History: Vista Bella was created at Rutgers University in New Jersey in the 1950s and released in 1974. Although its poor keeping ability prevents it from being a commercial success, this early ripening variety is still a nice way to herald in the apple harvest season every year.
Why We Grow It: Vista Bella is the first red apple of the season. The flavour and texture are of better quality than other early apples, making Vista Bella an excellent apple for early farmer’s market sales and roadside stands. The flesh is crisp and juicy, although it softens quickly and, like other early apples, does not keep long.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Vigorous, tends to produce fruit every other year but has good crops when it does. Susceptible to canker and cedar rust and very susceptible to mildew and fireblight.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Requires a pollinator of a different apple variety that blooms around the same time
Flowering Time: Early
Ripens: Mid August
Storage: Does not store well
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, applesauce
Size including roots:
- 1 year grade 100-200 cm whip
- 2 year grade 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- B grade less than 100 cm