An apple a day keeps the doctor away ... and mouth-watering apples in season now can be grown with very little space required.
Apples prefer deep, rich loamy soils, however they will adapt to other soil types.
Just ensure that they are growing in soil which doesn't become waterlogged and that isn't excessively dry.
A sunny position with protection from strong winds will lead to higher fruit yields.
Space is often at a premium in the garden making dwarf plants popular selections.
The "Ballerina" range of apples grow to around 3.5 metres tall, but their width is only around 600 millimetres making them a perfect choice for narrow areas along driveways, as a screen or even a hedge.
Get your dancing shoes on with varieties such as "Flamenco", "Bolero" and "Waltz".
"Ballerina" apple varieties will require a pollinator, so plant two different varieties to ensure good fruit set.
For small plants with a little more spread the Trixzie miniature range has plants that grow 2.5 metres tall with a similar spread. Whilst small in stature their fruits are still full size.
The two varieties in this range are Trixzie "Gala" and Trixzie "Pink Lady" both trees require cross pollination for good crops so order one of each variety for the home orchard or containers.
For something a little different try "Magnus Summer Surprise", a medium dwarf variety that produces a bright, shiny, vibrant red apple with deep-pink coloured flesh inside.
When left on the tree to ripen they develop a sweet, berry flavour. This variety will require a suitable pollinator such as "Pink Lady", "Granny Smith" or "Red Fuji".
Pruning apples is probably the most mystified aspect of their culture, but it really is quite simple.
Apples produce fruits on fruiting spurs or on the ends of laterals depending on variety. Once you know what type of fruiting wood your variety has pruning becomes easy.
Prune your trees when they are first planted and then regularly for the next few years thereafter.
Don't be overly concerned with how to prune your tree as mistakes are soon covered up with the new season's growth.
Apples are hardy and even if you prune severely it is unlikely to result in long term damage.
If you are unsure, check with your nursery on the correct method of pruning for the variety you are growing.
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