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Planting Apples for Pig and Cow forage

 
Vickie Hinkley
Posts: 52
Location: Toledo, WA
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Has anyone had success planting whole apples? I don't care about varieties, they are just for fodder.

I have half a tote left of gleaned "wild" apples that the cows and pigs loved. I was thinking of planting whole apples in beds on contour.

I was reading about chestnut Direct Seeding - wondering if this would work:
http://acffarms.org/papers/Growing%20Chestnut%20from%20Seed%20-%20Long%20Instructions.pdf

I've also thought of just broadcasting in the wood lot - but I think the cows and pigs have already been "seeding" those for me. But 99% of those I wouldn't find or be able to protect from browsing. The pigs are gone for the fall, so I just need to keep the cows and deer off the beds...

Thanks
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Gleaned Apples
 
Mountain Krauss
Posts: 130
Location: Northern California
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I just planted a bunch of whole apples a few days ago, right before the first good rain of the season. Have no idea if it will be successful. Even in the worst-case scenario where no trees take root, you're still feeding organic matter to the soil.
 
Vickie Hinkley
Posts: 52
Location: Toledo, WA
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Thanks. How did you plant? 4" down, cover and stomp? Did you bother with rodent guard - I'm not so inclined...
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 365
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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Cows and pigs do love apples! They also think baby apple trees are pretty tasty.

For growing in the pasture for self harvest, you really need to protect young trees for 6' in height or so around cattle. An established tree should be able to provide a nice supply of apples.

A few considerations:
- plant these out of the way - in corners and along fencelines usually help.
- plant a good seasonal mix - it's hardest to find a good early apple, so you might seek out a yellow transparent or Dolgo crab for an early drop.
- Prefer the smaller and softer apples, since cattle can choke on the fruit - they are not great at chewing (not an issue for pigs..)

Consider some plums in the same way: faster growing trees with heavy fruit load and no risk of choking death -- also better for growing in those soggy wet areas we seem to have in abundance in the Northwest...

 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Nice apples! They look good enough for sauce or certainly cider.
If you made cider you could plant the leftovers.
I wonder if I could find a local mill...
 
Mountain Krauss
Posts: 130
Location: Northern California
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Vickie, I was pretty haphazard about it. Planted along a fence line where a lot of mulch-y material accumulates from chickens scratching a nearby compost pile. We get volunteers along the fence anyway (mostly tomatoes and squash), so I thought it might be a good place for germination.

Just dug out a divot a few inches deep, dropped an apple in it, covered with an inch or so (so the seeds ended up 2-4" deep), and repeated every foot or so. They're on the other side if the fence, so our chickens and goats won't disturb them, but squirrels or other rodents might. We shall see.
 
Vickie Hinkley
Posts: 52
Location: Toledo, WA
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Thanks Mountain Krauss. Gonna give it a go
 
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