We have 850 apple trees, on semi-dwarfing rootstock and grown on trellis. In addition to the varieties people expect in a modern orchard (Pink Lady, Fuji and Gala), we grow some old fashioned favourites (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Jonathon) as well as a selection of heritage apples (from the several hundred that exist) including Bramley, Cox's Orange Pippin, Gravenstein and Snow. Varieties vary from each other in many aspects, including pollinisation potential, susceptibility to various diseases, and tendency to biennially bear fruit. Your growing district can also play a part – a variety that is a problem biennial bearer here in central Victoria may not demonstrate the same problem if grown in Queensland or Tasmania.

Picking dates can vary by up to two weeks from one season to another, depending on the conditions, but usually the order of ripening stays about the same. The dates given below are the average picking dates in Harcourt. Most varieties can be picked over a period of 2 or 3 weeks.

More information about each variety, including harvest dates, pollination information, production notes, chill hours, blossom time, origin and disease susceptibility and resistance (where known) are included in our Fruit Tree Database, accessible by members of the Grow Great Fruit program.

Bramley's Seedling Photo not yet available

Large green heritage cooking apple.

Picking Dates: Late February


Cox's Orange Pippin Cox's

Heritage English early season eating variety.

Picking Dates:  Early March


Fuji Fuji

Dusky pink eating apple.

Picking Dates: Mid March


Gala Gala

Modern early season apple, crisp and sweet.

Picking Dates: Early February


Golden Delicious Golden Delicious

Heritage golden yellow eating variety, delicious but goes soft when overripe. 

Picking Dates: Mid March


Granny Smith Granny Smith

Old fashioned green cooking apple, bred in Australia.

Picking Dates: Late March



Heritage variety, early season eating apple. 

Picking Dates: Late January


Jonathon Jonathon

Old variety with bright red skin.

Picking Dates: Early March


Pink Lady Pink Lady

Modern pink skinned late season eating apple.

Picking Dates: Late April


Snow Snow

Very old heritage eating apple with bright white flesh.

Picking Dates: Early March


Sundowner Sundowner

Late season, tart eating apple.

Picking Dates: Mid May



About Us

We – Hugh and Katie Finlay – draw on over 15 years' experience as orchardists at our farm, Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens, to bring you the Grow Great Fruit Program, the farm-proven system for home fruit growers.

To read the full story of our farming journey, click here 


Our blog gives a snapshot on various aspects of life on the farm. Currently Katie is documenting her journey as winner of the 2015 RIRDC Rural Women's Award for Victoria!

Visit the blog 

MAFG Forum

Grow Great Fruit Forum

Our Grow Great Fruit Forum is a place where our program members can access member resources, ask questions, and find answers to their specific fruit-growing problems.

Visit the Forum here.

Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens © 2017