Grow Crisp, Crunchy Apples
‘Sundowner’ (above): Related to ‘Pink Lady’, this self-fruitful variety can be enjoyed October into January. Fruit is crisp and sweet.
‘Pink Lady’ (above): Sweet-tart flesh is cloaked in blushed-green skin on this Western Australia import. No pollinator needed. Late-season harvest.
‘Dorsett Golden’ (above): Sweet as a golden delicious apple, with firm flesh and pale-gold skin. “Bulletproof producer” here, Spellman says. Self-fruitful.
‘Mollie’s Delicious’ (above): A ‘Delicious’-type apple with crunchy flesh is a mid- to late-summer favorite with golden red-blushed skin. Needs a pollenizer like Fuji.
‘Fuji’ (above): From Japan, this popular reddish-skinned apple is prized for crispness and flavor. Late season, self-fruitful and excellent pollinator for other varieties.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM SAYS only low-chill apple varieties produce in San Diego’s mild climate, but experts now say apple lovers here have more options. “With the right rootstock, we see apples of all kinds adapt and fruit in Southern California,” says Tom Spellman of Dave Wilson Nursery, one of the state’s largest fruit-tree growers. Look for varieties grafted on Malling or D-9 rootstock and pick those prized for flavor rather than red skin, a product of cool nights, Spellman says. Here are five to buy now during bare-root season at area specialty nurseries.
Garden Planner: By Mary James