Home Orchard Starter Pack?

i was surprised to get as many berries as i did. put them in in late may. was starting to ripen in late july. probably got a quart of berries from 20 plants. they should more than double that next season.

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Just to resurrect this thread because I have also been scouring the forum for “best of show” on various fruits- I have made a LOT of purchases this year and will update my list with actual reviews as time goes on and I have had some tastes to compare, but for now here is my Z6A (Pittsburgh, PA) best of lists for low maintenance, good taste based on my research. Again, I HAVE NOT ACTUALLY TRIED MOST OF MY LIST YET. If I do not list pollination requirements, I have either assumed it is self fertile or do not have that information. This list isn’t **necessarily ** best tasting (in many cases it may be) but in some cases it is an easier to grow, low maintenance choice for a small home landscaping project.

Apple: Freedom (triploid) RP, Ashmead’s Kernel (triploid) RP , Priscilla RP , Grimes Golden RP
Pear: Bartlett PI, Seckel PI
Pawpaw: Jerry’s Big Girl RP, Regulus RP, KSU Chapell RP, Shenandoah RP Marshmallow RP
Persimmon: H-63A, JT-02, Nikita’s Gift, Celebrity
Jujube: Honey Jar RP, Sugar Cane RP, SO RP
Mulberry: Dwarf Gerardi
Blueberry: Bluecrop RP, Liberty RP, Reka RP, Spartan RP
Strawberry: Jewel, Mara Des Bois, Seascape Huckleberry: Box Huckleberry (Gaylussucia brachycera)
Serviceberry: Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Gooseberry: Jeanne, Hinnomaki Red, Hinnomaki Yellow
Honeyberry: Aurora, Blizzard, Beast, Beauty, Indigo Gem
Currant: Titania, Rovada
Jostaberry: Black Jostaberry


In my admittedly limited experience, Ashmead’s is not especially easy to grow, and I’ve heard that it can be finicky about fruiting (though the fruit is reputed to be excellent). Some people might substitute Hoople’s Antique Gold for Grimes Golden if you are looking for a good pollinator with high quality fruit that’s comparatively easy to grow.

Alan and others have recommended Harrow Sweet as one of the easiest-growing high-quality pears for people in the Northeast. (And relatively precocious, I believe.)

Thank you for the suggestions Jamie! I have considered Hoople’s Antique Gold but it does not seem to be an easy scion to locate, although a few members appear to be growing it.

I have seen Harrow Sweet mentioned in a few places, but I hadn’t considered it for my own planting. I’ll definitely look into it for next year (possibly even to add to the trees I’m top working at my office).

Ashmead’s has really great reviews from Scott, so I figured I’d give it a try. If your trials prove similar to my own, I’ll probably keep a branch and top work the rest once things are established at my place. Whether foolish or not, I’m trying to get a few espalier apples started to put along my future fence line. We’ll see how it goes.

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