Heirloom Apples for the Garden

Heirloom Apples for the Garden
There are many heirloom apples available. Here are several varieties for the home orchard.

Maiden Blush

Other names include Red Cheek, Summer Maiden’s Blush, and Lady Blush.

This is an heirloom variety that dates to perhaps the late 1700’s or so. It is one of the oldest American varieties. It was apparently named by Samuel Allinson of Burlington, New Jersey. This was recommended by pomologist A.J. Downing in his classic book on fruits. It was widely grown in the South since early in the 19th century.

These ripen in August and September over a long period, and are an early to mid-season variety.

This vigorous, fast growing reliable tree has a spreading growth habit. It can bear a heavy crop every year, beginning at an early age. It has a spreading growth habit, and is resistant to cedar-apple rust.

The medium to large yellow fruits are perfectly round to conical. They have a red blush, which explains the name. They have a thin, tough, smooth skin.

The white to yellow flesh is tender, juicy, and crisp with a fine grained texture. This has a slightly subacid flavor.

This is used for a reasonably good cider and cooking as well as fresh eating. It is good for applesauce because it cooks up nicely. This is also excellent for drying.

Yarlington Mill

Considered one of the best cider varieties, this old English variety dates from the late 1800’s perhaps, and originated near North Cadbury in Somerset, England. It was a very popular variety in the area.

The vigorous, medium sized trees with a semi-spreading growth habit begin bearing at an early age. They usually bear a good crop every year. Hardy to zone four, these are easy to grow and adaptable. They need training when young as well as regular pruning to remove unproductive stems. This blooms mid-season.

The fall apple is a late season variety, ripening in mid-October. They’re a sweet to medium bittersweet cider variety that has high tannin, high sugar, and low acid content. This makes a rich colored, full bodied, aromatic, highly flavored cider with a fruity taste. This cider is slow to ferment. This can be used for a vintage cider or blended with others, particularly Kingston Black, to make a hard cider.

The medium to large sized yellow fruits are conical in shape. They can have a blush or red stripes. They don’t fall easily from the tree. The fruits have firm flesh.

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