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Many gardeners and fruit lovers grow different varieties of apples in their gardens. It is no secret that some plants grow poorly in soils with a high clay content. However, sometimes you have to plant apple trees in clay soils, since there is no other choice. To get a good harvest, you need to familiarize yourself with the peculiarities of growing apples in such soil.
What are the advantages of clay soil?
Although these soils are not suitable for all plants, they still have certain advantages that set them apart from other types of soils.
The advantages include the fact that they are able to keep mineral fertilizing and moisture in the ground for a long time. Therefore, when growing an apple tree, you do not have to water it too often. Many gardeners argue that such soil is better than others for adding fertilizers.
Speaking about the advantages, we should also mention the main disadvantages that can affect the cultivation of apples.
The main disadvantages include high density, due to which the soil practically does not allow oxygen to pass through and warms up poorly. To get rid of the listed disadvantages, you will have to regularly loosen the earth or mix it with sand.
The best time to plant an apple tree
Summer is considered by many to be the best time to plant apple trees in the garden. However, this is a misconception, since gardeners rarely plant at this time of the year. Much more often apple trees are planted in the first half of autumn or spring.
Most gardeners prefer to plant apple trees in the fall, as this will help the plant to grow stronger for the winter and reliably consolidate in the ground. By the onset of the first frost, the root system of the tree should get stronger so that it can withstand temperature changes without problems. It is recommended to do planting in the first half of October so that the apple trees have time to take root. Sometimes they are planted in November, but in some regions it gets colder earlier, and because of this, immature plants die.
Experienced gardeners advise residents of the southern regions to engage in autumn planting, since there is the most suitable climate for this.
Gardeners living in the northern regions prefer to plant apple trees in the spring. Planting in the spring will protect the seedlings from winter frosts and help them get stronger by the beginning of the first frosts. Landing is carried out at the end of April or in the first half of May, when the ground thaws and warms up well.
The characteristic features of planting in the spring include the fact that the seedlings will have to be watered abundantly so that the root system does not dry out and develops well. River sand is also added to the soil in advance to make it looser.
Required materials and tools
Before you start planting apples, you need to figure out the list of tools and materials that you will need for this.
For planting, prepare in advance:
- seedling - seedlings previously germinated in containers or pots are used for planting;
- 2-3 buckets of river sand - used to increase the looseness of clay soil;
- a shovel - an indispensable tool for creating holes in which trees will be planted;
- pruning shears - used when pruning damaged branches or plant roots;
- empty bucket and hose - needed to water planted apple seedlings.
Choosing the perfect place for the apple tree
It is recommended to choose in advance a suitable place for planting apple trees so that they bear fruit well.
When choosing a site, they pay attention to the peculiarities of the occurrence of groundwater. Their level must constantly change, since stagnation often leads to decay of roots and death of planted plants. However, some gardeners also plant apple trees in areas with stagnant groundwater. In this case, they should be at a depth of 2-3 meters from the top layers of the soil.
If the groundwater is too close to the surface, before planting, you will have to make low mounds on your own in the beds in order to plant the apple trees higher.
It is also necessary to make sure in advance that the site is well protected from gusts of wind, which can break a fragile tree. Hills or dense plantings of trees nearby will help protect from the wind. You can protect the apple trees yourself by enclosing them with a fence.
Apple trees grow best in the western part of the site and therefore it is better to plant them there. Do not place saplings in the center of the garden, as they will grow poorly due to the shade of taller trees.
Rules for planting an apple tree in clay soil
For proper planting of an apple tree, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the nuances of planting it in advance.
Before disembarking, they must be engaged in preliminary preparation of the site. If the apple trees grow in loamy soil, then you will have to dig it thoroughly and add sand to it before planting. More than 40 kilograms of sand are consumed per square meter.
Also, in the sandy loam, there should be dressings that will help the apple tree grow better in the future. For this, a kilogram of lime, 200 grams of mineral dressings, 7-8 kilograms of manure and chicken droppings are added to the ground. After that, the site is re-dug up and watered with warm water.
Having prepared the site, you can start planting apple seedlings. Residents of the Moscow region and people in other regions with a warm climate can plant a plant in the morning.
Gardeners living in the northern regions will have to plant at lunchtime when it gets a little warmer.
First, they make a special pit for planting apple trees. Its depth should be 60-70 cm, and its width should be 70-80 cm. The seedling is carefully placed in a dug hole, covered with soil and watered. After that, the apple trees are mulched with rotten leaves, straw or peat. The mulching layer will increase the duration of moisture retention in the upper layers and saturate the earth with oxygen.
People who have to plant apple trees in clay soils often face difficulties. So that during planting there are no problems, you need to familiarize yourself with the optimal timing and features of planting apple trees.