Although the kei-apple (Dovyalis caffra) grows slowly, it is an outstanding evergreen shrub. Both humans and animals will struggle to breach a well-established kei-apple fence. This shrub is an excellent choice for the job because it is a water-wise option that does not deplete Morutathuto’s limited water supply.
The evergreen Kei apple is one of South Africa’s most popular fruit trees. Compared to the more moist types of open forest, it can reach a height of 6 metres in dry woodlands. The most significant benefits are obtained by planting it in interwoven rows. Three to four years is required for the Kei Apple hedge to reach six feet.
Kei apples are little fruits with a round to oblate, curving form ranging from 2 to 5 centimetres. Smooth, velvety, and semi-tough, the fruit’s skin becomes yellow-orange as it ripens from green. As a result, it grows at around 600 millimetres a year.
A kei apple seed may be used to develop a kei apple tree. Explore how to Plant Kei Apple Fence. Let us begin;
How To Plant Kei Apple Fence
Speciality nurseries across the globe sell the Kei apple, and the fruit is cultivated for export to California. The Kei apple fruit, like Carissa macrocarpa, is underappreciated at home and economically exploited in other nations. Allotropy is a property of trees that prevents other plants from growing near them. This plant’s fruiting season lasts for many months, and the branches are covered with a thick layer of ripe fruit.
But to enjoy them, you must plant them correctly.
Step 1: Soil preparation before planting
Soil preparation before planting considerably enhances the performance of your apple tree and promotes healthy new growth. Having your apple soil pH tested before and after planting is a good idea to determine if it is deficient in any critical minerals and nutrients. You may check your apple soil’s pH and moisture content with one of our digital soil meters.
A well-drained, apple loam soil with a depth of 45 cm and a pH range of 5.5-6.5 is ideal for apple cultivation. There should be no hard substrata or waterlogged soil. It is best to avoid soils with thick clay or dense subsoil.
Samples of soil may be collected in various ways depending on where you are. Follow the instructions on the websites that best suit your needs.
You can tell how deep the topsoil is by taking a soil sample and whether there are any complex layers preventing water, air, and roots from getting further down into the soil. Acidic soil may include other nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium, inaccessible to roots. Acidic soil may also include phosphorus and sulfur. Still, these elements react with the aluminium to generate aluminium phosphate and aluminium sulphate compounds; neither can be absorbed by plants’ root systems.
Step 2: Best Time For Preparing The Soil
Soil is really important, and when it comes to planting Kei Apples, it’s also the same. One key ingredient you need for preparing a good soil is organic mulch. The more organic mulch that you can get into the ground the better. With this, you can increase your chances of harvest up to tenfold. You just mix the mulch into the soil. Aim for a 50/50 measurement. You then add a slow release fertilizer in just the right amount, not too much and not too little. Make sure the soil is just a little on the damp side and you don’t get dust blowing anywhere.
Here are common soil amendments for apple trees:
- garden lime (if native soil pH is too low/acid)
- sphagnum/peat moss (if native soil pH is too high/alkaline)
- organic mulch
Through this method, you’ll definitely get the best soil pH for apple trees as well!
Step 3: Planting
Cross-pollination is necessary for apple trees. Planting an apple tree with a different variety that blooms simultaneously is recommended if you can get it within 2,000 feet. For bees to cross-pollinate, the flowers must be of the same or highly close hue to each other.
Apple trees flourish in soil well-drained and fertile soil and get whole light. At least six to eight hours of direct sunshine are required for healthy plants to thrive in full sun during the growing season.
Dig a 22-foot deep hole twice as wide as the root system. Refill the hole with part of the loose dirt and loosen the soil around the planting hole to provide room for roots to develop. Make sure the apple tree roots are not crowded or twisted before planting them.
The graft union must be at least two inches above the soil line for the scion to not develop roots. When the scion is joined to the rootstock, the graft union will be swollen at this point. The roots should be replaced with new soil that has been compacted to remove air pockets. The roots may be “burned” if you apply fertiliser to the soil at the beginning of the growing season.
Spring is the optimum season to establish apple trees in frigid northern climes. Planting in the early spring or late autumn is suggested in locations with milder winters.
The weight of a big harvest might easily cause a dwarf apple tree to fall over, so be careful to provide it with some support. Trees may be grown against a fence or on a trellis.
Step 4: Caring Kei Apple Fence Plant
Apples such as Kei prefer whole light, and they can withstand cold and drought. It thrives in various soils, even salty ones, although it favours a climate with good drainage. Horticultural oils applied at the start of the growing season may help smother them for aphids and mite eggs that have overwintered.
Branches with disease or dead wood should be removed, as should any dried apples, leaves, or other plant debris that may HD around the trees.
Insect and disease management, adequate fertilisation, and annual pruning may keep this tree in your yard for years to come. Antifungal sprays are crucial for preventing illness in the spring and summer and ensuring high-quality fruit.
Additional water from an irrigation ditch or a well must be supplied to apples throughout the growing season since they demand roughly 20 inches (1.7 ac-ft) of water. The frequency and amount of watering that trees get are also critical to their health.
What does a kei apple look like?
Kei apples are spherical to oblate, curving fruits measuring between 2 and 5 centimetres. The skin is silky, semi-tough, and ripens from green to yellow-orange as it matures.
Two rings of oval seeds may be present in the flesh’s core, and each fruit contains five to fifteen seeds.
Can you eat a kei apple?
The fruit of the Kei apple is edible and has a feel similar to an apricot. The Kei apple is best served split in half and dusted with confectioners’ sugar if you can stomach the acidity. Fruit salads, jams, pastries, juice and fruit beverages benefit from inclusion.
Does the kei apple tree have flowers?
Unlike other species, the tree’s flowers are bisexual. They lack petals and are borne in tiny clusters along the stems. They have green sepals and numerous yellow stamens. The fruit is round with a slightly flattened apex, 3/4 to 1 inch (2-2.5 cm) broad, smooth, brilliant red, and thin skin.
The fertiliser may be accessed only after the roots penetrate deeper into the soil. Occasionally, you’ll get a spectacular bloom. We just have to make sure everything runs well for two to three years.
When your seedlings have at least two real leaves, transfer them into little pots. They’ll increase for the first two to three years and produce beautiful, rich green leaves.
Sow your seeds now to enjoy their flowers later on.
Best of Luck!!