Looking for Best Apple Varieties to Grow in 2021? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above. If you are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.
Notes for November 2021: Autumn is upon us and that means you'd better hurry to get blueberries and peaches; apples are already in full swing. Some crops continue until frost, like raspberries, blackberries, figs, corn and tomatoes. Check your area's crop calendar (see this page) and call your local farms for seasonal specific updates.
See these pages to find a local Apple festival, and other festivals. We have a guide to apple varieties and a guide to peach varieties. Also recipes, canning and freezing directions for apples, blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, corn etc.
See our comprehensive list of easy home canning, jam and jelly making, 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. 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 Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas; so if you see anything wrong or outdated, please write me!
This page helps you find the right variety of apple to grow in your area. For detailed descriptions of many apple varieties that you can pick or buy at the grocery store (or grow), see this page! Also, see our pages on tips for picking apples at a farm, easy illustrated directions to make applesauce, apple butter, apple jelly and apple pie; and our list of apple festivals!
Ultimately, best best variety is the one you like to eat best, but there are some other considerations:
Know your area's Chilling hours:
Apples, like all stone fruit, require a specific duration of
cold below 40 F in order to set a good crop. Specifically,
chilling hours are the number of hours below 45F accumulated by
the tree during the winter to overcome dormancy. Knowing the
typical chill hour accumulation for your area should be one of
the primary criteria you use in choosing varieties that are
suitable to grow there. This map, from the University of
Maryland's research, gives you a good idea for your area, to
match up against the requirements of each variety of apple that
you like. Most apple varieties have a chill requirement of
about 1,000 hours or more, which is readily achieved in the
temperate apple-growing regions of the USA (which, you can see
from the map, does NOT include Florida, south Georgia and much
of the Gulf Coast areas) But you need to check your speciufic
state and area. The northern half of
Alabama, for example, can grow apples (see this page).
Apples do grow well in most areas of South America, South
Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Sorry Florida, apple
trees will grow there, but rarely produce fruit.
Some exceptions: Anna, a Golden Delicious style apple, and Ein Shemer, a yellow/green variety, developed in Isreal, both tolerate climates with only 300-400 chilling hours. Dorsett Golden, which was found in the Bahamas, needs less than 100 hours.
Apple Trees for Northern Climates (Saint Lawrence Nursery - NY)
The best list of apples, both modern and heirloom, for northern states, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, upstate New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Alaska. It is an especially good site for finding hardiness information.
Big Horse Creek Farm - Master Variety List
Descriptions of about 300 varieties from this nursery located in North Carolina. This is an excellent source for descriptions of apples suitable for the southern or Appalachian regions.
Apple Varieties for Home Production
A huge alphabetical list of varieties suitable for various regions from NaturalHub.com.
FairShare Recipe Exchange - Apple Varieties
Another alphabetical list. This one emphasizes the culinary uses of the varieties listed.
Apple Source (Descriptions of the apple varieties they sell)
Want to try some of the apples you've picked for your orchard? This site not only offers descriptions, but they also sell and ship more than 80 kinds of apples!
Tree of Antiquity
Brief descriptions of hundreds of varieties as well as information on disease-resistant varieties and a comparison (complete with pictures) of popular apples.
The many apple associations listed on this page have more facts and resources
The following varieties are consider ideal for apple cider. They are all juicy, sweet and cook readily.:
If the link for your state does not tell you enough about apples recommended for your region, use the sites above to find out more about the varieties you are considering including in your orchard.
Apple Varieties in Alabama (Alabama Cooperative Extension)
Vegetable and Fruit Varieties for Interior Alaska (U. of Alaska - Fairbanks)
Recommended Varieties for South Central Alaska (UAF)
Fruit Trees: Planting and Varieties (University of Arizona)
Fruit Trees: Introduction and Plant Climate Zones (University of Arizona)
Apple Production in the Home Garden (U. of Arkansas)
Growing Temperate Tree Fruit and Nut Crops in the Home Garden and Landscape (University of California)
Fruit Fetish (Colorado State University)
Apple disease management in Delaware
Low Chill Apple Cultivars for North and North Central Florida (IFAS Extension)
Home Garden Apples (U. of Georgia)
Apple Cultivars for East Idaho (U. of Idaho Extension)
Apples and More (U. of Illinois Extension)
Fruits and Nuts that Do Well in the Chicago Area (Bob Kurle's Fruit and Nut List)
Apple Cultivars (apple varieties) for Indiana (Purdue U.)
Apple Varieties and Their Uses (Iowa State U.)
Suggested Apple Varieties for Home Gardens in Iowa (Iowa State U.)
Fruit and Nut Cultivars (KSU Extension)
The Louisiana Home Orchard (LSU Ag Center)
Apples Grown by Hillside Orchard (Manchester, Maine)
Apple Varieties (Ricker Hill Orchards - Turner, Maine)
Apple Varieties in Maryland (Maryland Apple Promotion Board)
100 Varieties (and that is only counting apples) (U. of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard)
Apples and Crab Apples (U. of Mass.)
Apple Scion/Rootstock Selection and Planning for Michigan (MSU)
Growing apples in the home garden
Growing Apples and Pears in Minnesota Gardens (U. of Minn.)
Apples for Minnesota and Their Culinary Uses (U. of M.)
Commercial Fruit Production in Minnesota (U of M)
Apple Cultivars and their Uses (U. of Missouri)
Missouri Apple History
Fruit Tree Cultivars for Nebraska (U. Nebraska- Lincoln)
Dwarf Apple Trees for the Home Garden (University of New Hampshire)
Growing Fruit Trees (UNH)
Fruit Species and Varieties for the Home Orchard (New Mexico State University)
New York Apple Varieties and information
Apple Varieties Grown in NY State (Cornell Univ)
New York Apple Growing Information and Guidance
Producing Tree Fruit for Home Use (NCSU)
Apple Varieties and Descriptions (Big Horse Creek Farm, North Carolina)
Fruit Tree Culture and Varieties in North Dakota (NDSU)
Apple and Peach varieties for Oklahoma (Oklahoma Cooperative Extension)
Apples: A Guide to Selection and Growing in Home Orchard (Ohio State Univ.)
Growing Fruits and Nuts in the Home Orchard (Oregon State U.)
Apple cultivars (varieties)
Tree Fruit Production Guide (Penn. State U.)
Heirloom Mid-Atlantic Varieties (Pennsylvania)
Home and Garden Information Center - Apple (South Carolina - Clemson U.)
Fruit Cultivars for South Dakota (South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service)
Fruits and nuts for the TN home orchard (U. of Tennessee)
Growing Apples in Virginia (VT Virginia Cooperative Extension)
Tree Fruit in the Home Garden (Virginia Tech)
Vintage Virginia Apples
Growing Tree Fruit at Home in Eastern Washington (WSU)
Apples in Washington State (WSU)
Apple Research/Variety Trials (WSU)
Backyard Apple Production (WSU)
Apple Cultivars for Wisconsin (U. or Wisc.)
Apples of Wisconsin (Dane Co. Conservation League)
Home Canning Kits
This is 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, and the bible of canning, the Ball
Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll
never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)!
There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.
Need lids, rings and replacement jars? Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes? Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!
Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!
Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book