Find a local pick your own farm here!

Are you trying to choose the right variety of apple for your needs? There are many to choose from. There are heirloom varieties that have been around for hundreds of years and apple growers are constantly creating new varieties to meet consumer tastes and 2024 is no exception. Scroll down this page for a table of dozens of apple varieties includingphotos and their characteristics and best uses. This page has tips about harvesting and storing apples. And if you bring home some apples and want to make applesauce, apple butter,apple juice, apple pie, apple cobbler, apple crisp, even apple cider, just click the links for each to follow directions and recipes or see this page see this page for a master list of simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, such as this list of local regional and apple festivals - click on the resources dropdown above.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know!

What's in season in May 2024, and other timely information:

Notes for May 2024: Spring is here! Strawberry season is here.  It started in February in Florida, Texas, southern California and a few other areas of the Deep South; then March along the Gulf coast, April in the Deep South and west coast, May through much of the country, and June in northern areas. Blueberries are next, about a month later. Of course, cool weather crops, like Rhubarb, asparagus and greens should be available almost everywhere. Check your area's crop calendar (see this page) and call your local farms for seasonal updates.

Are carpenter bees boring holes into your house, shed or barn? There is a simple non-toxic solution!

You may also be interested in finding a local:

We also have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! It is easy to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page.

NEW! Start your own tomato, pepper, squash and other vegetable plants from seed - It's easy and costs about 50 cents per plant.
Also see our Master list of tomato varieties,  with descriptions, details and links to ordering the seedss.

Also note, there are many copycat website listing U-pick farms now.  They have all copied their information from here and usually do not ever update.  Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas; so if you see anything wrong or outdated, please write me!

Apple Varieties Guide by Harvest Date - Which Apple to Pick and Why!

2024 looks to have apples ripening on their normal schedule. There have been few late frosts in the main apple growing regions, rain and temperatures have been good, so the year is shaping up well for a good apple crop. It's too early for prices, but I expect most areas to see $14 to $30 a bushel, depending on variety! Scroll down the page to see the chart, or click here for a PDF print version. And for an explanation of why apple slices turn brown and how to stop it, see this page! To see how to properly store apples for the winter, see this page!

Varieties which are exceptional for a trait are noted in the chart below (Best, very good, etc.). Varieties which are at least good and well-suited have an "X" in a column. A blank box simply means that they are average for the quality. Ultimately, it is personal preference and cultural traditions. that often determines which varieties of apples are used for which purpose. That said, sweeter and softer apples make the best applesauce (like Gala), harder, drier apples are often used for baking and storing (like Rome and Arkansas Black), and tarter, more crisp and juicier apples are often eaten fresh (like Honeycrisp). Finally, if you have an apple tree and want to know what variety it is, see this page.

Apple Varieties Guide by Harvest Date - Which Apple to Pick and Why!

If you would like to print a clean PDF version of this table, click here.

(Sorted by typical ripening date - see this page for sorted alphabetically on variety name)

Name Ripening Date
Dates are approximate and vary CONSIDERABLY with weather, location and more!
Eating fresh Cooking Apple Sauce Apple Pie Apple Juice Apple
Butter
Storage

Bevan's FavoriteBevan's Favorite

early July X

Pristine applePristine

early July X X Must Refrigerate Very sweet, juicy, does not store well, bruises easily (like Gala)
William's Pride appleWilliam's Pride early July X X
Lodi apple Lodi
(aka, Yellow Transparent)
early July, even June some years X GOOD Must Refrigerate
Zestar apple
Zestar
mid-July to mid-August

X

X

X

X

X

X

Should Refrigerate
Gala appleGala late July to early September Very
good
X BEST X X X Must refrigerate; even then only keeps for a few weeks. But they are VERY sweet and flavorful, so if you are going to use it right away or make applesauce, it is excellent.
Ginger Gold apple Ginger Gold early August to early September Very
good
X Very
good
X X
RedfreeRedfree Late July

X

X

Mollies_delicious appleMollies Delicious
August
X Must Refrigerate
Gravenstein appleGravenstein August

X

X

Very
good

X

X

X

Should Refrigerate

Ozark goldOzark Gold Early August   X          
Grimes Golden appleGrimes Golden August X X X
Jersey Mac apple Jersey Mac August X X OK
Earligold apple Earligold
August X X X X Must Refrigerate
Detroit red appleDetroit Red early , August into September X X         Heirloom brought from France by settlers in the Detroit area, but then later planted by Thomas Jefferson, using grafted trees of Detroit Red in the nursery at Monticello in 1805.
http://www.andersonorchards.com/images/apples/akane_small.jpg Akane August X
summer banana appleSummer banana August X X
Pau;a Red applePaulaRed mid August to early September X X X X X
SweeTango appleSweeTango mid August to early September X X X X

Empire

mid-August through September

X

X

X

X

A McIntosh type apple with a long shelf life. Aromatic and crisp with creamy white juicy flesh, sweet and tart

McIntosh appleMcIntosh

September X good X X
Honeycrisp September Very
good
X good, but watery X BEST X
Virginia Gold appleVirginia Gold September

X

X

Jonathon_appleJonathan mid to late September X X Very
good
X X X
golden_delicious_appleGolden Delicious mid to late September X X Very
good
X X X Should Refrigerate
Ultra GoldUltra Gold mid to late September
X X X X X X
cortland_appleCortland mid to late September
X X X X X
JonaliciousJonalicious mid to late September
X X Very
good
X X X Must Refrigerate
Jonamac appleJonamac mid to late September X Very
good
X
ambrosia appleAmbrosia mid to late September X X good X X X Should Refrigerate
red_delicious_appleRed Delicious mid to late September
X good X Red Delicious is one of the older apple varieties, discovered as a natural variant in Peru, Iowa in 1880. It does not generally store well. Unfortunately, it has been modified and bred to the point that most people find it rather tasteless. There are at least 30 variants of Red Delicious now and you never know which one you are getting. Yellow Delicious is better, as as JonaGold, Cameo and most other apples.
Envy appleEnvy September  X X Very good X X X Envy apples are closely-related to Jazz, both are crosses between Gala and Braeburn, a trademarked variety of the Scilate apple. This is a new variety known for their crisp texture, sweetness, and balanced flavor. They are slightly larger than most apples, with a round shape, red skin and creamy yellow flesh. In 2024, they are grown in Washington state, New Zealand, and Chile.
Jonagold_appleJonagold mid to late September X Very
good
X Really good all-around apple.
Snowsweet appleSnowsweet Late September, 2 weeks after HoneyCrisp

X

X

X

X

X

Good
JubiuleeJubilee mid September to early October
X X X X
Mutsu, aka Crispin apple Mutsu, also called Crispin Late September to early October
X X Very
good
X X It's a good, sweet apple, like a Yellow Delicious, but stores better.
keepsake appleKeepsake Late September to early October
X X X
Northern Spy appleNorthern Spy Late September to early October X X Very good for storing
ShizukaShizuka Late September to early October
X X X X X X
Wild crisp appleWild Crisp October

Very
good

X

good, but watery

X

BEST

X

 Cross between Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (AKA Pink Lady)Juicy, sweet, crisp, great for fresh eating or all-purpose, applesauce or in a fruit salad
Braeburn early to Mid October X X X X
Cameo early to Mid October Very
good
X Very
good
X X
Rome early to Mid October X X
Sundance appleSundance early to Mid October X X X X
Blushing Golden appleBlushing Golden early to Mid October X X X X X
stayman_apple Stayman late September Very
good
X Very
good
X
Enterprise appleEnterprise early to Mid October X X
Jazz appleJazz early to Mid October X X Very
good
X X X
melrose_appleMelrose early to Mid October X X Very
good
X X X

StaymanStayman Winesap

mid to late October

Very
good
X Very
good
X
grannysmith_appleGranny Smith mid to late October X X X
Macoun appleMacoun mid to late October X X
Liberty appleLiberty mid to late October X X
Pink Lady applePink Lady mid to late October X X good X X X
Suncrisp appleSuncrisp mid to late October X X X X X
Evercrisp appleEvercrisp mid October until frost (November)

Very
good

X

Very
Good

X

BEST

X

Excellent storage due to it's parents (Fuji and Honeycrisp)
Yates appleYates mid to late October X X X X Stores very well
Autumn crispAutumn Crisp mid to late October X X X X
fuji_appleFuji mid to late October Very
good
X BEST X X Great keeper; stores well in garage or basement
Black Twig apple Black Twig mid to late October X X X X X X
Arkansas Black mid to late October Baking too hard Great keeper

Of course, each region of the country and each season varies. Variations in rainfall and temperature greatly affect the usual ripening date. So call ahead!

Click here for detailed descriptions of each apple variety with detailed characteristics

Click here for a PDF print version of the following list. And for the following list on a page by itself, click here.


English Apple Varieties

These links take you to photos on GardenAction.co.uk

More about apple varieties can be found:

University of Illinois Apple page

More Apple Varieties

Apple photos and brief descriptions

Credits:

photos:
Jonamac, Macoun, PaulaRed: Courtesy of New York Apple Association, © New York Apple Association

And if you are looking for shipping containers for apples and other fruit, see this page.

Canning Books, Supplies and Accessories

These are my favorite essential canning tools, books and supplies. I've been using many of these for over 50 years of canning! The ones below on this page are just the sampling of. my preferred tools. but you can find much more detailed and extensive selections on the pages that are linked below.

The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes Paperback

This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child.; It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.

If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)The New Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving

Canning and Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward

This is another popular canning book. Click here for more information, reviews, prices for Canning and Preserving For Dummies

Of course, you do not need to buy ANY canning book as I have about 500 canning, freezing, dehydrating and more recipes all online for free, just see Easy Home Canning Directions.

Home Canning Kits

I have several canners, and my favorite is the stainless steel one at right. It is easy to clean and seems like it will last forever. Mine is 10 years old and looks like new.

The black ones are the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce.

This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, Jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer,  It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. It's only missing the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book.

You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)!

The complete list of canners is on these pages:

 

Pressure Canners

If you plan on canning non-acidic foods and low acid foods that are not pickled - this means: meats, seafood, soups, green beans corn, most vegetables, etc., then you ABSOLUTELY must use a Pressure Canner.

Of course, you can use a pressure canner as a water bath canner as well - just don't seal it up, so it does not pressurize. This means a Pressure Canner is a 2-in-1 device. With it, you can can almost ANYTHING.

There are also other supplies, accessories, tools and more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!

Basic Canning Accessories

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter - to remove lids from the pot of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lids- disposable - you may only use them once
  4. Ring - holds the lids on the jar until after the jars cool - then you remove them, save them and reuse them
  5. Canning Jar funnel - to fill the jars

Strainers

These are very useful for making sauces like applesauce, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, jellies, etc. Below are my favorites. The complete list is on these pages:

Inexpensive Old School Strainers: hand cranked Foley Food Mills

  • The hand-cranked Foley food mill (see this page or clock the ad box) has been used for well over 100 years in homes all over America (and variants around the world). It is effective and inexpensive, and ideal for small batches.  However, if you need to make many quarts, you will sure end up with tunnel carpel syndrome or some other repetitive strain injury.

Norpro 1951 Manual Food Strainer and other brand stariners, with optional motors; (almost identical to Victorio V250, Villaware and Roma models, all discontinued)

This is The next step up from the Foley food mill. First, it's far more ergonomic, and its handle is easier to use. Next, it works in continuous mode rather than batch mode. So you can do much larger volumes easily. Finally, It has an optional motor, so you can. remove the manual labor.  It also offers many different size strainers to use for different types of berries, vegetables and fruit.

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!

KitchenAid - Best Large Volume Strainers

If you're going to do large volumes of fruit or vegetables , or do it year after year, then. you really should think about getting a higher end kitchen. utility device. Kitchen aids are the cream of the crop. Once you buy one of these, you keep at the rest of your life and it gets handed down to the next generation. . My sister is using one she inherited from my mother 25 years ago, who got it in the 1940s as a wedding gift. So, although the initial cost is high, they literally last for many lifetime. So the cost on an annual basis is pretty trivial, especially when you consider the cost of therapy and treatment for. the repetitive strain injuries you will get from manual cranking day after day. Add to that of course the cost of therapy for the emotional injuries you'll get from going insane, standing there hand cranking something for hours.

KitchenAid's with a sieve/grinder (with the attachments, costs about $400, but it lasts a lifetime and is fast and easy to use - I can make 100 quart jars of applesauce per day with one of these).

FREE Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

Don't spend money on books. that you don't need to. Almost everything you can find in some book sold online or in a store is on my website here for free. Start with theEasy Home Canning Directions below. That is a master list of canning directions which are all based upon the Ball Bblue book, the National Center for Home Food Preservation and other reputable lab tested recipes. Almost every recipe I present in addition to being lab tested com. is in a step by step format with photos for each step and complete. explanations. that tell you how to do it, where to get the supplies and pretty much everything you need to know. In addition, there almost always in a PDF format so you can print them out and use them while you cook.

[ Easy Home Canning Directions]

[FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems]

[Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!]

[Free canning publications to download and print]

<