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Growing apples in the home garden can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but consistent production of high quality fruit requires knowledge of tree and fruit growth and a willingness to perform certain practices at the appropriate time. Virginia is on the southern fringe of the U. S. apple producing region. Most apple varieties produce the highest quality fruit when night-time temperatures are cool (less than 60°F) at harvest time. Apples grown under warmer conditions tend to be large, soft, poorly colored, and less flavorful than when grown under cooler conditions. Our warm humid summers are also conducive for infection of many diseases. For these reasons, the best Virginia apples are grown at elevations higher than 800 feet above sea level in the western part of the state. However, even apples grown in eastern Virginia usually have quality superior to apples purchased in the supermarkets.
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August 17, 2020