Chilling requirements of most apple varieties are between 600 – 1000 hrs below 7 degree centigrade. Varieties like golden Dorset, Gordon beauty, Anna, Ein shimmer valed, neomi can be successfully grown in the areas which get as low as chilling hours up to 300. Areas of Mahore Reasi, arnas and pouni block which r situated just on foot hills or on mild hills are suitable for these varieties. I hope our university and KVKS will just start trails as soon as possible and come out with results. Himachal is slowly shifting either to vegetable production or to low chilling cultivars of apple. There r about 8000 varieties of apple and every year new ones r joining the list. Some require as low up to 70 days to mature and some about 180 days similarly taste and shape wise also there is lot to chose. Farmers should consult horticulture development officers of their area whenever they plan to plant a orchard. Dec to march during dormancy is the ideal time to plant apple orchard. Area should receive full sun and soil should have good drainage. Plant bare rooted plants as soon as possible after receiving them from the nursery. Never ever let the roots dry out. The roots r sensitive and must be kept moist and protected from harsh temperatures. Keep the planted trees well watered and well fertilized. Water stress during early years can lead to stunted growth and weak plants prone to disease and pest attack mostly canker and boring insects. For more information regarding apple orchards contact ur nearest horticulture development officer of your area.
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