Finding New Cultivars?

I have not been involved with the online fruit growing forums for all that long, and maybe I have missed something, but how does everyone find out about all the new releases of everything from Blackberries to Oranges? I know I have found some, but most are last years news, is there a better source of information than the bits and pieces mentioned on the forums or found through google searches?

Isaac, I see from your profile you are in USDA hardiness zone “8b/9a border line”, but that is only part of the story. What region of the U.S. are you in? Other local climate factors make a lot of difference.

Knowing about new cultivars and in fact species that work in your region is a lot of work. There are folks here that can help you with that.

I am in western Louisiana very near Texas, I know there are people here that can help, and I have already received some help in those areas. However I am still interested in finding out how people go about learning about and getting information on these new cultivars. For example there is a fairly new USDA Blackberry release by the name of Sweetie Pie, I know there is some interest in it out there on the forums, but the total information I can find on it amounts to a paragraph long press release. Then in blueberries it seems there are new releases coming form everywhere, with names I have never heard of and can find little informaiton on popping up left and right, or Peaches where it seems every Unversity program has release after release, and don’t get me started on all the stuff going on with citrus, new crosses, exclusive this and that, and yet it seems I can only find a fraction of it online and it all comes from a tibbit here and there.

Understand that the latest is not necessarily the greatest. For your area, tried and true cultivars recommended by members here might be the best you can do.

You’re finding little info because they are new and no one has tried them for long. Sometimes the creators release info, it’s not easy to find info. I usually come here and ask!

Most of the folks here get a lot of catalogs and they waste no time putting new releases out there because they sell. They are often vague on information because often they don’t have a lot of info gathered from trials etc.
Often times too the real data and info on these new releases is really not all that great as Richard said and the “tried and true” really is better (in most cases I think that is true).

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I would have to agree there. The only real way to know is for us to try them. It seems 1 out of ten is worthwhile. We spend a lot of time pulling plants.
I mentioned this before but it is a good path to start at. First grow known to be good in your area plants. Then you can try the should be good in your area types. If you have any motivation left after that, try experimental and/or new cultivars.

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Hang out in forums and check out all the catalogs when they come out.

I agree that the average new release has primarily the newness as its biggest feature. Of recent stuff I am personally excited about its a short list: Osage and Orus 2711-1 blackberry and the new U Ark seedless grapes (Joy etc). Many new-to-me things I am excited about, but they have been out for some time.

I agree about tending to plant the more established varieties, and in general have been practicing that, at least to a point. Out of the various new replacement plants I planted this year most were released 10-15 years ago or so. On a few things I have been a bit more cutting edge, such as blackberries, where I am trying out 4-6 each of Osage, Prime Ark Traveler, and Sweetie Pie, but the majority of my planting is Ouachita, a somewhat established variety released over 10 years ago. So far I have been amazed at the growth on the Prime Ark Traveler (released last year), they are about twice the size of my Osage even though they were planted a week later.

Still it is nice to know about the new stuff that is out there, I am thinking about maybe trying one of the peach or plum crosses, it would also be nice to find one of the new late season (jan-march) producing cold hardy citrus to expand my harvest season. (I added some early eason Satsumas this year)

Speaking of brambles I’m excited this year as all canes made it through the winter and my plants are mature. The harvest is going to be unreal. Most of the cultivars are fairly large, the rest will give medium to small harvests from 2nd year plants. My Burbank white is huge, I should get a decent harvest. My yellow cap too is going to give me a modest harvest. I thinned my pinneberries hard, so my pineberry strawberry harvest will be a little low this year as I rebuild the bed with newer plants. I made room for fresh runners.
I like the unusual, stuff I can’t buy. If doesn’t matter if old or new. Of three mentioned above, one is new, one is very old, and one is wild!

Our blueberries from our mature bushes are looking very promising this year also, and will likely be an early harvest given the particularly mild winter we had. On the topic of these catalogs, where does one find them?

If you request a few catalogs from places like One Green World, Raintree, and Stark Bros, you’ll end up getting inundated with those and a whole bunch more in the early winter.

Of course you have the catalogs for veggie seeds, too. Territorial, Jungs, Burpee’s, Johnny’s, Baker Creek, Victory, and about 100 more. If you need trees, Bay Laurel, Adams, Grandpa’s, and many more. Go online and request catalog.