Commercial peaches superior to home grown?

I’ve seen a couple of peach cultivar review posts here and by far thr majority of them are negative - “tasted okay”, “will get rid of it”, “a solid peach” etc.

Not once do I hear “omg this peach is amazing, best I have tasted”

I know personally that I love well ripened peaches from the supermarket, and they are big as well. Large peaches without even compromising taste.

So what is the problem? Because to me the well ripened store bought peaches are amazing, yet we have reviewers here that aren’t impressed by any of their home grown peaches.

Is the issue that you guys have super high standards? Or is that commercial varieties and commercial grown peaches are better tasting?

I’m scared to even start growing my own peaches because I don’t want to invest all this money and time growing something that’s going to be mediocre.

Some distributors like Costco often sell highly flavored fruit, but even their selection is hit and miss in my limited experience (I only buy stonefruit when my own orchard has been frozen out by late hard frost). Whenever my trees bear fruit, at least some of it is excellent- quality is more dependent on getting adequate heat and light on the trees in the 2-3 weeks leading to harvest than on variety, but some peach varieties tend to give maybe an extra point or so of brix over other varieties, which can actually be important. More dramatic range may occur with nectarines which tend to have higher brix than peaches in the first place.

It never makes practical sense to grow fruit if you don’t enjoy doing it for its own sake if you compare the time you spend to money you could be making with it. However, if you pay attention to guidance provided here you should be able to often harvest fruit of higher quality than what you are likely to find in stores.

Of course, this depends in part on where you live. My sister lives almost right on the ocean in far northern CA and she cannot grow the same quality of stonefruit as she can buy at her farmer’s market for $4 a pound (she usually only buys organic). Yesterday she was raving about a box of Fuyu persimmons that weren’t organic that she bought at her nearby Costco. Where she is she can grow excellent brambles, blueberries and apples and she does.

I don’t think I could enjoy growing red delicious apples for its own sake. It is dog food. The harvest and the rewards are part of the enjoyment.

1 Like

If you like peaches from the supermarket you will love local home grown peaches. It takes a good while to get peaches from the farm to the warehouse and then to the store, so large scale commercial growers pick their peaches when they are green and hard. They may soften some when they ripen but they never get the flavor and sweetness of a tree ripened peach. I can honestly say that I have never purchased a peach from a local supermarket that is worth eating!

I expect most of the dissatisfaction with folks growing peaches here is due to a failure to maintain a regular spray program using effective materials with equipment powerful enough to saturate the trees or people experimenting with various varieties to determine which (if any) varieties do well in their area. Peaches do well where I live but peaches from large commercial growers that are picked green are never as good as a peach picked when it’s almost ripe.


That’s not the impression I get from this thread: 2018 Peach Report

The ones I bought from Aldi this summer were fantastic.

What in the report suggested that home grown don’t tend to be better than store bought? Olpea’s entire business model involves selling peaches of superior quality to what can be purchased for less money in a store.

What are you talking about, multiple purchases throughout the harvest season or what? Did you just start thinking about peach quality this past summer?

My customers almost always highly prefer their own fruit to anything they can buy, and for most of them, price isn’t an object.


I do find you can get pretty acceptable peaches in the grocery store, but it is very hit or miss. I’m just getting started on the home-grown front, so I don’t have much advice to offer there. What I will say is that you need to pay attention to WHERE the reviewers are growing them, what other peaches they are comparing them to, and what their taste preferences are. Some varieties might not ripen well in the Northeast, for example (as a rule of thumb, a properly grown, tree-ripened peach from the Central Valley is almost always going to be better than a wet year peach picked rock hard in MA and shipped across the country). Or the grower might find that the peach is too tart for their taste, or too mild. Or the peach might be too similar to something else they already have in their collection, or it’s still pretty good but management issues make it not worthwhile for them.


I’m sure Olpea will respond with more precise information but I know he has experimented with dozens of varieties to try to determine what grows well in his area which I understand is not a great area for peach growing.

Good to hear your supermarket peaches were good. Can you imagine how good they would have been if they were picked ripe?

Edit: We probably have 1000 people who purchase our peaches each year. Many of these folks drive a good while just to get them. If the supermarket peaches were always excellent like our peaches are they would not put forth the extra effort or the extra money to get a product they have determined to be superior to the supermarket. Some fruits can be picked somewhat “green” and later ripen properly. Some fruits can be held in cold storage for a good while and maintain most of their flavor. Peach biology does not allow either.


He seems unimpressed with the peaches. 10% of the varieties he described as “tastes great”. If I’m growing amazing peaches that can’t be had anywhere else I’m going to tell people more than just “tastes great”. I’m going to be telling people you guys need to grow this right now.

And the remaining 90%, he describes as “I’m getting rid of it” or “not as good as xyz”.

Same with Scott’s post in that thread.

1 Like

Some people like sweet peaches, some like tangy… some like white, some like yellow…some like freestone, some cling… Once you figure out which one you like then go from there.

Ive ate supermarket ones that were very pretty but tasted bland… ive had a few over the years that were ‘pretty good’…

Ive had some amazing peaches from roadside stands in Georgia, North and South Carolina. (likely picked that morning or the day before).

Last year i ate the best peach i have ever tasted. O’Henry from an old timers yard.

So i am planting my own O’Henrys in the spring.

If im being honest- a fruit that you pick from a tree that is at its peak of ripeness is the end of the rainbow for ‘Superior’ taste. The chances of you finding that in a supermarket are slim… Farmers market, or roadside stand is a possibility.


What about Nectarines?

1 Like

Keep in mind that both of them have grown A LOT of peach varieties, so they probably have different standards for what qualifies as tasting great. There’s a very good chance that most any peach that does well in your area will be better than anything you can buy IF it’s properly grown, thinned, and ripened, even if it doesn’t make their top 10.

1 Like

The experience of harvesting a beautiful ripe peach in the orchard, rinsing it off and eating it on the spot with all that juicy sweetness running down your chin is my reward. I just don’t get that with someone else’s fruit, no matter how good it is.


Sweet cherries are the only grocery store stone fruit that is always better than I can grow by far. Other stone fruit from grocery stores are 100% spoiled dog food I would not even feed to the raccoons.


Either you’re incredibly lucky or your standards for peaches are very low. I never had a peach from a supermarket or grocery store that was even remotely close to decent. Even peaches at farmers markets are very rarely ripe enough to be any good (and I’m talking about farmers markets in California’s Central Valley). I can get very good peaches from some small local farms in my area, often almost as good as home grown.

That’s a typical saying for people who had very little experience with good home grown fruit, once they finally try one.

Yep. Once you taste a fully ripened peach from your own tree, still worm from the sun, no supermarket fruit will ever come even close to that experience. Obviously, a 13-brix peach grown in a rainy year in Northeast will never match a 25-brix peach grown in California’s Central Valley, but that’s to be expected. All gardening is local.


You are lucky. It is extremely difficult to get good quality peaches in my area. Large peaches yes but taste is usually bad. There was a nearby produce distribution company that had a parking lot market in the summer that had high quality fruit but the company was sold to a national company and that was the end of their summer market.

1 Like

Amazed at how many posted they can get somewhat decent peaches at their supermarket. Not where I live in Wisconsin. The peaches in the store arrive in hard as a baseball. Take them home and they will sometimes get soft but normally have no decent flavor. Many ripen but are mealy or like chewing on rubber.

In my area even Reliance peach (although small fruited) will normally way surpass any peaches my local supermarkets carry. Whenever I give away some of my home grown peaches, people often mention that they did not realize peaches could be grown in Wisconsin. They also say they never ate such delicious peaches!

The only good store bought peaches I can sometimes find are white fleshed peaches coming from California growers. Not cheap but they are the best as far as shopping at the local groceries stores in my area. At least they are sized nicely and ripen with some flavor and juice in them.


Exactly, I will never buy one again. I would rather have none than eat that swill. Taste is not an issue with home grown peaches, everything else is. It’s far from easy to grow peaches. Although certainly possible.
Anyway I have been burned so many times by grocery store peaches, if I buy them again it’s on me. I know better. About 25 times people have told me that my peaches were the best peaches they ever ate. My plums too, I now have people (friends) who keep track of harvest time and make sure to ask me for some. I harvest multiple times during the season, depending on cultivar. This year the last peach harvest was around the last week of September. Last harvest can vary from early September to early October.
Indian Free is the cultivar. I had a fantastic harvest this year. I thinned well and the peaches were very large for Indian Free.

I really enjoy the late harvests. Air is usually dry and the fruit comes out well, all kinds of fruit.
Here is a daily harvest from October 1st 2021. I missed a few Indian Free peaches, Fall Fiesta Pluot was getting there, and I harvested a few to try. I picked my last peppers last week. In the garage at night grown in root pouches. I sometimes put them under lights, this year I have fig seedlings under my lights, so left in the garage, which is attached.

I was still harvesting figs and poms late in the year. From October 3rd photo.
Hyrdanar X Goulosha pomegranate needed more time. I made a syrup of these with Dogwood cherries, which are ripe at this time too. I discovered that the mix was a winner and will mix them from now on…


We are fortunate that one of our local grocery chains carries produce from one of the better local farms. Still not quite as good as fully ripened off the tree, but the quality is always at least acceptable. The Georgia/SC peaches can be pretty good too (or at least good enough for pies) depending on the year, supplier, and how the grocery chain handles buying and storing the fruit. A good produce manager can make as much of a difference as a good farmer. Preferably you have both.

I live in a marginal peach growing area with lots of rain. Still, my average peaches are way better than even the better store bought peaches. My son likes peaches. Whenever I get some from the store he’s like “cool, peaches” then takes a bite and throws it away. Even the peaches from my trees that I condsider subpar, however, he really likes, as does everyone else who tries them. So I might be a little down on a homegrown 12-13 brix peach since I know on a good year it would’ve been 16 or 17, but the peach is still actually really good.