10 Nov Solaxe system: proper spaces for good quality apple growing
A few days before harvest we visited Giaccone farm in Monestirolo, near the city of Ferrara in northern Italy. This Fuji apple orchard was planted in 2012 and is covered by anti-hail net, using 8,5 x 8,5 poles planted 1 m deep into the ground at 10 m distance between one another. Michele Mariani is an agronomist working for Alimenta, and accompanied us to visit the orchard.
Solaxe centrifugal training
The Solaxe centrifugal training system has been chosen for this type of apple orchard. It is a French training system that allows the trees to grow without excessive pruning during the early years. The branches are bended horizontally so that the fruits are carried outward thereby increasing the amount of sunlight they receive. Distance between trees is 1,5 m while distance between rows is 4,5 m.
Anti-hail net: which is the right choice?
In this area of Emilia Romagna it is impossible to have orchards without anti-hail cover (as we have recently shown writing about the big storm in Finale Emilia). And yet this is not simply all about hail protection. According to recent research conducted by Mela Più Consortium in cooperation with Patfrut the net color is equally important for harvest fruit quality. Gray net in this area offers the best results as far as the fruit skin color and softness.