Apple trees must have a period of cold dormancy during the winter. If you live where that condition is met, then you can successfully grow apples in your home garden. With hundreds of varieties of apple trees to choose from, selecting only a few can be difficult. Decide which characteristics you want the apples to have, and base your choices on how you plan to use the apples. Dwarf apple trees make it possible to grow several different varieties in a small space. Dwarf trees are also easy to prune, spray and pick.
Golden delicious apples are hardy in all apple-growing regions of the U.S., and they are especially good in the warmer regions where other varieties may fail. Besides producing large, all-purpose apples, golden delicious trees are good pollinators.
Golden delicious apples have yellow or yellow-green skin that may have rust colored dots. The juicy flesh is sweet and yellow. Golden delicious apples store well, and mature trees bear heavy crops.
Gala apples grow well in a warmer climate. They were developed in New Zealand, descended as a golden delicious cross. Galas are favorites for eating fresh, and they can also be used for cooking and baking. They store well, which is a very desirable characteristic for home fruit production.
Jonafree apple trees are immune to apple scab, and they are tolerant to powdery mildew, Jonathan spot and bitter pit. Jonafree is also resistant to fire blight and cedar apple rust. For organic gardeners, disease resistance means less spraying and healthier crops.
Jonafree apples are crisp and full-flavored apples, good for eating fresh, cooking, pies, sauces and cider. They have red skin, with fine-textured yellow flesh that is mildly tart.
Liberty is a scab-resistant apple variety, with good resistance to fire blight and cedar apple rust. Liberty is somewhat resistant to powdery mildew. It is a good pollinator for Gala, Jonafree, and other mid-blooming and late-blooming varieties.
Liberty apples are red, with sweet white flesh that is juicy and not acid. They are all-purpose apples with excellent flavor and texture.
For large, shiny red apples, enterprise is the variety to grow. These are juicy, crisp apples with a spicy flavor. Enterprise apples store well under refrigeration, and they are good for eating fresh and cooking.
Enterprise is resistant to apple scab, powdery mildew, cedar apple rust and fire blight. It is a good pollinator for golden delicious and gala.