For apples to be labeled “organic,” they must grow without any interference from chemical treatments.
Growing a crop of organic apples starts with pathogen-free soil and continues over the life of the trees. They require proper sanitation and constant grooming and maintenance.
Apples are a rich source of polyphenols and other important nutrients. A medium apple contains 4 grams of fiber and 14 percent of vitamin C. They provide a good dose of manganese, copper, and a host of vitamins from A, E, B1, B2 and B6.
Before you plan to grow an apple tree or rows of trees, have the soil checked. A good foundation will ensure a healthy, towering specimen with bright, full blossoms and plenty of round fruit.
Choose trees that are disease resistant and prime for your area’s weather and climate.
Best Organic Options for Controlling Tree Diseases
You have a few methods to beat back difficult diseases that take over apple trees. Two main organic farming techniques are:
Sprays – Serious diseases such as fire blight and apple scab that can take down healthy apple trees quickly include dormant oil sprays, such as a liquid copper soap or Bordeaux mixture. Many of these sprays can take out other diseases that creep along unnoticed until it is too late. They won’t hurt the tree when done correctly at the right time within the growing season.
Solar – Before planting a single tree or a crop of young apple trees, allow the sun to bake the soil and kill off lethal or soil-borne pathogens. The temperature needs to hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit at minimum to let the solar solution work. Cover the soil with sheets of plastic and allow the sun to bake the ground for 2 to 4 weeks before you plan to plant.
Apple trees can succumb to many diseases, one of which is sick soil syndrome. This is one of the most common diseases that affect new apple trees.
Sick soil is considered a replant disease. It varies by region and can include nematodes and fungal pathogens that live in the soil.
To successfully confront what is harming the fruit in the apple tree, you need to identify the specific disease. Apples can appear damaged by disease when in fact they may be getting damaged by hungry birds or bugs attacking the ripening fruit.
Typically, a disease will begin on branches or leaves before spreading to blossoms and fruit. Regular maintenance, pruning and simply observing the fruit producing trees progress, particularly during growing season, can help to fight apple tree diseases before they get out of hand.