Apple Farming is an All-Year Event


Apple Farming is an All-Year Event

Apple Farming is an All-Year Event

Just because it’s the offseason at Tanners Orchard doesn’t mean our farmers aren’t already hard at work preparing for next season! After all, growing the apples that go into your cider, donuts, and mouths doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a year-long affair, where great care goes into maintaining apple trees throughout the seasons. Once the prime growing season returns, Tanners Orchard will be geared up and ready for another wonderful fall season! To give you an idea of the work that goes into apple growing, here’s what happens on Tanner’s farm in every season, all the way to when we open:

Winter Pruning

As the Tanners Orchard season comes to a close and winter sets in, there isn’t immediately much we can do for our orchard. However, the winter provides an excellent opportunity for our farm crew to go out and do some cleaning up and pruning, best done while apple trees are dormant. We usually wait until February or March to begin pruning. Pruning is necessary for apple tree care, ensuring next year’s crop grows healthy and strong! By pruning our apple trees, we eliminate dead branches and potential wood rot. Furthermore, pruning helps stimulate trees as they wake up, contributing to more vigorous bud growth.

Farmer spraying apple trees to protect from disease during the off-season

Spring Budding

With the ground thawing, birds chirping, and new growth taking root, the budding season begins for our apple trees. Usually, by mid-April or mid-May, you can expect flowers to bloom on our apple trees; it’s a beautiful sight to behold! However, once budding begins, Tanners Orchard’s work continues. As this is an incredibly susceptible time for apple trees to become damaged due to frost or disease, keeping trees healthy is our top priority. In doing so, we feed fertilizers rich in nutrients to our trees. Additionally, before buds officially bloom, we apply pesticides and protections to our trees to ward off potential diseases.

Summer Care

After apple trees have wholly entered their growth cycles, maintenance and care are needed in the summer. Watering, mulching, fertilizing, weeding, and pruning are all done from June to September, helping maintain the health of trees while encouraging growth of the biggest, juiciest apples. Then, it’s a matter of keeping an eye on our trees’ condition. We are also focused on cleaning up and maintaining the area around trees. Harvest season is made easier by weeding and thinning out any undergrowth, as is apple picking for our guests come opening time!

Fall Harvest

Once the end of July hits, the apples on trees have nearly grown to full size, and harvest preparations are ready. As Tanners Orchard regulars likely already know, this harvesting season will last until the end of October and into the beginning of November. While Tanners Orchard will harvest plenty of these apples ourselves to use in our apple cider and apple cider donuts, we leave the remaining harvest and picking up to our guests! It’s the time of year everyone waits for and is the most rewarding and satisfying aspect of managing an apple orchard. More than growing delicious apples, we create beautiful memories for families, couples, and children of all ages.

Farmer picking apples during harvest season

We Already Can’t Wait!

If you’re reading the blog close to its time of posting, the crew at Tanners Orchard is gearing up to start initial winter maintenance for our trees. However, even as early in the year as it is, we can hardly wait for what next season will bring! Keep your eyes and ears on the Tanners Orchard website for updates on opening day, upcoming events, and fun products and offerings we’re bringing to the orchard. For additional questions, you can always reach out to Tanners Orchard directly by calling 309-493-5442.