The best apple varieties for the home garden


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When choosing a suitable apple variety for the garden, you have to make several decisions: should it be a handsome high stem or a small spindle tree? Should the apples mature early or rather late? Do you want to eat them directly from the tree or are you looking for an apple variety that only reaches its ripe for consumption after several weeks of storage?

Old apple varieties

The historic apple varieties are not always the right choice. Centuries-old breeds are undoubtedly worth preserving as a horticultural heritage. However, one has to take into account that most of them have only had regional significance and therefore only grow satisfactorily in certain climatic zones. In addition, old apple varieties are often prone to fungal diseases such as scab, rust and mildew. If you are looking for an easy-care and high-yielding apple tree, you should either buy a tried and tested old variety or opt for a modern, resilient breed. At the bottom of this page you'll find a selection of reliable old and new varieties recommended by orchard gardening experts.

The right stature height

The height and vigor of an apple tree depends not only on the particular apple variety, but above all on the so-called treatment base. These are usually varieties with cryptic names such as "M 9". The "M" stands for the English town of East Malling, where most of the documents used today were bred in the 1930s. The number indicates the selected clone. The breeders try to select as low-growing processing documents as possible in order to reduce the vigor of the apple trees on them. This has purely practical reasons: Small apple trees carry earlier, allow in the orchards optimal land use, are easy to maintain and to harvest. The typical tree form for such plantations is the so-called spindle tree with continuous guide drive and approximately horizontally projecting fruit branches. He is rarely higher than 2.5 meters and therefore comes with little footprint. However, he has no high life expectancy and must be replaced after about 20 years. By the way: The vigor also differs depending on the apple variety. Basically, particularly fast-growing varieties such as 'beautifull from Boskoop' should be refined on somewhat weaker growing substrates, while low-growing varieties such as the 'Alcmene' for spindle tree documents such as "M9" are only partially suitable.
As a high-strain apple varieties are usually grafted on strongly growing documents of the variety 'Bittenfelder seedling'. Such apple trees are vigorous, robust and long-lived. They are suitable for orchards and for hobby gardeners who are looking for a "real" apple tree for their garden. Tall tribes, however, need enough space and can spend a few years until they bear fruit for the first time.

Apple is not the same apple

Not all apple varieties taste fresh from the tree. In particular, the so-called winter apples usually have to be stored for at least two months so that their fruit acid breaks down a bit and they develop their taste. But they last a long time and can still be enjoyed in February with proper storage. On the other hand, you should eat other varieties as soon as possible, as they become floury after a short storage time and lose their taste. Furthermore, a distinction is made between dessert apples for fresh consumption, cider apples for making juice and kitchen apples for baking or apple sauce. However, the transitions are often fluent: a classic baking apple such as the 'Boskoop', for example, many hobby gardeners also like to eat fresh, although he is quite angry.

These apple varieties are particularly suitable for home gardens

retina

Gerlinde

'Retina' (left) and 'Gerlinde' (right)

The high-growth apple variety 'Retina' offers regular income. The fruits are large, somewhat elongated and have a smooth, yellow shell with dark red cheeks on the sun. The apple variety is very juicy with a sweet-sour aroma and from the middle of August picking and enjoyable, but not long lasting. 'Retina' is resistant to scab and very resistant to mildew and spider mites.

'Gerlinde' is a medium strong, slightly sparrig growing apple variety, which is not suitable for high strains. It regularly offers high yields. From the end of August to the beginning of September, the fruits of 'Gerlinde' are ready for picking and enjoyment and last for about two months. The small to medium-sized, round apples are yellow to red flamed with red cheeks. They are crisp-fresh and taste sweet with a fine acidity. The variety is resistant to scab and less susceptible to mildew.

Rebella

Florina

'Rebella' (left) and 'Florina' (right)

The apple variety 'Rebella' has a medium-strong, broad-upright habit and is characterized by high and reliable yields. From mid-September, the medium-sized to large apples are ripe for picking and enjoyment and can be stored for around two months. The apple has bright red cheeks on a yellow background and has a sweet-sour, fruity aroma. 'Rebella' is resistant to scab, mildew and fire blight, low prone to spider mites and very frost hardy.

'Florina' is a strong variety with a slightly spanky crown and provides very early and high yields. The medium-sized apples can be harvested from the end of October and are very storable. The fruits are yellow-green with purple-red cheeks and have a firm and juicy-sweet flesh. This apple variety is less susceptible to mildew, fire blight and tan and has resistance to scab.

Topaz

Rewena

'Topaz' (left) and 'Rewena' (right)

The apple variety 'Topaz' has a medium to strong growth and has a slightly broad, stocky crown. Topaz delivers medium to high yields. The medium-sized apples are ready for picking from the end of October, but are ripe for consumption only from the end of November, which makes them suitable for storage (until March). At later harvest, the shell is very greasy. The shell is yellow to orange-red flamed and has large lenticels, which reminds the fruit of old varieties. 'Topaz' has a spicy aroma. The taste is juicy and sweet, with a fresh acidity. In terms of taste, Topaz is the best scion-resistant variety. Occasionally, it may be mildewy-prone.

'Rewena' is a slow-growing variety with a loose crown that delivers high and regular yields. The medium-sized apples are ready for picking from October, but are ready to enjoy until mid-November. They can be stored until March. The fruit has a bright red shell and juicy, sweet-sour pulp. The apple variety 'Rewena' is resistant to scab, mildew and fire blight.

Alcmene

pilot

'Alkmene' (left) and 'Pilot' (right)

With an upright and medium-strong growth, the apple variety presents itself 'Alcmene', The crown is loosely branched and offers medium, from year to year alternating yields. The small to medium-sized, roundish fruits are ready for picking and enjoyment at the beginning of September and can be stored for a maximum of two months. The slightly rusty shell is yellow to bright sun carmine red. The aromatic apples are excellent in taste and reminiscent of the variety 'Cox Orange'. Unfortunately, 'Alkmene' is not scab resistant, but overall very healthy and robust.

Very early, high and regular yields provide the apple variety 'Pilot', The weak to medium growing variety is not suitable as a high strain. The fruits represent the classic storage apple: picking from mid-October, but enjoyable from February. The medium-sized apple has a bright orange-red shell and features a strong aroma. The sour-sweet pulp is firm and juicy. The variety 'Pilot' is less prone to apple scab and mildew.

Brettnacher

Goldparmäne

'Brettacher' (left) and 'Goldparmäne' (right)

The high strains of the medium-growing apple variety 'Brettnacher' form medium-sized, rather flat crowns and tend to balding something. 'Brettacher' delivers high, slightly alternating returns. At the end of October, the apples of the popular fruit variety are ripe for picking, but they are only ripe for enjoyment from January, which is why the large, flat fruits can be stored well. The shell is red-cheeked with yellowish-white ground color. The apples have a fruity-tart, fresh aroma and stay juicy for a long time. In cooler conditions, however, they may taste slightly bland. The apple variety is hardly susceptible to scab or mildew. Unfortunately, it can come to very wet soil to tree crayfish. As a pollinator, the 'Brettacher' is unsuitable.

'Goldparmäne' is a medium-growing apple variety, which outdated quickly without regular cut. This variety is not recommended for weak growing documents. Overall, the 'gold parmains' provide early and high returns. The small to medium-sized apples are ready to pick from September and from October, after a short storage, enjoyable. They can be stored until January. The round to slightly high-oval fruits have a yellowish to orange-red, slightly flamed shell and therefore look very appetizing. They are juicy and taste sweet and fruity with a fine acidity and a slightly nutty aroma. Later, the pulp becomes slightly crumbly. In terms of taste, the 'Goldparmäne' is one of the best types of tableware. The apple variety is also suitable for orchards and only moderately scab and mildew-prone. Occasionally it comes to fruit tree cancer and blood lice infestation. The heat-loving variety is also suitable for fertilization.

Nicer from Boskoop

Kaiser Willhelm

'Handsome from Boskoop' (left) and 'Kaiser Wilhelm' (right)

The popular and strong apple variety 'Beautiful from Boskoop' - often simply called 'Boskoop', has a sweeping crown and is loosely branched to medium density. The variety delivers medium to high yields, which can vary slightly. The apples are ready for picking from October and are ripe for consumption after about four weeks. The large, wide-round fruits can be stored until April. In very cold storage, however, it can lead to meat browning. The often somewhat irregularly shaped apples have a high vitamin C content and a heavily rusted shell that can be colored from yellow-green to blood-red. The pulp is large-celled and firm, but can quickly become browned. The fruits are aromatic and strongly acidic in taste, which makes them ideal for, for example, apple pie. The apple variety is relatively robust and less prone to scab and mildew. In drought, premature fruit fall can occur. The flower, however, is somewhat late frosty.

'Kaiser Willhelm' belongs to the strong-growing, upright growing varieties and is loosely branched in the crown. The apple variety provides a medium to high yield, which can fluctuate slightly from year to year. The round, medium to large apples are ready for picking from the end of September and are ripe for consumption from the end of October. The fruits can be stored until March. The green-yellow, slightly rusty peel of the popular fruit variety is slightly reddish flamed on the sun. The very firm pulp has a sourish, raspberry-like aroma and takes on a fairly crumbly consistency after prolonged storage. The variety 'Kaiser Wilhelm' is only slightly susceptible to scab and mildew and is not suitable as a pollinator.

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