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South Carolina Apples

The Upstate is one of the few places in South Carolina with the right climate and soil conditions to grow productive apples trees. While the actual trees can be grown in most any part of the state, higher temperatures and humidity in the midlands and coastal plains make disease pressure hard to manage.

Basket of Gala Apples Kerrie Roach, ©2019, Clemson Extension

Basket of Gala Apples
Kerrie Roach, ©2019, Clemson Extension

Apple bin with Mutsu apples.

Apple bin with Mutsu apples.
Kerrie Roach, ©2019, Clemson Extension

Apples can be found year-round in the grocery store, but are best when picked fresh from the orchard in season. With lots of growers nearby, it makes choosing fresh LOCAL apples a no-brainer. Good news for us, apple season has just started for this year! From varieties like Ginger Golds that ripen as early as the end of July to some heirloom varieties like Arkansas Black that are not typically ready until mid to late October, the apple season in South Carolina is a long one.

One of the best things to keep in mind is the approximate ripening dates of the varieties typically available.

Approximate Ripening Dates

Varieties Dates
Ginger Gold July 25
Golden Supreme Aug 1
Gala Aug 10
Red Delicious Aug 15
Golden Delicious Sept 1
Stayman Sept 15
Granny Smith Sept 15
Mutsu Sept 15
Fuji Oct 1
Cameo Oct 1
Rome Oct 1
Winesap Oct 1
Pink Lady Oct 15
Arkansas Black Oct 15
Yates Oct 15

You May Have Noticed Two Things While Reading This

1. I did not encourage you to grow, or tell you how to grow apples.

  • The south is humid and hot. So, while growing apples is possible, it is not easy. It takes a very knowledgeable producer with a great ‘Integrated Pest Management’ plan to make apple production feasible. Shop local and support your neighborhood farmer. If you are interested in growing your own, finding varieties well suited to your specific location is key. Check out the Home & Garden information apple fact sheet for more information here: HGIC 1350, Apple.

2. ‘Honeycrisp’ apples are not on the list of varieties grown here in the Upstate.

  • The south is humid and hot, ‘Honeycrisp’ trees are more well suited to the northern climates in the United States and do not grow well here in SC. If you are a ‘Honeycrisp’ fan, I challenge you to branch out and try a ‘Pink Lady’ or even a ‘Golden Supreme’.

So, head up to Long Creek or Mountain Rest this week and enjoy some local apples!

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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