realenglishfruit

Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Monthly Archives: April 2011

Chivers Delight

Chivers Delight

Chivers Delight

Though this variety has been around for three-quarters of a century and is still available from various nurseries, it has never become widely grown. And yet on the whole it is a good eating apple, remaining crisp for quite some time, and it can be kept until January. It has a long stalk and the apple looks not dissimilar to Cox’s Orange Pippin, often a little larger. It is quite upright in growing habit. On certain soils, canker can be a problem. Suitable for planting throughout the UK.

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

Cox’s Orange Pippin

Cox's Orange Pippin

Cox's Orange Pippin

This is still one of the very best apples from the point of view of taste. In a garden situation, it is very difficult to grow, unless plenty of space is available and the tree can develop without any competition from hedges, ornamental trees or closely-planted fruit trees. It requires a deep loam soil, which is free draining and with adequate levels of potash and magnesium. Its main fungal diseases are scab and mildew. Any affected leaves, or rosettes of flowers, in the early spring will have to be removed. Its essential partner for good pollination is either Red Windsor or James Grieve. Before the winter months, around late November, all leaves will need to be collected from the ground and burned, because several diseases are carried over to the following spring on the decaying leaves. It is a variety suitable for the specialist and the keen horticulturist. It is not suitable for the casual gardener. It is a moderate cropper unlikely to over-set fruit in the average year. The self fertile strain of Cox’s Orange Pippin in most situations will set a crop without the need of other pollinating apple trees.

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

D’Arcy Spice

D'Arcy Spice

D'Arcy Spice

A medium-sized apple, with specific climatic needs. It is not a reliable variety from the cropping point of view. The fruit is not attractive-looking, and the variety is very frost-sensitive. It is more reliable in certain areas of the county of Essex. It does not like clay soils. Medium to light loams are suitable. It is a specialist variety, not suitable for the average garden, outside Essex. Not suitable for eating until late November/early December.

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

Discovery

Discovery

Discovery

A very successful early apple. One of the best August apples around. It is a regular cropper and very resistant to scab and mildew infections. It is an extremely good pollinator for other varieties. It is of average size and the fruit, as it ripens, does not drop. Because of its short growing season the taste is moderate but perfectly acceptable. It can be used for making pink apple juice, if the fruit is left on the tree to full maturity. One of the most suitable varieties to grow organically. Do not let it go short of water as the taste will be affected.

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

Edward VII

Edward VII

Edward VII

A cooking apple particularly suited to the North of England. It flowers very late and therefore escapes a lot of the spring frosts. It is one of the longest-keeping apples known. It is of average size and a first-rate cooking apple. It does need a late flowering pollinator such as Crawley Beauty. Both apples keep very well until the following spring. Trees are not readily available. It needs to be ordered well in advance of the planting season (December to March).

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

Egremont Russet

Egremont Russet

Egremont Russet

A wonderful russet if you like fully russeted apples. It has a nutty sweet flavour. It is of average size, and it is ready to pick by the middle of September. It keeps reasonably well, provided the trees did not go short of water during the growing season. The fruit has a crispy bite to it when picked. Shrivel can be reduced if the fruit is kept in a polythene bag, with holes in the bag for adequate respiration of the apples. The bottom of the fridge is the ideal place for storage if you want to keep the apples until Christmas. It is a wonderful pollinator, suitable for most apple varieties. The tree is upright in habit. It does not like too close planting. It is fairly vigorous and, when well pollinated, it is a regular cropper. A well-drained clay soil is ideal for this variety.

Beauty of Bath

Beauty of Bath

Beauty of Bath

An early maturing eating apple. Not of good quality for keeping. It should be picked and eaten immediately. Its main asset is that it is the first apple to ripen, around the end of July. As it is a tip bearer, it does not crop freely in the early years. It is a smallish apple by nature, with red stripes on a light green back ground. Fairly resistant to scab.

Click here to go to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties with a provisional order

Arthur Turner

Arthur Turner

Arthur Turner

This is another cooking apple, but very different to others such as Annie Elizabeth. It is itself a very good pollinator, and a variety that crops on spurs well. It therefore needs to be pruned well each year as it tends to overcrop. It is an early-maturing variety, and it will keep into November. It is a green apple suitable for baking as well as cooking. Can be grown throughout the U.K. and has a good level of resistance to scab.  A regular and often an abundant cropper.

Click here to return to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties in a provisional order

Annie Elizabeth

Annie Elizabeth

Annie Elizabeth

This is a good cooking apple, still found in well-established gardens. It is upright in growth and needs a good pollinating partner in order to crop well. It is one of the longest keeping apples available. Pick it at the right time in October, store it in a really cool place, and it will keep well into the following May.

Provided it doesn’t go short of water during the growing season, it will grow out into a decent sized apple. For the smaller garden plant it on rootstock M26  Suitable for planting throughout the U.K.

Click here to return to the Tree Varieties page, where you can select this and other varieties in a provisional order

Cooking apples, an overview

As explained in an earlier article, all apples can be cooked. However some apples are specifically cooking apples, often based on the size and acidity of the fruits. If thought out and chosen carefully, it is perfectly possible to have your own cooking apples supply, 12 months of the year.

The next factor to take in consideration is where in the country you want to plant your cooking apples. Various varieties are better suited to North and others like the warmer South. But what applies to them all is that pollination has to be right in order to have regular crops to harvest. A few varieties will even succeed in notorious frost pockets. All the same, if you have the choice of planting higher up the slopes instead of the valley, where cold air tends to collect at night and early in the morning, particularly at blossom time, it is far better to avoid planting in low lying areas.

I have chosen from a range of the best cooking apples. These varieties will be available from us, later in the year. As always the best time to plant them is from December to March. However order from September onwards, to make sure the variety you would like is not already sold out, as often happens later on in the season. The varieties to choose from, to fit your particular needs, wherever you are situated in the country, are in alphabetical order as follows:
Annie Elisabeth
Arthur Turner
Blenheim Orange
Bountiful
Bramley’s Seedling
Edward the VII
Golden Noble
Grenadier
Howgate Wonder
Lord Derby
Newton Wonder
Reverend Wilkes
Warner King

Over the coming months I will review each variety individually.