High Desert Fruit

I am looking for recommendations for apples, pears, peaches, and apricots. Also raspberries. I live in a challenging area in the high desert southwest.

Summers are long and hot. Multiple weeks between 100 and 110 F. Winters have lots of swing. We get down into the 20s at night but usually warm up by 30-40 degrees during the day. Spring is highly variable. It gets warm quick and mostly stays warm but then we have late hard frosts very frequently.

Officially we are on the southern edge of climate zone 7, though I’m not sure that means much. Chill hours are around 800-1100 depending on the year.

I’d be interested in anyone’s experience from West Texas/Panhandle; south-central New Mexico; northern Arizona/southern Utah; or maybe the Reno area. I saw a couple of good threads on here from Reno folks that gave me some good ideas. Help choosing apple varieties for high desert southwest

I haven’t met anyone here who has successfully grown raspberries or peaches or even tried. Apple varieties and especially apricots seem to grow all right, but people are just buying whatever variety the big box hardware store is selling and its mostly pretty tasteless. No point in growing your own fruit if you don’t get that amazing taste!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I already have Rubinette, GoldRush, Cripps Pink, Red Boskoop, Bramley, Ashmead Kernel, and Honeycrisp apples in a ‘fruit hedge’ style setup that I put in over the last year, plus a Seckel Pear. Also a Blenheim and Flavor Giant apricots.

I planted a few heritage raspberries when we first moved here a couple of years ago. They have survived but not thrived. Got just a handful of very small berries last year.


I’m in the same climate at 4500ft elevation in Alpine TX. I grew for 30 yrs in Amarillo. It’s rough fruit country esp Amarillo.

I’d be interested in knowing your location.

My best move by far was putting in a greenhouse here in Alpine. It’s allowed me to grow the best stonefruit I’ve ever eaten along with a lot of other things.

My favorite peach outdoors or gh is Valley Sweet. Not readily avalibale.

Favorite nectarines are the Honey series from DWN. Outdoors Honey Lite and Honey Diva set the best but are much more difficult to grow than Valley Sweet.

Fav apricots: Tomcot, Orangered, Robada

Pluots are difficult to grow outdoors easy in gh. Flavor Supreme, Geo Pride, Flavor King. Honey Punch. Flavor Treat.

Pears: Korean Giant, Comice and Bosc

Persimmon: Eureka This is a great pest free fruit. But the tree isn’t too hardy.

Some people like jujubes. This is the right country for them. But I find them much inferior to real fruit like nectarines. They are great for those wanting something sweet that’s easy to grow.


I really appreciate it. I’m in Artesia, NM. Very similar climates. I’m, what, about 100 miles north of you but about 1000 feet lower. Although according to usclimatedata, our winters are colder and our summers hotter.

Do you have a thread on your greenhouse? I’m interested.

Ah Artesia that is pretty similar to here. It would be a great place for a greenhouse like mine. You could easily get all the chilling you need the same way I do. This past winter I ran chill cycle mid Oct to early Dec. Then went to warm for my fig nursery business. I’m already eating cherries, nectarines, apricots, mulberries, and breba figs.

There are plenty of threads on here about my greenhouse. This is one of many

Here’s an old writeup from DWN website:


I’ve changed it around quite a lot every yr. Here’s some recent pictures:


I took a few more right now to show the size, 32x54x16ft, and equipment in the greenhouse.



That is a great set up.

To be clear, are any of the varieties you recommended ones you have had any luck trying to grow outside?

All of those are worth trying outdoors. I haven’t grown pears, apples, or persimmon in the greenhouse to any degree. They do OK outdoors. The stonefruit are much easier in the gh but outside they make a crop about one yr in two or three.


Appreciate it.

I didn’t see any mention of the apple varieties you have growing. Care to spill the beans?

Goldrush is about the only apple I like here. We don’t get enough chilling. In Amarillo I was growing about 50 varieties. But they don’t interest me much anymore. Stone fruit is much better fresh and dried. So I eat stone fruit all yr long.

In Amarillo I liked Pink Lady. Here I can’t get it to size up.


Please show some new pics of your blossoming or fruiting trees. They are always such a treat to see!