In this country there are many orchards and therefore many apple trees all producing lovely, tasty, healthy apples. Still nothing is more pleasing than to pick an apple straight from the tree and bite into that fresh, sweet tasting goodness. So in this the first post of the series, Companion Planting Apple Trees I will share some of the vegetables and herbs that will increase yield, improve flavour, or help keep your trees healthy.
Companion Planting Apple Trees
Apple trees need other apple trees to pollinate. Different varieties flower at different times, so ensure that all trees planted in a group flower at the same time. Otherwise everything else you do will be a waste of time.
Under planting With Grass
Traditionally orchards are under planted with grass to suppress weeds. As one farmer told me, just keep the area around the bark clear from grass to stop any diseases getting into the trees.
Under Planting With Alliums
Growing Chives, Onions, leeks and / or Garlic, under apple trees helps to prevent scab in apples. Other ways to prevent scab include, clearing leaves and fallen apples in winter and using a heavy mulch around trees.
Keep Codling Moths Away With Nasturtiums
Codling moths are not the problem, it’s their off spring a small maggot like insect that bores its way into the fruit leaving a trail of excrement and unsightly lines through the flesh of the fruit. Affecting apples and pears, the codling moth larvae cause the fruit to ripen prematurely.
For some reason the codling moth does not like Nasturtiums so plant these pretty and edible flowers around your trees to help prevent codling moth larval damage.
Whilst on the subject of flowers,
Foxgloves are known to protect trees from disease, and boost growth. They also are said to lengthen the storage time of fruit once picked.