I’m sold out of peaches right, so I thought I’d write up a peach report for this year.
We aren’t through with the season, but getting near the end. Our next peaches to harvest are Encore, then Laurol, then Autumnstar, and finally Victoria (with a few odds and ends varieties in between there.
My evaluations are from more of a commercial perspective, but unlike a wholesale grower, I place high value on taste/flavor.
We got rid of all the super early peaches, so our earliest peach is -22. I’ve found any peach earlier than that has trouble building any sugar here. Most of the time those really early peaches ripen at the rainest time of the season.
The ripening times are for this year. Ripening times move some from year to year.
I place an asterix for peaches I consider some of the best for the given window, based upon the criteria (in no particular order) of production, flavor, and saleabilty at a farm stand. My opinions have also moved some from year to year, as I’ve discarded many varieties, tried new ones, and gained more experience with others.
*Earlystar:-22. Continues to be my favorite early yellow peach. Produces something every year and most years has a full crop. Nice sweet flavor for such an early peach.
*Spring Snow:-21. Probably my favorite white peach. This year production of this variety was sparse. But the peach tastes so good, I’ve forgiven a lot of it’s faults. One other thing I don’t like about it, is it picks really fast. It’s good for wholesale growers, but I wouldn’t mind this peach having a little longer picking window.
Harrow Diamond:-20. This one sets heavier than Earlystar in marginal years, but doesn’t generally taste near as good. This year it tasted as good because the weather was so dry. This is one I wouldn’t add any more of and would probably replace any trees which die with Earlystar.
PF7a:-15. This is an OK peach for this window. Color is better than some of the other peaches in this window, but size is a struggle. Peach flavor is strong, and there isn’t a huge amount fuzz. Sugar could be better on this one. It’s a fairly consistent cropper, as are most of the other peaches I have for this window.
Garnet Beauty: -15. An old standby. Consistent cropper. Decent peach. Don’t like it as well as Early Redhaven or Risingstar.
Surecrop:-15. Another standby. Generally nothing really outstanding. This year Surecrop had some really sweet peaches though.
Early Redhaven:–15. Another consistent cropper. Better than Garnet Beauty imo.
Sentry:-15. This peach really sucks productionwise. I have 3 of these trees which are big, and they never produce hardly anything. They are finally coming out this winter.
*Glenglo:-14. This is a Loring seedling which reminds me a lot of Loring (only much earlier). These trees produce huge tasty peaches. The trees have a nice spreading pattern. There is never a drop of bac. spot on the leaves or fruit. The only drawback, like Loring, is that it’s challenging to get a full crop on it, in our marginal climate. This year the yield was maybe half of what it should have been, considering the size of the trees. This is about normal for this variety. One nice thing is that this variety has consistently produced something every year for the last 4 years, but hardly requires any thinning.
*Risingstar:-14. Probably just edges out Glenglo for the sweetest peach of this window. But size is much smaller than Glenglo. This is a really tasty peach. And reliable cropper.
JunePrince:-8. This one tree is slated for removal. This thing never produces anything in our climate.
Nectafest nectarine:-6. This is the best nectarine I’ve ever tasted. But it hardly produces anything here. Slated for removal.
SurePrince:-6. This is the first year this one fruited for me. It produced lots huge peaches, with a good red color, but the peaches lacked good sugar. Even though the peaches were very large, they had incredible hanging abilty. Here is a crate of them with a few Clayton peaches on the right for comparison. The Clayton peaches weren’t nearly as impressive looking, but they actually tasted quite a bit better. I have one tree of SurePrince and plan to keep it for further evaluation.
Clayton:-5. Probably the best tasting peach for this window, but they want to drop badly, which is a big deal for commercial production. Size isn’t that great. Productivity is not bad, but not great either.
Saturn:-5. Many people have grown this flat white peach. Most customers go bananas over these peaches, just because the sugar is so high. It’s like candy. They are OK to me because they don’t have that much flavor. I eat one and I’m good for the season. This variety has been very productive. Unlike others, I don’t have any problems with rot with this one. No bac. spot either. The biggest issue by far with this peach is that it’s very difficult to pick without stem tears. If you wait till they are dead ripe and almost ready to fall off, they can be picked without tearing. The amount of stem tears is very frustrating when trying to sell these peaches.
*PF9a-007:-5. This is by far my favorite peach for this window. Doesn’t taste as good as Clayton, but productivity is excellent. These trees produce like mad and flavor is good. This variety will size a peach even under a heavy crop load.
Harken:-5. It produces about the same size peach as Clayton, but flavor isn’t as good. It doesn’t drop like Clayton does, which is a plus. But Clayton sets better in marginal years.
*Redhaven:-0. The gold standard for this window. Produces every year. Good tasting peaches. This year we overcropped some of these trees and they produced some really small fruit. This is the first time this has happened with this variety. I suppose I got a little over confident in how much fruit these trees can carry. I did that with several of the more productive varieties this year and got some small fruit.
Vinegold:-0. One of those California cling peaches used in canneries like DeMonte canned peaches. These have the same texture as TangOs flat peaches. Sort of a chewy texture. I had wanted to experiment with growing some California clings to see what they were like and to see if they produced a better canned product. I figured out I don’t have time to can during the peach season anymore, and people don’t like the texture as much as a melting flesh peach, so I removed this variety this year after it fruited. The peaches are tasty and sweet, but most people don’t like the texture for fresh eating.
TangOs I:+1. Flat peach which has a distinct flavor and chewy texture. They are hard to keep the skin looking good on them, and they rot some on the trees. You have to give out samples to get people to buy them. They will then buy them, but not a lot at a time. Considering these peaches don’t sell super great, they are probably more trouble than they are worth.
*Starfire:+1. Good peach which has a little better color than Redhaven. Never sets quite as heavy as Redhaven, but always seems to set a full crop. Good flavor.
Raritan Rose:+3. White peach of decent flavor. It can have some productivity problems, but this year set a full crop. It drops badly, if you let them fully ripen on the tree.
Galaxy:+4. This variety never produces here. It blooms too early and the blooms are too frost sensitive. I had two trees. Already removed one and plan to cut the other one down soon.
Blazingstar:+4. This is a really tasty peach. It does have some baggage. It can be a stingy producer in marginal years. In good years, it oversets and must be thinned very hard to get adequate size. But it is one very fine tasting peach. Peaches are very round.
Johnboy:+5. Good tasting big peaches, but like it’s sister, Loring, it’s rare it sets a full crop. This year fruit set was OK, but nothing great.
PF Lucky13:+6. Same as Johnboy. Hard to get a decent crop out of this one. Big fruit though.
TangOs II:+6. Nice green skinned white peach. It’s tougher to grow than TangOs I. It cracks a lot more and doesn’t set heavy in marginal years. Most people prefer TangOs I to TangOs II. TangOs II is a very distinctive white flat peach. It’s probably my second favorite behind Spring Snow.
*Challenger:+7. This is only the second year I’ve harvested anything off this variety. But so far, I am very impressed. Set good full crops, even on young trees. Fruit was deep red and tasted delicious, just like last year. It’s starting to look like this is the best option for this window in my climate. The fruit is a tad on the small size, but they are still young trees and I cropped them heavily, so I expect size to pick up some.
PF15a:+8. This variety always sets very well. It produces very red fruit and is one of the few varieties where the peaches sunburn some. It tends to produce small fruit. This year I overcropped these trees and got some really small fruit. The fruit tasted really good though.
Summer Beaut nect.:+11. Hardly any production from a full sized tree. Nects had a good flavor, but nothing compared to Nectafest. Planned removal.
Ernies Choice:+11. Really a great tasting peach here. It can set pretty light some years. It does produce very uneven sized fruit.
Blazeprince:+11. This tree didn’t set hardly anything this year, nor last year. It’s starting to look like an unproductive variety here. Flavor is very good.
PF17:+12. Nothing really remarkable about this peach. Didn’t set very well this year.
*Allstar:+12. Produces like crazy every year. Requires lots of thinning. It’s a decent peach, but normally must be picked firm ripe, or it can get mealy if left on the tree some years. Left to counter ripen it’s a very nice peach.
Glohaven:+13. A stingy producer in marginal years. It does produce huge eye popping peaches, which are tasty, though.
Harrow Beauty:+14. I grown this variety quite a few years. It’s either feast or famine with this one. It either sets super heavy, or hardly sets at all. It’s a decent tasting peach, but like Allstar can sometimes get mealy if left on the tree too long.
Winblo:+14. Good peach, but production is problematic in marginal years. It’s about like Ernies Choice in that regard. It produces very uniform fruit, but doesn’t taste quite as good as Ernies Choice in this climate.
Intrepid:+14. This is another of the NCSU breeding program that I’m optimistic about. Flavor is good this year and I’m thinking this one is going to be a consistent producer like Challenger.
Canadian Harmony:+16. I’d really like to replace this variety. Too may production issues. Poor production in marginal years. Bac. spot is pretty bad also. Fine tasting peach.
Loring:+19. Big peaches. Just very temperamental in marginal years, when it can produce nothing. Even in good years this one has never had great yields. Contender is a better option for this window here.
Bounty:+19. Production just sucks with this one. This variety never produces anything worthwhile here. Loring produces better than this one, and that’s not saying a lot. I never understood why they called this one Bounty. Not bountiful at all.
*Contender:+21. Very consistent heavy producer. The peach isn’t quite as good of quality compared to others in this window, but still decent. This one is the preferred peach for commercial production in this window for our climate.
*Veteran:+22. I like this old time peach. Nice peachy flavor. Size isn’t great, but not horrible. Consistent heavy producer. The flavor is a tad better than Contender. Color isn’t great but it’s attractive enough for a farm stand.
PF23:+23. Not very productive. Nothing remarkable. Eventually would like to replace these trees.
Scarletprince:+23. Very beautiful deep red peaches, which have produced well so far (two years harvest observations). The fruit is a bit small though, but I’m hoping size will pick up some.
Babygold#5:+23. This is another CA cling peach like Vinegold. Tasty peaches, but can’t sell them here because of texture.
*Baby Crawford:+24. I’m liking this peach more every year. Sets full crops every year. Unique appearance with little red blush but a nice gold background. Flesh is striking because there is no red in it. Reminds me a lot of Carolina Gold, only ripens a week earlier. Nice tasting peach.
PF24C:+24. Good tasting peach. So far it’s never been very productive for me.
*Julyprince:+25. This is a really good peach for this window. Heavy producer of deep red uniform peaches which taste very good. This year I really pushed the window and let this one overset. It did give me some small fruit, but still pretty good for how many fruit were on the tree.
Augustprince:+26. First year fruit. Bad bac. spot and poor fruit size. Not very optimistic about this one. But this may be a mislabel because it’s not ripening in it’s correct window, and Clemson evaluations rate this as a large peach.
Glowingstar:+27. Not the greatest producer. Nothing remarkable about this one, imo.
Cresthaven:+27. Can’t seem to get this variety to produce much for me. Julyprince is a much better peach for this window.
Sweet Cap:+27. White donut. Not as good as Saturn. More like just a regular white peach. Plan to remove it.
*Madison:+27. A lot like Veteran, only a week later. Consistent producer. Peaches don’t color well, but they aren’t ugly and will sell at a farm stand. These are workhorse varieties, which always produce lots of peaches with lots of old time peach flavor.
Gloria:+28. This is what’s called a “stony hard” variety. It won’t hardly soften much, but it is very sweet. Hard to sell from a farm stand, but wholesale growers would probably love this peach. Very productive. I’m getting rid of the three trees I have of this one.
PF25:+28. This is the first year this variety didn’t produce well. Otherwise it’s normally a productive and tasty peach.
Redskin:+28. Productive even in marginal years. The only drawback on this one is the color is horrible. Some years, like this year, the skin is somewhat green, even when the peach is dead ripe. Madison is probably a better alternative to this peach for trying to sell it.
*Carolina Gold:+29. This peach has really grown on me the last few years. At first my one tree of this variety was a really shy producer. But these last few years it has really become one of the best producers. Beautiful gold fruit with a very slight blush. I have a couple more of these I planted in the last year or two and plan to add another 8 trees next spring.
Fantasia nect:+30. Another loser nect for me. Doesn’t produce very well and hard to sell.
The following varieties we haven’t harvested yet this year, so observations are based on previous years mostly.
Lady Nancy:+30. Always sets lightly here. Produces huge white peaches which have some acid. This is the last year I will be keeping these trees.
PF27a:+32. Doesn’t produce much, even in a good year. Planned removal
PF28-007:+32. See PF27a
Messina:+32. See PF28-007
O’henry:+33. Bad bac. spot. Low production in marginal years. Does taste very good. Peaches are very round.
Encore:+33. Heavy producer, but have a hard time getting these to build adequate sugar. We’ll see how this year’s turn out.
*Laurol:+38. Generally heavy producer of large good tasting peaches. Fairly susc. to bac. spot, but not as bad as O’henry.
*PF35-007:+40. Really productive peach with good flavor. Deserves to be planted for this window.
Autumnstar:+43. Good tasting large peaches. Production can be problematic in marginal years. This year the trees had full crops. PF35-007 is a better option for this window.
*Victoria:+45. Lightly blushed large peaches. Very attractive, even though they lack a lot of blush. Taste really good too.