All round the country the woodland folk are emerging from their summer labours to come together to celebrate Apple Day.
Apple tasting, cider making, juicing and pruning lessons are usually on offer, as well as traditional crafts, games, Morris dancing or similar entertainment.
Our local event is at Acorn Bank, a National Trust property near Penrith. It is always a popular day with locals and visitors alike. They have a fantastic orchard there with many local varieties and some experts on hand to identify apples.
Planting an apple tree in your garden is a great investment as there is nothing like eating the fresh fruit straight from the tree. Do your homework on varieties that may suit your soil and position (a sunny sheltered site is ideal) and if you want one for eating or cooking. Buy only named cultivars and check the size of rootstock (how big do you want your tree to grow). If in doubt ask an expert!
When planting, dig a hole just slightly deeper than the roots, but up to three times the diameter. Before planting place a wooden stake into the side of the hole on the side of the prevailing wind, to enable you to stabilise the tree with a tie (so the tree blows away from the stake)
Mix the soil with Lakeland Gold – about 50:50 – and place a little in the base of the hole before carefully putting in the tree. Refill with the Lakeland Gold mix, ensuring all the little pockets of air around the roots are filled. Firm the soil gently around the base and put a flexible tree tie onto the stake. Water well.