Granny Smith Apples

I planted a granny smith apple tree transplant in our yard in 2006. It’s a scrawny little tree. It hasn’t grown much since I planted it, even though I have been watering it regularly and fertilizing it twice a year. Even so, I have high hopes that it will undergo a growth spurt eventually.

This tree produced about 8 apples this season. The apples are large enough to cause the tree’s weak branches to sag down toward the ground. A few of the branches have broken off under the weight of just one or two apples. The tree has so few branches that some of the apples got sunburned in the summertime.

I picked granny smith partly because it has a lower chill requirement than most apples and partly because I like the flavor. The granny smith apple flavor is slightly tart, at least when it is fully ripe. People who think that granny smith apples are supposed to be extremely tart have never eaten a fully ripened one. I think that the flavor is like a very mild version of a tart green apple candy.

Some sources say that granny smith apples should be picked in September. But I have heard that they are best left on the tree until after November 1, weather permitting. Last year, I harvested them the first week of November, and they were only slightly tart. Most of them had a great flavor, although a few were bland. This year, I am leaving them on the tree a few weeks longer to see what difference, if any, a few extra weeks would make. I have harvested a few so far, and they taste about the same as last year.

November 17 2008 06:33 pm | Apples