Suggested Apple Varieties for Home Gardens in Iowa

News Article

Home gardeners can successfully grow apples in most areas of Iowa. However, before selecting and planting apple trees, gardeners should carefully consider the time and money required to produce high quality fruit. For many individuals, commercial apple orchards may be the best source of fresh, high quality apples.

There are dozens of apple varieties available to dedicated home gardeners. Gardeners should base their selection on the variety's adaptability (hardiness), fruit and storage qualities and intended use of the fruit. Suggested apple varieties for home gardens in Iowa are presented below. (Since most apple varieties are self-infertile, plant at least two different apple varieties to provide for cross-pollination and fruit set.)

Variety Adaptability to Iowa* Maturity Remarks
Earliblaze N,C,S Mid to late August Red fruit, fresh and cooking are principle uses, short storage life; prone to alternate bearing.
State Fair N,C,S Mid to late August Red fruit, fresh and cooking, short storage life; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
Summer Treat N,C,S Mid to late August Red fruit, fresh and cooking, short storage life.
Wealthy N,C,S Late August to early September Yellow fruit striped with red, cooking and fresh, short storage life.
Gala C,S Late August to early September Orange red fruit, sweet early-season apple, fresh and cooking; originated in New Zealand.
McIntosh N,C,S Early to mid September Red fruit, fresh and cooking, susceptible to apple scab; fruit have a tendency to drop before mature.
Cortland N,C,S Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking, flesh is slow to darken when cut, susceptible to apple scab.
Freedom N,C,S Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking, immune to apple scab.
Honeygold N Mid to late September Yellow fruit, fresh and cooking; hardy substitute for Golden Delicious in northern Iowa; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
Jonafree N,C,S Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking, immune to apple scab.
Jonathan N,C,S Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking; popular variety for many years.
Haralson N,C Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking, extremely hardy; developed by the University of Minnesota.
Jonalicious N,C,S Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking, resistant to apple scab.
Spartan N,C,S Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking.
Sweet Sixteen N,C,S Mid to late September Red fruit, fresh and cooking, very good flavor.
Empire N,C,S Late September to early October Red fruit, fresh and cooking.
Honeycrisp N,C,S Late September to early October Red fruit, fresh and cooking, hardy variety.
Liberty N,C,S Late September to early October Red fruit, fresh and cooking, immune to apple scab.
Red Delicious N,C,S Late September to early October Red fruit, fresh, not a good cooking apple, excellent keeper; most widely grown apple in the U.S.; originated as a chance seedling on the farm of Jesse Hiatt in Peru, Iowa.
Golden Delicious C,S Late September to early October Yellow fruit, fresh and cooking, excellent all-purpose apple, flesh is slow to darken when cut; self-fruitful.
Jonagold S Late September to early October Yellow fruit, fresh and cooking; produces sterile pollen -- plant Jonagold and 2 additional varieties to insure pollination; relatively large trees.
Blushing Golden S Early to mid October Yellow fruit, fresh and cooking.
Regent N,C,S Early to mid October Red fruit, fresh and cooking.
Keepsake N,C,S Mid to late October Red fruit, fresh and cooking, long storage life.
Mutsu S Mid to late October Yellow-green fruit, fresh and cooking; produces sterile pollen -- plant Mutsu and 2 additional varieties to insure pollination; relatively large trees; developed in Japan and introduced into the U.S. in 1948.

*Best adapted to northern (N), central (C), or southern (S) Iowa.

This article originally appeared in the April 8, 1992 issue, pp. 1992 issue, pp. 47-49.

Category: