By The Old House Web


Many home growers are confronted with a vast array of varieties from which to choose when planting. Many new varieties possess very appealing characteristics; however many of these "plusses" are simply not necessary for the home gardener. The new varieties are bred mainly for shipping and commercial characteristics, for example new apple varieties Burgundy, Melrose, Jonalicious, Mutsu, Empire, Spigold and Golden Nugget are bred primarily for commercial growers. For flavor and diversity, the older varieties are probably the best bet: many of these have stood the test of time over several centuries.

Following is a select list of some of the best of the older varieties:

Apples: Ashmeads Kernel Hudson's Golden Gem Pink Pearl Calville Blanc Kandal Sinap Red Astrachan Cornish Gilliflower Kerry Pippin Ribston Pippin Cox's Orange Pippin King Russet King Egremont Russet Lyman's Large Summer St. Edmunds Esopus Spitzenberg Mother Pippin Fall Russet Newton Pippin Stearns Golden Russet Old Nonpareil Summer Rambo

Garden Plums: Count Althann's Gage Golden Transparent Gage Early Laxton Imperial Epineuse Elephant Heart Pearl

Peaches: Champion J.M. Mack Oldmixon Free George IV Late Crawford

Some nurseries which carry varieties for the home gardener include:

BARNESDALE FARM Route 2, Box 226 Dayton, OH 97114 95 new and old apple varieties

HENRY LAUTHARDT P.O. Box 666 East Moriches, N.Y. 11940 Older varieties and espaliered trees.

HILLTOP ORCHARDS & NURSERIES P.O. Box 143 Hartford, MI 49057 70 varieties of old and new apples

N.Y. FRUIT TESTING COOP. ASSOCIATION Geneva, N.Y. 14456 Dues ($5.00) include catalog of "New and Noteworthy Fruits." Some older varieties. An extensive offering of new and experimental varieties from various agricultural experiment stations.

St. LAWRENCE NURSERIES RD. 1 Potsdam, N.Y. 13676 Specializes in northern climate varieties of superior hardiness on standard stock.

SOUTHMEADOW FRUIT GARDENS Lakeside, MI 49116 Free Price List. Illustrated catalog ($8.00). The largest selection of varieties for the home gardener --200 varieties of apples, including all apples, peaches, and plums named above.

STARK BROTHERS Louisiana, MO 68353 Many old and new varieties for the home gardener.


Robert Nitschke of Birmingham, MI. Farmer's Week, MSU, March 22, 1984.

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