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 2020 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 September 2020, and other timely information:

Notes for September 2020: Summer is almost here! Strawberry season is finished in all but the far northern ands cooler areas. Blueberries, blackberries are in season in most areas, also tomatoes, peaches and most vegetables . Check your area's copy calendar (see this page) and call your local farms for seasonal updates.

Now, more than ever, going to a farm, being outside, away from crowds, getting fresh, local produce, makes more sense than ever before! It's a fun, safe and educational to pick some fresh berries, fruit and veggies and more, then come back here to learn how to freeze, can, make jam, salsa and much more! Of course, check with the farm before you go, both to check on crop availability and hours.  We also have a state-by-state guide to Farm COVID-19 requirements here.

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, using similar sounding names.  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!

Canners, both waterbath canners and pressure canners, are getting hard to find as people are doing more home canning than ever before. You can still get them online (see links at left) but prices are going up as the less expensive models are selling out.  Food dehydration is becoming a popular and inexpensive alternative; see this page about drying your own fruits and vegetables and where to get a food dryer.

Children's Consignment Sales occur in both the Spring and Fall  See our companion website to find a local community or church kid's consignment sale!

See these pages to find a local Strawberry Festival, or a Cherry or cherry blossom festival or a Blueberry festival. Some may still be held in 2020.

Apple varieties - which apple to pick and why; sorted by typical ripeneing date!

2020 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).

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

Apple Varieties Guide - Which Apple to Pick and Why!

(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

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
mid-July to mid-August 







 Should Refrigerate 

Gala appleGala late July to early September Very
X BEST X X X Must refrigerate; even then only keeps for a few weeks
Ginger Gold apple Ginger Gold   early August to early September Very
X Very
X   X  
RedfreeRedfree Late July



Mollies_delicious appleMollies Delicious
  X           Must Refrigerate
Gravenstein appleGravenstein August







 Should Refrigerate 

Grimes Golden August X X       X  
Jersey Mac apple Jersey Mac August X  X          OK 
Earligold apple Earligold
August X  X   X   X        Must Refrigerate Akane August    X           
Summer 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  
Zestar appleZestar  mid August to early September X   X X X  


mid-August through September






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
X  good, but watery X BEST X  
Virginia Gold September



Jonathon_appleJonathan mid to late September X X Very
X X X  
golden_delicious_appleGolden Delicious mid to late September X X Very
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
X X X  Must Refrigerate 
Jonamac appleJonamac mid to late September  X   Very
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  
Jonagold_appleJonagold mid to late September  X   Very
Snowsweet appleSnowsweet  Late September, 2 weeks after HoneyCrisp 








Jubilee mid September to early October
X X X X      
Mutsu Crispin Mutsu, also called Crispin   Late September to early October
X X Very
X   X  
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
Shizuka appleShizuka Late September to early October
X X X X X X  
Braeburn   early to Mid October  X X X X       
Cameo early to Mid October  Very
X Very
X    X  
Rome early to Mid October   X   X      
Sundance appleSundance early to Mid October X X     X X  
Blushing Golden early to Mid October X X   X X X  
stayman_apple Stayman   late September  Very
X Very
Enterprise appleEnterprise early to Mid October X X          
Jazz appleJazz  early to Mid October X X Very
X X X  
melrose_appleMelrose early to Mid October X X Very
X X X  

StaymanStayman Winesap

mid to late October

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







 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
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.

ambrosia appleAmbrosia

  • Sweet, crisp, aromatic flavour reminiscent of pear and low acidity.
  • Mostly red colouration, with yellow patches.
  • Flesh is cream-coloured, firm meat
  • Medium to large in size
  • Developed in British Columbia in the early 1990s.
  • Believed to be a cross of a Jonagold and Golden Delicious.
  • Ripens mid to late season

Ashmead Kernal appleAshmead Kernal

  • A small heirloom apple, covered with a thick russet, often found in Virginia, originated in England around 1700 and was brought to the United States much later.
  • Very sweet and acidic
  • Ripens from late September into October

Arkansas Black

  • A medium to large apple
  • dark purple to almost black
  • Very, very hard texture and an excellent keeper.
  • Almost too hard-textured at harvest. Best after some storage time.
  • Great for baking; and terrible for applesauce
  • A Winesap type.
  • Late season


  • good quality large red apple
  • An old variety, subject to cold injury in the winter
  • late mid-season
  • medium sweet

Blushing Golden

  • Medium-sized waxy coated modern yellow apple with a pink blush
  • Jonathan/Golden Delicious cross.
  • Firm flesh with flavor like Golden Delicious, but tarter.
  • Keeps well
  • Late season


  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Sweet
  • Best for eating
  • Late season
  • A large, round sub-acid apple with red blush stripe over yellow.
  • Late ripening


  • A Ben Davis/McIntosh cross
  • large flat, dull red apple with a purple hue and soft, white flesh
  • Sweet with a hint of tartness.
  • Less aromatic than McIntosh
  • Good keeper.
  • Very good in salads.stays white longer.
  • Mid season

Cox's Orange Pippin

  • Popular in English markets. 
  • Medium sized, golden yellow skin, with brownish orange
  • often russeted. 
  • Flesh tender, crisp, semi-tart
  • early

Crimson Crisp

  • Tart and Juicy
  • Fresh Eating
  • Disease Resistant
  • mid to Late Season

Crispin/Mutsu *

  • Light green to yellowish white
  • Sweet, rich, full flavor
  • Firm, dense texture
  • Best for: eating fresh
  • Sweet, very juicy and super crisp.
  • Mid - late season


  • A McIntosh type apple
  • Long shelf life
  • Aromatic and crisp with creamy white juicy flesh.
  • Tasty blend of sweet and tart
  • Best for: eating fresh and baking
  • Early - Mid season

Enterprise appleEnterprise

  • Large, red apple
  • Disease resistant
  • Ripens 3 weeks after red delicious
  • Stores well, flavor improves in storage


  • Very sweet, aromatic flavor
  • Yellow-green with red highlights 
  • Originated in Japan.
  • Best for: eating, salads, best applesauce apple
  • Great storing apple keeps for months if kept cool and dry
  • Late season

Gala appleGala 

  • Developed in New Zealand.  
  • Sweet, aromatic flavor
  • Best for: eating, salad, best applesauce apple
  • medium to smaller in size with a distinctive red and yellow striped heart-shaped appearance. 
  • Early to mid season
  • Very poor storing; spoils quickly, so keep them cold and use quickly.

Ginger Gold.Ginger Gold 

  • Very slow to turn brown, so it's a great choice for apple slices.
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad

Golden Delicious.Golden Delicious

  • Firm white flesh which retains its shape
  • Rich mild flavor when baked or cooked. 
  • Tender skin
  • Stays white longer when cut; 
  • Best for: salads, blend in applesauce
  • Early season
Granny Smith.Granny Smith
  • Very tart
  • Bright green appearance, crisp bite and tart apple flavor. 
  • Best for: people who like tart apples rather than sweet ones :-)
  • Mid to late season
  • Not good for applesauce unless you add sugar (or like a very tart applesauce)

Gravenstein appleGravenstein

  • Greenish-yellow with a lumpy appearance
  • A good, all-purpose apple,
  • Good for applesauce and pies.

Grimes Golden

  • Firm white flesh which retains its shape
  • Rich mild flavor when baked or cooked. 
  • Tender skin, with a "grimy mottled surface"; (but there IS also Mr. Thomas Grimes, who developed the variety, see Wikipedia)
  • Stays white longer when cut; 
  • Best for: salads, blend in applesauce
  • Early season

Hokuto appleHokuto

  • A Mutsu/Fuji cross
  • crisp texture of Fuji,
  • large size and shape of Mutsu,
  • sweet flavors
  • late mid-season


  • Introduced in Minnesota
  • Very sweet and aromatic
  • Great for juice, as it is a very juicy apple
  • Best for: Eating, pies, baking  
  • Mid season


  • Crisp with a sweet tart flavor.
  • Great for pies and fresh eating.
  • Late season

Jazz appleJazz

  • Cross between Royal Gala and Braeburn, developed in Australia
  • Very sweet, more flavor than Gala
  • Vewry good fresh eating and applesauce, apple butter
  • A "Club" variety, meaning licensed with limited commercial growing, first appeared on the shelves in 2004.
  • late ripening

  • One of the first red apples of the falll
  • Sweet-tart taste with firm texturee
  • Light red stripes over yellow or deep redd
  • Best for: eating and cooking  
  • Early seasonn


  • Flavor like Jonathan but a little less tart and darker red skin. 
  • Larger, crisper, and juicier than Jonathan, and a better keeper.
  • Slightly sour/acid balance.
  • early midseason


  • A medium-sized Jonathan/McIntosh cross
  • Sour flavored, aromatic and tender fleshed like McIntosh.
  • Early season, a few days prior to McIntosh.
  • Poor keeper.

Jonagold *

  • A cross of Jonathan and Golden Delicious.
  • Best for: eating, sauce, pies, salad, baking  
  • Mid season


  • Best for: eating, sauce, pies, salad
  • Mid season

keepsake apple Keepsake

  • Best for: baking, sauces or eating raw.
  • Small apple with a red outer skin and a cream colored fine textured flesh.
  • very sweet flavor with a high sugar content

Liberty apple


  • A highly disease-resistant introduction from Geneva New York. 
  • Liberty has superior dessert quality, similar to one of its parents, Macoun
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • flavor improves in storage
  • late season


  • Named after a famous fruit grower in Canada
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad  and pies.
  • Extra sweet with a mild, tart taste.
  • Very good, sweet, all-around apple

McIntosh *

  • Popular in America since 1811
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad, good as part of a blend for applesauce
  • Sweet, mild flavor


  • The official apple of Ohio
  • Similar to a Jonathan but sweeter.
  • Good for pies: the slices hold together in pies
  • Keeps well


  • Lousy name, but a great apple
  • It is sweet and crisp
  • A lot like a Golden Delicious
  • Best for eating fresh and it makes a great applesauce

Northern Spy apple

Northern Spy

  • Large, high quality fruit
  • Good for storage 
  • Mid-late season


  • A tart apple with light to creamy flesh.
  • Good for eating, in pies and sauces.

Pink Lady

  • Rich red/pink color with white flesh
  • Very sweet and crisp
  • Best for eating and makes a naturally sweet, smooth applesauce and it is good in salads and pies.
  • A cross between a Golden Delicious and a Lady William. 
  • Late season

Red Delicious.Red Delicious  

  • WAS the most popular apple variety in the world! for decades (now being replaced by Fuji and Gala)
  • Best for: eating, salad, very good  as a base apple for applesauce
  • Thin bright red skin with a mildly flavored fine-grained white flesh. 
  • Bruises easily and does not keep well.
  • Early to mid season
  • There are many, many varieties of red delicious, so there is a range of properties.  Not all red delicious are the same!


  • Best for:  baking and cooking - but not applesauce - not sweet enough, and it has a fairly bland flavor
  • Very smooth red apple with a slightly juicy flesh. 
  • Very hard flesh
  • Mid to late season


  • tart, all around apple
  • can be compared to Empire and Granny Smith.
  • stores well,
  • Late season, ripens later in the fall

Sansa appleSansa

  • Sweet
  • Early season
  • Good for Fresh Eating

Shizuka appleShizuka

  • A sister to Mutsu developed in Japan, with milder flavor.
  • Mid season.


  • Newer variety, derived from Honeycrisp so it is very crisp and sweet
  • Spicy-sweet flavor
  • Long shelf life.

Snowsweet appleSnowsweet

  •  from the University of Minnesota, released in 2006
  • sweet taste, with a slight tart balance and rich overtones.
  • white flesh is very slow to oxidize and turn brown after cutting.
  • fresh eating, snack trays, salads, sauces
  • Late, approximately 2 weeks after Honeycrisp

Spartan appleSpartan

  • A cross between the McIntosh and Pippin apples. 
  • Good all-purpose apple.
  • medium size and has a bright red blush, but can have background patches of greens and yellows.


Stayman or Stayman-Winesap

  • Juicy, cream-colored to yellowish flesh with a tart wine-like flavor. (often also called winesap)
  • Good storing apple, bruise resistant, dull red coat. 
  • Best for: Cooking, pies and cider

Starwberry apple


  • A crunchy, juicy apple
  • a red striped exterior  with slight yellow blush
  • sweet-tart flavor.
  • Antique variety, originates from Chenango, New York, circa 1854.


  • A hard tart, long keeping apple.
  • Red over orange color; Golden Delicious-type
  • Ripens late in the season
  • Best for: Baking, storing

Sundance appleSundance

  • Sweet, tart yellow apple with reddish highlights
  • Late season
  • Good for eating frssh, applesauce

SweeTango appleSweeTango

  • Similar to Honeycrisp
  • Ripens mid August - September
  • Developed at University of Minnesota
  • Tightly licensed


  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Crisp texture and juicy
  • Best for cooking

Yates appleYates

  • Mid to late season
  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Sweet
  • Best for eating
  • Late season
  • Small


  • Crisp and flavorful
  • "lop-sided" shape
  • Deep red with green streaks
  • Best for eating. holds texture during cooking and freezing

Zestar appleZestar

  • Sweet-Tart
    Best for Fresh Eating and Cooking
  • Early-Mid season

Images from the U.S. Apple Association (mostly)!

English Apple Varieties

These links take you to photos on


More about apple varieties can be found:

University of Illinois Apple page

Apples-Average retail price per pound and per cup equivalent

More Apple Varieties

Apple Photos
Over 100 photos of apple varieties

Apple photos and brief descriptions


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.

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!

Get canning lids on Amazon here, fast and inexpensive, and BPA-free     Mrs. Wages salsa canning mix

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!

The Presto Pressure
canners are out
of stock, but Tfal's
are available!

Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book