Growing your own food is a spreading trend in home gardens, because it is the only way to be sure you know exactly what you are eating. It is also easy, a lot of fun and you will be amazed at how much you can harvest from a small area. Fruit is a particular favorite, because just about the only way you can get tree-ripened fruit is to grow it yourself. Apples are especially popular, since everyone loves them, they are so versatile, both fresh and for baking and they store for a long time. They are one of the easiest fruits to grow just about anywhere.
There are a few problems with apple growing, so we decided to tackle them and find the ideal apple for the smaller garden, which would not need spraying with chemicals, would be easy to harvest and would store well. We found it in the variety that has taken the apple world by storm – the Luna Semi-dwarf Apple Tree – a newer variety that is being widely planted in home gardens and commercial orchards, because it really ticks all the boxes. We had it grown on special roots that would prevent it growing to full-size, since a mature apple tree can be too big for today’s smaller gardens. Our trees grow just 10 feet tall, as a broad, rounded bush, disease-resistant and carrying a bumper crop of an improved form of the popular Golden Delicious apple.
Your Luna apple will start to produce fruit a year or two after you plant it, and will give you bumper harvests every year. The fruit is crisp and crunchy, with a good balance of sweetness and acidity that will appeal to everyone. The color is light green to yellow, often with a red or pink blush. It is a great apple to eat from the hand, as well as a perfect choice for pies, baking, and apple-sauce. Fruit will begin to ripen in early October, but it will remain on the tree, ready to pick, until the end of November, so no rush to get the harvest in. Stored in a cool place this apple keeps so well you will still be eating fresh apples in April. That is 6 months of your own fruit!
The next big plus is size. We asked our growers to use a special root-system that controls the growth of the tree and produces a semi-dwarf apple tree just 10 feet tall. Semi-dwarf is the ideal size for a family tree, since you will harvest a large crop without sacrificing a lot of garden space.
Where the Luna apple really wins is in disease resistance. This apple is completely resistant to apple scab, a disease that will weaken your tree and damage the fruit. It is also largely resistant to powdery mildew, another important disease that will hurt your tree. As well it is resistant to bitter pit, a disease you now won’t have to worry about. For this reason complex spraying, and even any spraying at all, is not necessary, so your apples will be organic and healthy to eat, for you and your children.
Plant your Luna apple tree in a sunny location, in almost any kind of soil that is well-drained. Do not plant in a hollow or low-spot, where drainage is often poor and where a late frost can sometimes damage the flowers. Prune your tree using the ‘central leader’ system, which is best suited to semi-dwarf trees. If you do not have any other apples trees, including crab-apples, in your neighborhood, plant a second, different variety, such as one of our new dwarf Urban Apple Trees, to get the largest crop. An ornamental apple, like the Oregon Crabapple, is also a great choice and will bring beautiful blooms into your garden as well.
The Luna apple was specially bred by Dr. Jaroslav Tupy, head of the Institute of Experimental Botany, Prague, in the Czech Republic. It is the result of years of extensive breeding to produce a new-generation of apples that overcome all the old problems with growing apples at home. Luna is related to the Golden Delicious apple, perhaps the most popular and versatile apple available, but is far superior because of its enhanced disease resistance. This tree cannot be grown from seed, so beware of cheaper seedling trees that will have none of the qualities of this amazing tree.
The Luna Semi-dwarf Apple Tree has only recently been made available to home gardeners, so supplies are limited as nurseries try to keep up with the high demand. We regularly receive fresh stock, but our supplies are limited, so order now to have the chance to grow this terrific variety – you will not be disappointed.