Since peach season is over here in the lower Midwest I thought I’d post my observations and encourage others to do the same as they have time. I spray a commercial scab program so scab or brown rot generally isn’t an issue in my orchard.
One of the biggest factors on flavor is the amount of rain we get and the time which it occurs, both of which can vary considerably from year to year.
It’s helpful to me to compare varieties with other varieties in that particular harvest window, since both varieties went through the same weather.
When I mention frost tolerance/susceptibility I’m just referring to how well the tree fruited after some significant frosts. Frost tolerance is largely related to how late the tree blooms, or how long the tree continues to open new blooms.
In general order of ripening here:
Rich May - Plan to remove this winter. Second year in a row of generally poor quality fruit. Small and little sugar on most fruit. Some fruits can be very flavorful though and almost approach the flavor of a nectarine, but far to few fruits reach that level here. Most of the fruit is only suitable for pies or jams. The fruit does make excellent red jam and is extremely slow to brown. The trees get too much bac. spot here and production is light even in a good year. This year the frosts hit this variety hard and of the 10 full sized trees I have of this variety, the combined yield of these ten trees was one bushel.
PF1 - Removed last year because of poor flavored fruit.
Desiree - Removing this fall because of poor flavored fruit two years in a row.
PF5B - Removing this fall because of poor flavored fruit two years in a row.
Earlystar - One of the best flavored yellow peaches for an such an early peach. I’ve grown this peach for many years and like it. It does have a very poor growth habit and doesn’t readily produce renewal shoots from blind wood. Plus it likes to grow straight up.
Spring Snow-Probably my favorite white peach. It does get a little bac. spot and the fruit is small. I’m not a big fan of whites, but this is the best early peach I grow. I’ve budded 14 more trees of this variety for planting next spring.
Gold Dust - I cut this one down this spring because of poor productivity. Now I wish I had given it one more year. I had grafted more Gold Dust scions on this tree as a check to make sure it was a true Gold Dust, but I was just sick of not seeing hardly any peaches on this tree which should have produced loads of fruit.
Harrow Diamond - Excellent fruit size and flavor on K1 roots. On seedling peach roots, the fruit is much smaller and not as sweet, but this is the first year to get fruit on the seedling fruits.
Carene Nect. - Poor flavor for a nect. two years in a row. Plan to cut down this year.
PF7a- Good peach which is somewhat frost tolerant.
Sugar May - Poorly flavored, bad bac. spot and low production. Plan to remove this winter.
Garnet Beauty - Decent early peach. Not quite as good as it’s sister Early Redhaven.
Surecrop - About like Garnet Beauty, but better frost tolerance.
Early Redhaven - See Garnet Beauty
Sentry - Good bac. spot free peach, but very light production. I’ll eventually be pulling these trees out I think.
Early Red Fre - Worst tasting peach I’ve ever grown. None of the fruit is saleable. Loads of large beautiful looking white peaches with no flavor or sugar. Tree looks beautiful too. This would be an excellent tree to grow if you want neighbors to think you are an excellent peach grower - just don’t let them taste the fruit.
Flat Wonderful - Not as good of quality as other donuts but a good backyard tree because its very easy to grow. It produces beautiful flowers. However I plan to cut my one tree down this year because it’s getting too much shade from a large tree.
Avalon nect. - First year harvest and not that good tasting.
Glenglo - I love this peach so far. Produces huge good tasting fruit two years in a row. I have 9 or 10 of these and plan to add more.
Risingstar - A smallish peach but good flavor. Better flavor than Garnet Beauty and Early Redhaven. A little bit of bac. spot.
Honeyblaze nect. - This has been a loser for me two years in a row. Sweet, but not much flavor and lots of bac. spot on the fruit. Plan to remove this winter.
Snowbrite - Removed last year because of bac. spot.
Sweet Scarlet - Worst bac.spot ever. Fruit is small and falls off. The occasional peach you do get is sweet, but just no production here. Cutting down 5 trees of this variety this year.
Nectafest - First harvest. Delicious nect. Very intense flavor.
NJF18 BuenOs - Removed. No flavor.
Saturn - Very sweet white donut. The stem pick damage is irritating. I have a bunch more of these going in because customers tend to request them.
PF9a-007 - Good peach. Large size for an early peach.
Harken - My opinion of this peach is going down. There just isn’t much for this window, so I’m keeping this peach. The peach can be decently flavored, but very unpredictable production and susc. to spring frosts. This year because of heavy rain the flavor of this peach was pretty mediocre.
Redhaven - Very grower friendly. Produces lots of fruit consistently. Flavor is generally very good, but was a notch down this year because of all the rain.
Starfire - About like Redhaven, but not as frost resistant.
Vinegold - A California cling which produces fruit of the same texture as TangOs (chewy texture). Very highly flavored, but will turn bitter if allowed to over-ripen on tree.
TangOs - Very flavorful large donut fruit. Can have skin issues if it rains a lot close to harvest.
Raritan Rose - Nice flavored white peach. Easy to grow. Fruit does want to drop. Has quite a bit of red in the flesh.
Topaz - Good yellow peach, but not very productive, although this tree is heavily shaded.
Blazingstar - Very good flavored peach, although susc. to spring frosts.
Salem - Decent large peach but doesn’t produce very well.
White Lady - Removed last year due to bac. spot.
Johnboy - Nice big good tasting yellow peach.
BuenOs2 - Removed last year. Terrible bac. spot.
PF Lucky 13 - Good peach.
TangOs 2 - Sweet flat white peach with green skin. Very sweet.
PF15a - Good peach
Johnboy 2 - Good large peach
Hardired nect. - Very productive but only mediocre flavor for a nect.
PF17 - Good peach
Summer Beaut nect. - High quality nect, but not quite as good as Nectafest this year.
Ernies Choice - Always a good peach, but exceptionally good this year. Best peach of this harvest window and possibly best peach of the whole season this year. Lots of acid and sugar.
Allstar - Good tasting very large fruit. Highly productive. This peach can get mealy some years if allowed to completely soften on the tree, but picked firm ripe and allowed to counter ripen will completely prevent that.
Klondike white - Like so many white peaches, terrible bac. spot. Plan to remove this year.
Glohaven - Huge good tasting fruit. Budded more of these trees this summer.
Harrow Beauty - Generally productive but somewhat frost sensitive. Like Allstar fruit needs to be picked firm ripe, or can turn mealy in extreme heat.
Winblo - Good quality peach. Very even size and good flavor. Susc. to bac. spot here.
Flavrburst - Bad bac. spot and poor flavor. Plan to remove this year.
Early Loring - Bitter fruit this year, plus bac. spot. Plan to remove.
Canadian Harmony - Significant bac. spot and frost sensitive, but plan to keep for now. Good flavor.
Loring - Large good flavored peaches. Also requested by some customers because it’s been a fairly popular peach.
Bounty - Like Loring, but very unproductive. Plan to get rid of 1/2 of the Bounty trees this year.
Summer Pearl - Bad bac. spot and poor production. Flavor is mediocre. Plan to remove this year.
Early Crawford - Fruit is good tasting but just too small and too little production. Plan to remove this year.
Contender - Good sized productive and good tasting. Frost tolerant. Will probably add more of these in the future.
Veteran - Reminds me a lot of Madison. Good peach flavor, but not a very pretty peach. Heavy producer.
PF23 - Good peach but frost sensitive.
Sugar Giant - Bad bac. spot. White peach I removed last year.
PF24-007 - Big peach but light cropper. Really no reason to grow this peach, as there are better options for this window.
PF24c- One of the better options. Frost tolerant. Good peach.
Coralstar - Good peach but light cropper. Will eventually remove.
Sweet Breeze - Frost tolerant heavy producer. Decent peach as far as sub-acid peaches go, but I don’t like sub acid peaches very much.
JulyPrince - First year harvest and heavy producer, despite the tree having some health issues. Budded more of this variety a few weeks ago.
Blushingstar - Pretty susc. to bac. spot and not that great tasting imo. I know this is a fairly popular white peach, I’m just not that impressed with it and the cosmetic damage from bac. spot makes it that much harder to sell. Plan to remove these trees this year.
Gloria - Heavy producer of “stony hard” sub acid peaches. Produces lots of very clean peaches, but I don’t like sub acid that much. Will keep these trees, but would probably replace them with something else if they died.
Baby Crawford - Very peachy flavor. Frost tolerant. Good peach. No red in the flesh.
Madison - Very frost tolerant and productive. See Veteran
Glowingstar - Good peach.
Cresthaven - Some bac. spot, but otherwise good.
PF25 - Frost sensitive, but otherwise a good peach.
Redskin - Poor color but productive and good flavor.
Carolina Gold - Good peach, but light cropper.
Fantasia nect - Decent nectarine this year.
Lady Nancy - Huge peaches and good flavored white.
PF27a - Frost sensitive, but otherwise good peach
PF28-007 - Very frost sensitive, but otherwise good.
Messina - Very frost sensitive and subacid. Will probably eventually remove.
O’Henry - Somewhat frost tolerant. Good flavored peach, but somewhat bac. spot sensitive.
Encore - Consistent heavy cropper. Frost tolerant, but sometimes not that great in the sugar category.
Laurol -Very frost tolerant. Heavy cropper. Some bac. spot, but a good peach.
PF35-007 - Frost tolerant. Good big peach.
Autumnstar - Good peach, but not as frost tolerant as 35-007.
Snow Giant- Removed last year because of bac. spot.
Victoria - Very nice late peach.
September Snow - Removed last year because of bac. spot.
Sweet Bagel - Terrible bac. spot on the fruit. Spot is so bad it cracks the fruit. A lot of the fruit drops from bac. spot. If you can get some fruit, the fruit is very good quality. It’s probably one of the best sub acid yellows I’ve tasted, but I can’t grow it here. Will remove this year.