At Home Depot I just saw 5 gal Apple trees for $20. They have Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith. I did not know that Apples grew well in Texas. Has anyone had any luck with them? Of the three, which one would grow better?
Growing apples in Texas (Austin)
They grow them in the Hill Country in Kerrville and Medina. I remember living in Kerrville and buying fresh Gala apples from the orchard. They were tasty! They grew them on trellises (espaliered?) and the set up was quite impressive.
Here's a couple of articles I found.
In the Austin area there are many problems with growing Apples.
Apples do not like the heat here and will sometimes languish if you buy the wrong varieties. Many people grow their Apples in a location that gets lots of sun from morning until 3pm.
Another problem is the chill requirement on most Apples is too high for Austin. Apples need a long cold winter to produce fruit and new growth. However, there are many varieties that have a very low chill requirement and will do good every year. These are Anna, Golden Dorsett and Ein Shemer. They are promoted for this area by Texas A&M. Last year, we had so little cold weather, my Fuji had no fruit at all but the Anna was loaded down.
I suspect that if the winters stay warmer in the future, you will be glad you bought one of the low chill Apples listed above.
You should buy and plant between now and late Feb.
Plant your Apple in a well drained area. If you are on clay soil, a mound would be best if you dont have a hill or incline on your yard. Dig a hole 2-3 times bigger than the pot that is holding your tree.
I have Pink Lady, Dorsett Golden, and Mollie's Delicious. I'm just getting started, though. Plus I'm espalliering them so I got very yound trees. You need to know the chill hours in your location so check with your local co-operative extention agent (my area is supposed to get 400-500 chill hours/year). Then you need to make sure you have a pollinator. I also called Legg Creek Farms to help me pick out apple trees for my garden. After much advise we think I'm covered on the pollinator thing, but I may get another variety if I think I'm running into problems. Our winters are so precocious here in NE Texas that we can't really count on the needed chill hours every year. So once my trees are old enough and pruned the way I want I am still not counting on having apples every year. I'll be happy with every other year or so....
This Saturday, Jan. 12th, at The Natural Gardener in Austin, you might find answers to your questions about apple varieties.
Jim Kamas, Texas A&M Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist – Pomology & Viticulture, and Texas Pierce's Disease Program Outreach Coordinator – Texas AgriLife Extension, presents “The 11th Annual Fruits, Nuts, and Berries Workshop.”
Join us for this very popular workshop on fruits, nuts, and berries. Jim covers all aspects of home orchard production, from variety selection to pruning and harvesting. He is our Central Texas specialist, having studied and worked in horticulture since the late 1970’s. Jim Kamas is also the co-author, with Larry Stein, of the Texas Peach Handbook, a “guide for commercial and residential peach growers.” His book will be available for sale and for signing. There is so much information to cover and Jim is so generous with his time: this class is at least two hours long.
Gosh, that would be grand fun to attend. Too far for me, but I hope some of you all can make it. These extension folks are full of such useful information. Is that hadbook available online?
If you live in the Dallas area, I found this class on the Dallas Arboretum website: www.dallasarboretum.org - click on "adult education"
The Wine Grape
Did you know that Texas is the oldest grape growing state in North America, and boasts the third largest wine grape industry in the US? Join Susan Gregory, organic gardener and Master Naturalist, as she shares growing techniques that can make the fruits of your labor into wine grapes using a sunny arbor or fence! She will share ten easy tips for cultivating wine grapes in the North Texas area as well as resources for learning to make your own wine. Join us as we celebrate the wonderful and delicious grape!
March 16, 9am-11am;
$27 or $25 for Members
Just remember that no one in Texas has received their "normal" chill requirement in the last few years. My area is 400 but I probably only got 200 last year. It is better to plant fruit with a chill much lower than your area is supposed to get or you will have years where you get little or no fruit.
Same here. My area is supposed to get 600-500 chill hours. But when I started talking to the fruit tree nursery people we went with 500-400 as that is what Rains County has really gotten in the past five years or so. Still, it is fun trying.