Apples are among the world’s most popular fruits. These fruits are known to have several health benefits. Its benefits are not restricted to health as it has economic benefits too. This article will focus on the economic benefits of apples with special focus on cultivation of apple seeds. A significant portion of the apples consumed in Nigeria are imported. Similarly, the proportion of apples cultivated in Nigeria is insignificant. This leaves a huge deficit in domestic supply. This article seeks to provide the needed help on how to cultivate apple in Nigeria.
Global Production of Apples
Apples are among the worlds most popular fruits as mentioned earlier. This is because it is in high demand across the world. There are other contributory factors too. The fruit is much loved even in countries which produce little or nothing at all. This is the category Nigeria falls under. The major producers of apples are Chile, USA, China, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa among others. These countries hold the bragging rights as the highest producers of apples in the world. However cultivation of apples in Nigeria is our main concern.
Apples and Temperate Climates
It is a known fact that temperate climatic conditions support apple growth. However not all apple varieties require such as there are species which grow in the tropics. While this may be true, cold regions in Nigeria support its growth. Examples of areas with temperate climates in Nigeria are the Jos Plateau and Mambilla Plateau. The Jos Plateau supports the growth of the Anna variety. While this may be so, There are other varieties that grow in other regions. The Bell variety is one of such. Hence all hope is not lost on commercial apple production in Nigeria.
This means that while some apples grow well in temperate regions, and others do well in tropical climates, Nigeria supports the growth of these varieties.
Growing Apple Seeds in Nigeria
Cultivating apple seedlings is a rewarding procedure if done rightly. You need to first select an apple variety such as those mentioned above. The bell variety of apple seedlings is a good place to start from. You need to know that apple trees do not self pollinate like other trees. Hence you need to plant them in pairs. Planting your apple seeds in the nursery require careful inspection of the seedlings. If you are not sure the type of seedlings you have, buy such from reliable sources. Your apple trees may die when transplanting from the nursery. This happens when you choose species other than those supported by the climatic conditions.
Room temperature is the best for apple seedlings. Your growing seedlings should be such that room temperature is strictly observed for best results. Do not make the mistake of applying fertilizers to your seedlings. However you may choose to use manure if you so wish. You constantly need to water your seedlings. Watering will continue even after transplanting.
Transplanting Your Apple Tree
After attaining maturity (as long as it takes), it should be transplanted from the nursery to a permanent location. Your choice of location matters. You should avoid a poorly drained soil for your apple trees. It should ideally fall within the range of a sandy loam and sandy clay soil. These are the best conditions for apple trees to grow. Watering your apple trees is vital to growth and development. You should also consider applying compost manure to aid faster and better growth. It is also necessary to protect your tree from animals and pest. Therefore you need a fenced area for your apple trees.
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Choosing an Easier Alternative
A lot of people may not have the patience to follow the above procedures. However there are easier ways of planting your apple trees. You can purchase young apple trees from nurseries. This option eliminates much of the work that goes with raising seedling in a nursery yourself. If you have little time on your hands, then this option is for you. This option has several advantages. One of such is a higher chance of your apple tree surviving. This article has provided you with basic information required for planting apple seeds. You can take advantage of the opportunity it presents to start commercial production.