Apples in a wooden crate
(Image credit: Damian Lugowski)

Apples are one of the most popular fruits. There are 7,500 varieties grown throughout the globe, with varying apple variety harvest times. Apple harvest dates run from late August into the fall, but can you pick apples in October? Later harvest apples such as Red Delicious are often picked into early October, but they aren’t the only late season apple tree. Read on to learn about tasty late season apples to pick in October.

Apple Harvest Times

Apple harvest dates aren’t an exact science. They vary of course depending upon the variety but also on weather conditions. For instance, many apple producing regions recently had an unusually cool spring which prolonged dormancy, hence, a delayed harvest time.

If you are wondering when to pick your own home grown apples you need to first know the variety and then the approximate harvest date. The harvest date may vary slightly year by year, but this list will give you a good gauge as to when to harvest.

Late Season Apples to Pick in October

  • Red Delicious isn’t the only apple that can be harvested into October. The highly touted Cosmic Crisp is another red apple great for eating or baking that ripens in mid-October and stores well in the refrigerator.
  • Unrelated to Red Delicious, Golden Delicious is a yellow, medium-large apple that bears heavily. Sweet and juicy, Golden Delicious are harvested in early October but do have a short shelf life.
  • Idared is a large, tart, red apple with a pleasant smell and crisp interior. Great made into apple butter, Idared stores well and ripens in mid-October.
  • Jonagold is great for making sweet/tart desserts. This orange/yellow apple is firm and juicy and also ripens in mid-October. When harvested on time, this variety of apple stores fairly well.
  • Sir Prize is a large, juicy yellow/green apple with an amazing aroma. Disease resistant, Sir Prize is best used as a dessert apple and is ready to harvest in mid-October.

Additional Apple Varieties to Pick in October

  • Haralson is one of the earlier late season apples ready for harvest in late September to early October. Firm and tart, Haralson is good for eating fresh or cooking and stores in a refrigerator for up to 5 months.
  • Frostbite is both savory and sweet with a hint of tang. Introduced in 2006, this bronzed red beauty is slow to brown when cut open, making it perfect for salads or fruit trays. Frostbite ripens in mid-October.
  • Regent is an interesting red striped apple suitable for both fresh eating and cooking. Introduced in 1964, Regent ripens in mid-October with fruit staying viable in refrigeration for up to 5 months. It is fairly vigorous, although susceptible to apple scab.
  • Fireside/Connell Red was introduced in 1943. This vigorous weeping apple’s sweet flavor makes it perfect for eating fresh, in salad or cooked and is ready for harvest in mid-October.
  • Keepsake is a firm, crisp yellow apple with an almost exotic sweetness that is good for eating fresh or for cooking. Ripening in mid-October, Keepsake apples store for 6 months.
  • Prairie Spy has firm flesh that tolerates long term storage and is perfect for baking. Introduced in 1940, Prairie Spy is a vigorous tree whose fruit ripens in late October.
  • Rome Beauty makes for a good baking or cooking apple. This large red apple has a mild flavor and is ready to pick in late October.

Other apple varieties to consider picking in October include Honeycrisp, Empire, Liberty, Blushing Golden and Mutsu.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.