Bluemont, VA
Bluemont, VA

5 Pick Your Own Apples Ripe & Ready in September

September is here and that means peak apple picking season in northern Virginia. Now is the time to plan your pick your own apples trip to Great Country Farms located on the first ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was thinking about posting tips for planning your apple picking trip but found that there are already some excellent posts out there… my favorite is 10 Tips for Organizing an Apple Picking Outing with Kids.   One of the tips is to plan to get lots of apples and plan what you’ll do with them.   So, to help with those planning efforts, here is a list of apples ripe in northern Virginia in September.  We’ve added photos, descriptions of their qualities and tasting notes.  Now you’re ready to pick lots of apples!

At Great Country Farms, all of our apple trees have been planted in the last 17 years so we are considered a “modern orchard” with dwarf trees designed for easy pick your own.  No ladders required!   Our varieties are names that you may not recognize but they have been derived from some of the best classic apples.  Take a wander through our varieties below and decide which options are best for you and your family.

Candy Crisp Apples on the tree

Candy Crisp Apples

Candy Crisp® 

  • Description:  This glossy yellow beauty is shaped like a Red Delicious apple with the top wider than the bottom and knobs on its flooring.
  • Parentage: This tree was discovered as a chance seedling growing in a Red Delicious orchard in New York.  Hence, Candy Crisp is thought to be related to and has a similar shape to Red Delicious but the skin color is golden yellow.
  • Tasting Notes: Firm, juicy and sweet with a somewhat pear-like flavor.
  • Uses: Sweeter  apple great for eating & dessert baking. Keeps well for 1-2 months refrigerated.
  • When to Pick in 2021:  Mid-September



Jonafree apple on the tree


  • Description: deep red with creamy, white flesh and crisp, juicy eating quality similar to old-fashioned Jonathan, with 100% Jonathan flavor.
  • Parentage:Introduced in 1965 this apple was developed as a Purdue Rutger Illinois Coop from Golden Delicious, Jonathan and Rome Beauty  PRI 855-102 x NJ 31
  • Tasting Notes: Flavor is Jonathan-like, but less acidic.
  • Use: Great for Eating and holds up nicely for baking.  Great lunch box size apples.
  • When to Pick in 2021:  Starting early this season on September 2



Jonagold apple at Great Country Farms

Jonagold apple on the tree.


  • Description: this lovely red apple often shows golden striations.
  • Parentage:Golden Delicious and Jonathan
  • Tasting Notes: The Jonagold apple has a balanced blend of both its parents’ flavors offering the sweet-tart taste found in the Jonathan and the aromatic honey-like scent of the Golden Delicious.
  • Use: A great choice for cider, juicing and cooking. This apple stores well for 1-2 months refrigerated.
  • When to Pick in 2021:  Mid-September


Ruby Jon apples at Great Country farms

Ruby Jon Apples on the tree.

Ruby John

  • Description: This more petite apples is deep red with creamy, white flesh and crisp, juicy eating quality similar to old-fashioned Jonathan, with 100% Jonathan flavor.
  • Parentage:Sport  (natural mutation) of Jonathan
  • Tasting Notes: Biting in reveals, well, a Jonathan which is an old classic, sweet and balanced and cidery, with flashes of spice.
  • Use: This smaller apples is great for lunches and snacks.
  • When to Pick in 2021:  Starting early this season on September 2
Shizuka apples at Great Country Farms

Shizuka Apples on the tree.


  • Description: This tall, large, yellow-hued apple that is mostly yellow with some green or red flush.
  • Parentage:Golden Delicious cross with Indo (Same parents as the Mutsu Apple)
  • Tasting Notes: This descendant of the golden has an almost buttery flavor that is mostly sweet with a hint of tart.
  • Uses: Eating, apple sauce and great for making dried apple rings.
  • When to Pick in 2021:  Mid-September

After all that apple picking work, be sure to stop by Henway Hard Cider or Bluemont Vineyard for a relaxing lunch.  Henway offers kid friendly food options and fresh and hard cider.  Check out all the options to plan a full day to experience Bluemont!


Now that you know all about a few of the varieties of pick your own apples that will be ripe & ready this September , here are some great links to Savor Apple Recipes and15 Things to Do with all the apples you pick this fall.

Bluemont Vineyard