Red delicious apples. The crisp and juicy apple has a waxy red skin with pure white sweet flesh are good for eating.
Global seeds dealer, Seedman Company Ltd is selling the latest TRM653 red delicious apple variety which requires 800 chilling hours to germinate. It is also a good pollinator for almost all other types of apples.
According to Seedman its distinctive, delicious flavor makes it a best seller at world-wide markets.
This hardy deciduous temperate fruit tree has potential to grow in high altitude areas in Kenya where the temperatures are low enough to break dormancy.
Farmers stand at a better chance of making profit given the domestic demand for apples remains high all time with the rise of the fruit consumers in all corners of the country.
Generally Apples require a day temperatures of above 18°C and night temperatures of above 13°C to break dormancy. However, optimum night and day temperatures of about 6-8°C will enable complete bud breaking.
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But for areas where these conditions cannot be achieved agro experts advice that chemicals like winter tar oil (Tropical mortegg) and Thio Urea (NH3)₂ can be applied to help break seed dormancy.
Red apples need sandy soil with a PH of 5.5, rainfall of 1000-1800mm of rainfall per year and altitudes of 1800-2800m above sea level. Anyway these type of apples can do well in different soil types as long as the soil is deep, fertile, properly aerated and well drained.
Farmers from these areas in Kenya can afford to grow red apples: Trans Nzoia District particularly Endebbes, Kipipiri and Kinangop in Nyandarua District, Timboroa in Uasin Gishu District, Molo and Naivasha in Nakuru District. It can also do well in Kiambu, Murang’a, Taita Taveta and Meru.
These apples can yield up to 20Kg/year at the age of 7 years. Production can thereafter continue for 20 years after which yields may start declining.
Ten seeds of red apples costs $2.75 equivalent to about Sh300 and orders can be made through www.seedman.com.