Wambugu apple can be grown in any soil type and weather but not in a waterlog area. For optimum growth and yield plant them in a sandy-loam soil.
Soak the roots of the seedlings in water for an hour before planting to hydrate them. Sow the seedlings into the already dug hole at a depth of 2 inches above the soil level. Mulch the root area with the compost manure.
Transplant them very early in the morning or later in the evening but first of all loosen the soil before planting. Don’t shed the seedlings allow them to grow in the open sunlight. Prune the apple 2-3 years after planting for a good and healthy structure. An acre requires 310 seedlings.
Apples are planted in holes that are 60cm wide and 60 cm deep spaced at 3m by 3m for better growth. In each hole, 30kg of fully decomposed manure is mixed with the top soil.
Top-dressing is done six months after planting with 150g of organic fertilizer to boost growth. It is necessary to avoid shedding of the young tree, however low growing crops like legumes can be planted in between apple plants.
Some of the basic factors that needs to be considered before planting your Grafted Wambugu Apples include the following:
- Not every apple grows everywhere. Each variety has a specific number of days needed for fruit maturity.
- Tree tags don’t always tell you where the variety grows best, but many catalogs do.
- Each variety has several chill hours needed to set fruit (i.e., the amount of time temperatures is between 32 and 45 degrees F).
Site and Soil
- Results from the soil test will determine the soil amendments necessary to correct nutrient deficiencies and adjust soil pH. The amendments should be worked into the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches where the tree will root, not just the planting hole.
- Apple trees need well-drained soil, nothing too wet. Soil needs to be moderately rich and retain moisture as well as air; mulch with straw, hay, or some other organic material to keep soil moist and provide nutrients as they decompose.
- Choose a sunny site. For best fruiting, an apple-tree needs “full sunlight,” which means six or more hours of direct summer sun daily.
- Tree spacing is influenced by the rootstock, soil fertility, and pruning. Seedlings or full-size trees should be planted about 15 to 18 feet apart in a row. A dwarfing rootstock might be 4 to 8 feet apart in a row.
- Dwarf apple trees are notoriously prone to uprooting under the weight of a heavy crop, so you should provide a support system for your hedge. You can grow your trees against a fence, or you can provide free-standing support in the form of a trellis.
- Do not plant trees near wooded areas or trees.
Planting the Tree in the Ground
- Before planting, remove all weeds and the grass in a 4-foot diameter circle.
- After you purchase Our seedlings, protect it from injury, drying out, freezing, or overheating. If the roots have dried out, soak them in water about 24 hours before planting.
- Dig a hole approximately twice the diameter of the root system and 2 feet deep. Place some of the loose soil back into the hole and loosen the soil on the walls of the planting hole so the roots can easily penetrate the soil. Spread the tree roots on the loose soil, making sure they are not twisted or crowded in the hole. Continue to replace soil around the roots. As you begin to cover the roots, firm the soil to be sure it surrounds the roots and to remove air pockets.
- Do not add fertilizer at planting time, as the roots can be “burned”. Fill the remainder of the hole with the loose soil, and press the soil down well.
All our apple trees are grafted. The graft union must be at least 2 inches above the soil line so that roots do not emerge from the scion. The graft union (where the scion is attached to the rootstock) can be recognized by the swelling at the junction.
2) Minimize Pruning of a Young Tree
Pruning slows a young tree’s overall growth and can delay fruiting, so don’t be in a hurry to prune, other than removing misplaced, broken, or dead branches. There are several techniques to direct growth without heavy pruning. For example:
- Rub off misplaced buds before they grow into misplaced branches.
- Bend a stem down almost horizontally for a few weeks to slow growth and promote branches and fruiting. Tie down with strings to stakes in the ground or to lower branches.
3) Prune a Mature Tree Annually
Once an apple tree has filled in and is bearing fruit, it requires regular, moderate pruning.
- Prune your mature tree when it is dormant. Completely cut away overly vigorous, upright stems (most common high up in the tree).
- Remove weak twigs (which often hang from the undersides of limbs.
- Shorten stems that become too droopy, especially those low in the tree.
- After about ten years, fruiting spurs (stubby branches that elongate only about a half-inch per year) become overcrowded and decrepit. Cut away some of them and shorten others.
- When a whole limb of fruiting spurs declines with age, cut it back to make room for a younger replacement.
4) Thin Ruthlessly
- Thin or remove excess fruit. This seems hard but this practice evens out production, prevents a heavy crop from breaking limbs, and ensures better-tasting, larger fruit crop.
- Soon after fruit-set, remove the smallest fruits or damaged ones, leaving about four inches between those that remain.
The common pests are aphid, thrips, fruit fluid, spider mites, apple scalp, root rot, powdery mildew. As it is often said prevention is better than cure. So prevent pest and diseases by using disease free seedlings.
Apples are prone to pests. Here are some pointers:
- Sprays may be needed for insects like Japanese beetles, although one of the worst culprits, the apple maggot, can be trapped simply enough by hanging one or two rounds, softball-size balls painted red and coated with sticky “Tangle-Trap”.
- Fend off diseases by raking apple leaves, burying them beneath mulch, or grinding them with a lawnmower at season’s end.
- Pruning reduces disease by letting in more light and air.
- To keep insects away from apple trees, make a solution of 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 quart of water. Pour this mixture into a widemouthed plastic jug. Hang the jug, uncovered, in your apple tree.
Apple Scab: This is a fungal disease that attacks leaves and fruits. Symptoms include blackening and necrosis of the leaf margin, which appear as dark irregularly shaped spots scattered on the fruit surface.
This can be controlled by use of copper based fungicides
Powdery Mildew: Attacks the new shoots, leaves and buds and can be controlled by application of sulphur-based fungicide at 10 days interval beginning at pink bud stage.
Leaf spot: This disease attacks leaves and stem and can be controlled by copper-based fungicides.
Fruit fly: This is a small fly with silvery wings. It attacks the fruits as they approach maturity by puncturing and laying eggs inside when the fruit is ripening leading to rotting.
The white maggots burrow further into the fruit, feeding on the rotting pulp. Attacked fruits rot and drop prematurely. One way of controlling fruit fly is through field sanitation by burying the affected fruits in a hole at least 1m deep or putting the fruits in a drum of water to suffocate them.
Other ways include use of pheromone traps, attractants like molasses or sugar mixed with an insecticide
Red spider mites: Minute insects found crawling mainly on the underside of a leaf. They suck plant sap and may cause leaves to wither and die.
Controlled by use of Dynamec, Brigade, Omite or Sulphur chemicals
Codling Moth: Damage to the fruit is caused by the larvae. Upon hatching, they form tunnels particularly in the core area.
Young damaged fruit drop off the tree or become malformed. Fruit at different stages may be attacked by several generations of moth.
This can be controlled by ensuring field sanitation through collecting affected fruits and burying them.
Ordinary apple trees matures within 3 years after planting. Grafted seedlings or the improved variety like the wambugu apple, matures and fruit between 9-14 months. A tree can produce 1,000-2,000 fruits.
This is achievable after 3 years with good farming and cultural practices being but in place. The first fruiting will be few numbers just to taste water before the main fruiting.
Harvest patiently. After all this pruning and caring, be sure to harvest your apples at their peak of perfection.
- Pluck your apples when their background color is no longer green.
- Different apple varieties mature at different times, so the harvest season can stretch from August to October.
- At this point, the stem should part readily from the branch when the fruit is cupped in the palm of your hand and given a slight twist around, then up.
There you have it, before harvesting look for market or contact our offices and we will help you sell your apples. also get certified apple seedlings from us. Kindly visit our offices for more information.
Advertise your apple business online and off-line and you will see people coming to you for a purchase rather you going to them.
PROFITABILITY IN WAMBUGU APPLE FARMING
In this analysis, I shall be using an acre for a sample. As previously started an acre will accommodate 310 trees.
Let us say a tree produced 1000 fruit, let’s also assume an apple is #50 So 50×1000=#50,000. That means one tree will give you that amount.