework)
Equipment needed Stakes, mulch (eg compost
Average plant size 2-6m tall and wide
Family group to grow with Rosaceae: pear, blackberry
Seed saving notes Specialist
Key nutritional content Vitamin C