Advice for Small Apple Grower
Greetings from Greensboro, NC!
I'm two years and 400 trees into a new 1 acre apple orchard project. Most trees are 3 or 4 feet in row spacing on BUD9, with expected density of about 800 trees per acre. Trellis is about 9.5 feet tall with 4 wires. We selected about 20 varieties, some of which we never tasted for this project based on the best information we could get. Because we have a good PYO Blueberry and Blackberry business, about 25% of the trees are "summer apples" that ripen with our berries. Growing the trees is easy but getting quality fruit is about 100 times more difficult than producing quality blackberries and blueberries, even with drip irrigation and an airblast sprayer. The spray schedule for Apples is almost overwhelming compared to the berries. So far I have spent a bundle of money and I my wife who is from apple country in Virginia is concerned that I have lost my mind!
Anybody else headed in the same direction?
Any good advice for a novice Apple grower?