By Picking Season
Early-season apples, commonly known as summer apples, are apples that are ready to be harvested throughout July and August. They aren’t nearly as common as mid- or late-season varieties. That doesn’t mean you should overlook them, though—there are some delicious ones out there! And since they don’t do well in storage, they’re ideal for picking and eating right off of your very own tree while they’re at their freshest. Below are our available early-season varieties.
Malus domestica ‘Gravenstein’
Gravenstein hails from Europe. While it is not nearly as popular as varieties such as Cortland and McIntosh, it is an extremely versatile apple. It’s also extremely flavorful as far as early-season apples go (they’re typically extremely tart!) and it has an attractive streaked exterior. It’s hardiest in zones 4 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘Pristine’
Pristine is a lovely yellow apple with a refreshing flavor. As is the case with most summer apples, it is more tart than apples that are harvested in the fall, but it’s still wonderfully flavorful for fresh eating! It is hardiest in zones 5 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘Minnewasheta’
Get a jumpstart on harvesting with Zestar!®, also known as “Minnewasheta.” Flavor-wise, this relatively new variety is perfectly balanced; it’s both sweet and tart with just a hint of brown sugar. As a bonus, it has an irresistable crunch! It’s hardy in zones 4 to 8.
Mid-season apples are ready to be harvested in the middle of August, typically until the middle of October. These apples, often called fall apples, are the most common and include favorites like Gala and Cortland. They are sweeter than summer apples and they perfectly complement fall with their rich red hues!
Malus domestica ‘Cortland’
Cortland is a timeless favorite. Its white flesh is incredibly crisp with a slight tartness to it. While it’s great for eating right off of the tree, it’s also one of the most popular baking apples of all time! It’s hardy in zones 4 to 7.
Malus domestica ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’
Cox’s Orange Pippin is a cherished British variety with a lovely, colorful exterior. Its flavor is described as a combination of mango and orange. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘Gala’
Gala is one of America’s favorite apples, and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s sweet and fragrant, and it’s perfect as a healthy snack. To top it all off, it makes a delicious applesauce! Like many other varieties, Gala is hardy in zones 4 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘Liberty’
As far as apples go, Liberty is a no-brainer. This variety has been specifically bred to be disease-resistant, making it perfect for your garden at home. Plant Liberty in zones 5 to 9 to keep it happy!
Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’
Honeycrisp is like no other apple you’ve ever tasted before. It’s just that good! Incredibly sweet and juicy, this fall favorite has grown in popularity over the years, nearly achieving cult status. It’s a little hardier and can be planted in zones 3 to 7.
Malus domestica ‘Macoun’
Macoun is a fall favorite in New England. It is both sweet and tart, with notes of berry and spice coming through. It’s loved in pies and right off the tree! Plant Macoun in zones 4 to 8 for best results.
Malus domestica ‘Golden Delicious’
Golden Delicious is a dependable pollinator for dozens of other varieties. Additionally, it’s a supermarket classic. It stands out because of its lovely golden exterior and it has led to the production of other much-loved varieties, such as the Honeygold. Golden Delicious is hardy in zones 4 to 9.
Malus domestica ‘Golden Sentinel’
Golden Sentinel is a columnar apple tree, staying conveniently neat and compact in your landscape. It produces large golden fruits that closely resemble Golden Delicious. It is hardiest in zones 4 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘McIntosh’
McIntosh is another of the great American apples. In fact, Apple employee Jef Raskin named the well-known Macintosh brand of computers after his favorite apple—the McIntosh. This apple variety is hardy in zones 4 to 7.
Malus domestica ‘Red Delicious’
Red Delicious just might be the most popular apple in American history. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s attractive and sweet, and it’s easy to grow. It’s also decently resistant to disease. This apple enjoys warmth and it is hardiest in zones 5 to 9.
Malus domestica ‘Scarlet Sentinel’
As is its partner, the Golden Sentinel, Scarlet Sentinel is a columnar apple tree. As the name suggests, it produces bright red fruits that look extremely attractive on its proper and tidy-looking form. Plant it in zones 4 to 8 and consider pairing it with Golden Sentinel for a good fruit yield!
These apples are also categorized as fall apples, but they are not ready to be harvested until the end of October through the middle of November. As with summer apples, there are few varieties here, but you shouldn’t overlook them! Each one brings something wonderful to your home garden.
Malus domestica ‘Arkansas Black’
As its name might suggest, Arkansas Black is known for its deep purple coloring, giving it more of a plum-like appearance. It’s believed to be a descendant of the well-known Winesap variety. Grow Arkansas Black in zones 5 to 9.
Malus domestica ‘Fuji’
Fuji is most popular in Asia, though it’s finally gaining a foothold in the US. It is a bright, lightly speckled red with dull white flesh and it is refreshingly sweet. If you’re in zones 5 to 9, Fuji will do quite well for you!
Malus domestica ‘Mutsu’
Mutsu looks and sounds exotic, but it’s descended from our very own Golden Delicious! Also known as Crispin, this zesty dessert apple is perfect in ciders and pies. It’s revered in Japan, and we see why! Mutsu is hardy in zones 4 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘Empire’
Empire is a perfect choice for beginners. It’s flavorful, versatile, and it stores well in your fridge. It’s also pleasantly juicy with just the right amount of crispness. Empire does well in zones 4 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’
Ashmead’s Kernel is a strange apple all around. It’s an odd dull yellow-brown with uneven shaping, and even its flavoring is unusual. But don’t let any of this deter you—it’s one of a kind! Plant it in zones 4 to 9.
Malus domestica ‘Braeburn’
Braeburn is another popular supermarket variety. To truly enjoy it, though, you won’t want to get it from the supermarket—you’ll want to grow your own. This way, you can let Braeburn ripen a bit more to allow the flavor to fully develop. Plant it in zones 4 to 8.
Malus domestica ‘Granny Smith’
The bright green Granny Smith is known for being tart, although it makes a fantastic pie. If left to ripen a bit longer, the green exterior actually turns more of a yellow, and the flavor naturally sweetens. Plant Granny Smith in zones 6 to 9, as it likes to stay warm!
Malus domestica ‘Rubinette’
Rubinette is a fine apple, descended from Cox’s Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious. It’s every bit as visually appealing as it is flavorful! It is hardy in zones 4 to 9.