Backyard Orchards, chronicling, musing and more

My yard, the actual area where I can plant is small. I planted a few fruit trees in the front yard, a few more on both sides of the house and several more in the back.

As for watermelons, they are where they can get most sun. 3 plants are right on the front yard by the side walk. My friend asked if I am concerned someone will steal those watermelons.

Aside from my neighbors, a few people who walk by are dog walkers. Those watermelons weighed 35-40 lbs. To hold a dog leash and carry those melons with them would be quite challenging. Luckily, so far, no one has tried.

What I know about growing watermelons, I have learned from growers here with special thanks to @thecityman for all the advice esp. varieties to grow.


Gorgeous fruit mam… Need to step up my spray game…

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My 3 varieties ripened at the same time this year. The color is a bit off because they were in Clemson bags. I minimized spraying by bagging them. It is a big pain but it helps with low spray, avoid bird pecking, and yellow jacket stinging, etc.

Bagging does not stop any rodents from stealing your fruit.


European pears are ripening. (Almost all my Asian pears were destroyed by animals).

Here are Harvest Queen, fruited for the first time.

They ripened on the tree by the time I saw them. The one I cut open had bruises at the stem end. I thought it would suffer internal rot, too, but it did not. Seeds were dark, fully ripened.

Brix was 19 (I checked twice), which was quite high for pears. I was surprised that it was not as sweet as the brix stated. It tasted sharper than sweet. Texture had no grit but firm, not as melting as Harrow Sweet at the ripened stage.

@clarkinks , @Auburn , another Harrow pear series that could interest you.


Looks great. Glad you got to sample at a good stage.



They dont do well here for me the trees never get very big.

Beautiful! Congratulations!

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I have two grafts of Harvest Queen. They both lacks vigor. It took one graft 5 years to fruit. The other one has not grown much at all.

@Auburn - unless you like pear with more tang, I think you already have a good one with Harrow Sweet.

@Marco - if you like Euro pear - I would pick Harrow Sweet for all the right reasons.


Getting closer to the fall, more fruit are ripening.

Euro pears like Clara Frijs. When let it ripened well, flesh was soft, smooth and the taste was pleasantly sweet. Very nice pear to grow and eat.


My late peach is Autumn Star. Thanks to very dry summer, the fruit are mostly clean. They don’t split in heavy rain after a long dry period. That is a plus.

Baby Crawford does not like a lot of rain near ripening time. All split.


Prok persimmon from a potted tree. Fully ripe, no astringency but tasted mild.

The tree looked unhappy in pot with wilted leaves since the beginning of the summer. I have watered it more frequently. Appeared to negatively affected the taste.



Very impressive fruit crop this year! Clara frijs is a high quality pear i agree. Likely one everyone should grow but i found out this year it can get fireblight. Clara Frijs Pear

Mine is a 5 yr old graft on Blake’s Pride. Agree that it has exceeded my expectation of a good pear.

I do not refrigerated Clara Frijs. Maybe, I should try put some in a fridge to see if it makes a difference. It is a cute looking pear.


Early figs.

A Honey Crisp year


Your Zephyr got rave reviews from the people I gave them to. It was sweeter than Emeraude.

Although mine soaked up water with recent rain, it still had brix at 19. Had it been no rain, brix over 20 would not surprise me. Free stone is a plus, too.

I personally think it was too sweet but better sweet than sour, to me. I prefer Freckle Face as the taste is more balanced.


If you get the brix up to 22-25 range, there will be a lot more flavor elements than sweetness, specially as the tree matures. I look forward to trying Freckle Face, but in any case, it ripens 2-3 weeks before Zephyr, so there is not really competition between them…


Mother Nature does not like me!! A lot of rain recently including yesterday. It will rain more tomorrow. Every stone fruit ballooned up.

A few Zephyr I have weighed over 7 oz.

And my sole seedling peach is huge. Not sure if it has ripened yet but it came off easy enough.

That’s the normal size for Zephyr, it is the biggest nectarine that I have seen.

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I finally can say with confidence that I prefer pluots over J plums. Tree-ripened pluots taste better, sweeter and with firmer texture.

These past few years, I’ve tried a few pluots, Spring Satin (productive, very nice texture and taste), Flavor King (let ripened too long), Dapple Dandy (ate them at various ripening stages, nice but not at peak), Honey Punch (like SS, wonderful).

My last Dapple Dandy finally dropped. It ripened very late.


I love to recommend Honey Punch but with a caveat. If you don’t mind if the fruit that may all cracked as they seem to do when it rains.

The graft is very productive. Fruit are large, firm, sweet (with a hint of tartness). A wonderful pluot has it was not for being prone to cracking.