Apples are one of the most popular fruits in North America and have long been important both as a crop and food source. The most important decision to make when planting apple trees is to make sure the correct variety is chosen in relation to the climate. Apples generally require a winter chill of 900 to 1,000 or more hours between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit to break dormancy, although there are low chill varieties for warmer climates. The Mississippi State University Extension Service recommends Smoothee, Gala, Mollie's Delicious, Granny Smith, Ozark Gold, Red Chief and Arkansas Black varieties for northern and central Mississippi and Golden Dorset, Anna and Ein Shiemer for the southern coastal areas. Fuji apples can be grown throughout the state.
Northern and Central Mississippi
A variety of apple exists for every apple lover. For yellow apple enthusiasts, there are the Smoothee, a tart, yellow apple suitable for eating or baking; Ozark Gold, which has a soft flesh and mild to tart flavor; and Mollie's Delicious, which has a light yellow background partially covered in a red blush. Green Granny Smith apples are juicy and tart and suitable for both eating and cooking. Other apple types suitable for growing in northern and central Mississippi include Gala, a crisp, dense apple; Red Chief, a strain of Red Delicious apples; and Arkansas Black, another crisp, dense apple suitable for both eating and cooking.
Southern and Coastal Mississippi
The apples recommended for growing in the southern and coastal areas of Mississippi are Golden Dorsett, a yellow, sweet apple originally from the Bahamas, according to "Exotic Foods: A Kitchen and Garden Guide," by Marian Van Atta; Ein Shemer, another sweet yellow apple, this one from Israel; and Anna, a medium-sized apple with a green background covered by a red blush.
Throughout the State
The Fuji, a low-chill apple, can be grown throughout the state. Originally from Japan and named after Mt. Fuji, the apple is a cross between a Red Delicious and Ralls Janet, according to the U.S. Apple Association. The sweet, firm apple is yellow- and red-striped and available throughout the year.
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