In India, apple is grown on an area of 277 thousand hectares with total production of 2242 thousand metric tonnes. Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples help in reducing the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
A well distributed rainfall of 100-125cm throughout the growing season is most favourable for optimal growth and fruiting of apple. Loamy soil, rich in organic matter having pH of 5.5-6.5 with gentle to moderate slope, proper drainage and good aeration is most suitable for apple cultivation. Varieties like Irish Peach, Red delicious, Golden Delicious, Queen's Apple, Yellow Newton, Rymer, Top Red and Redspur are popular apple varieties. Pit size of 1m × 1m ×1m is recommended for plantation. The pit should be dug and filled up one month before planting. Pit should be filled with mix of soil and 40-50 kg well rotten farm yard manure and 500g of superphosphate. Apply 70g nitrogen, 30 g phosphate and 70 g potash/ year age of the tree. The dose should be stabilized (700:350:700g/tree) after 10 years of age. This application may be supplemented with farmyard manure @10kg/year age of the tree with the maximum of 100kg. Application of boron (0.1%), zinc (0.5%), manganese (0.4%) and calcium chloride (0.5%) is also recommended. To protect the crop from diseases like blossom thrips, spray fenitrothion (0.05%) or chlorpyriphos (0.02%) at early pink bud stage or 7-10 days before flowering. In summers, irrigate at 7-10 days intervals whereas in other season irrigate at 3-4 weeks intervals. The fruits should be harvested at proper picking maturity to attain proper edible quality at ripening and more than one picking is required. Apples are packed in wooden boxes. Most apple varieties can be stored for 4-6months after harvesting. The recommended storage temperature is -1 to 0. C.
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