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How to Grow Organic Apples in your own Yard

written by: Cheryl Gabbert•edited by: Lindsay Evans•updated: 1/19/2011

Organic apples are healthier and more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, buying organic apples is expensive! At about twice the price of regular apples, many people are considering growing their own organic apples. Here are some tips on how to grow organic apples in your own backyard.

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    Grow Your Own Organic Apples at Home

    If you love organic apples, and who doesn't, you've probably considered growing your own organic apples to avoid the high cost. That's a great idea, but growing organic apples means dealing with pests and diseases without using pesticides or herbicides. Don't worry, you can grow organic apples. Just follow these tips to ensuring a beautiful crop of organic apples without a lot of extra effort.

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    Plant the Right Tree

    One of the best ways to ensure a good organic apple crop at home is to plant the right tree. Start with smaller, dwarf trees. This size is more manageable than larger varieties. Also pick a pest resistant variety. This means you won't struggle so much with keeping pests at bay. Once you pick the right trees, plant them and add mulch around the perimeter of each tree. The best time to plant is in the fall. Keep in mind that you won't have apples for at least 2 years. With patience, though, you'll be munching on bushels of organic apples year after year.

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    Keep the Enemies Away!

    We've all bitten into an apple and been surprised by a worm at least once. That's one problem you'll meet up with when growing organic apples. Apple maggots are hard to keep away. One trick is to hang sticky red Christmas ornaments or balls on the tree while the apples are in the growing stage, usually around July. The maggots will get stuck on the balls, and this will keep them out of the apples.

    Another good tip is to cover the apples with brown paper bags as the apples are growing. This is a chemical free way to keep insects off of the fruit. Obviously, the tip works much better with dwarf-size trees. It wouldn't be possible to cover apples from a large tree with paper bags.

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    Maintaining Healthier Trees

    Pruning is essential. It helps the tree stay healthy and produce larger, well-spaced fruit. When the fruit begins to grow, pull off some the apples that are growing close together. You'll have healthier, larger apples. Prune the branches toward the end of winter. This helps the leaves get plenty of sunlight and air, which will mean faster drying after rain. This helps keep diseases away.

    Be sure to pick up any apples that fall from your trees before they start to decay. Failure to do this can cause many harmful insects and diseases to lay eggs and lay dormant in the winter inside the apples, which means trouble for the trees. Rake up all of the leaves in the fall as well. These two steps are very important to growing healthy apple trees.

    If you want to grow organic apples in your own backyard, following these simple tips will help you grow large, insect-free, delicous apples. Even better, your apples will be free of chemicals and pesticides. You'll feel great serving these apples to your family.

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    1. Northern Natural Organics: Growing Natural:

    2. Fine Gardening: No-Spray Organic Apples:

    3. The Helpful Gardener: Growing Organic Fruit Trees: