Late season Peaches


Alan, I think you were making a mischievous quip, but I thought perhaps my comment deserved clarification anyway for anyone who read my post.

By my loose analogy of pigs having as much differences w/in a breed, as between breeds, I meant that there is about as much difference or variation of peaches on a given tree (from year to year, or climate to climate, or where it was picked on the tree, or how mature the fruit was when picked) as there is between different varieties).

Of course that’s not completely accurate if one counts that there are completely different types of peaches (i.e. a peach from a round variety will never become a flat peach (unless there was severe stink bug damage). But in terms of sugar content, size, shape, and color of the fruit and even age of the tree, I’ve observed vast differences of the within a given variety.

It seems to take me a few years with mature trees to really figure out if I like the peach, and do a fair evaluation for myself. And even then I find I am still making mistakes about varieties I thought were working good for me, or ones I wasn’t impressed with at first, but then warm up to.


And of course you are right. It is especially true in home orchards where certain parts of the property get different light This year my Messina seems to have sweeter peaches than my Harrow Diamond and they ripened sooner. The Messina gets better morning sun and is surrounded by reflecting boulders.

Also, my early nectarines are not promising with all the rain we are getting- hard fruit is rotting and cracking. To have any to eat I may have to have them with a side of fungicide. I prefer to keep my fungicide apps a month from harvest at least, and they can’t prevent cracking no matter how much you use, although they can allow cracked fruit to ripen. .



It’s always good to have your input. I am sure many of us take notes and want to add those late peaches. Thank you.

@alan, slightly off topic. When Earliglo nectarines ripen for you, please? My tree sets fruit for the first. I may have a fruit or two that escape OFM and PC. Would love to have an idea when to pick them. They are hiding underneath branches and are hard to see,(but have not escaped the bugs :(.


August Prince is a good late peach in the South. Would probably ripen
for you in early September. Be happy to send scion wood.


I grow Easternglo which should begin ripening in about a week. It was the most damaged by Feb cold snap, apparently, as there are many undersized fruit that will probably start rotting any day. Actually some already has. It’s weird how peaches and nects will sometimes hold onto damaged fruit that only serves as a BR conduit.


Thanks. Mine may be a week after you. Most of mine were damaged by OFM. I cut up drop fruit. Worms crawled about fitting the description. I have both OFM and PC on all my stone fruit.


This is the first year I’ve gotten any Carnival fruit and I’m pretty impressed. It is a small 2nd year tree on Citation, maybe 4’ wide and 5-6’ tall- pretty big for citation at that age, as most of mine runted out. The tree is carrying about a dozen fruit and they are all pretty large.

I had the first about a week ago, when it cracked after the rainstorm. 14-17 brix, some acid, and crisp. A far cry from the 8-12 brix (with more on the low end) garbage that most of my peaches have been this year.

Today, I noticed a spot of rot on one and picked it before it got worse. Best peach of the year so far. 15-18 brix and very good flavor. The darker part had the higher brix…

It was so good that I picked another one. This next one was from further into the canopy and less ripe- more like 15 brix, which was still very good, though it had more acid bite and was firmer.

I know it is early to get excited about a peach, but I am a bit excited. I suppose it is also possible that the young age (not too much shading growth), the moderate load (12 fruit on a tree that size isn’t light, but it isn’t seriously overloaded either), and the additional sun we’ve had recently all help it be sweeter than the earlier peaches.

To add a bit of quantification to my last statement, September generation on my solar panels is set to outperform last year (102%), while the June, July, and August were 88%, 95%, and 92% of last year.

I’m looking forward to Heath Cling as well, but they have a ways to go (the 4-5 on the 2nd year tree). Interestingly, HC’s fruit have been small for the entire year and have just recently started to get bigger. Carnival on the other hand has been almost full size for quite a while. I assume they must add sugar as the time goes on, but I didn’t waste any fruit to test that this year.


I have heard that Citation rootstock is sensitive to dry conditions. Bob - can you share any experience with this?


I will need some wood. You’ve got me excited also. If it is that much higher brix than your other peaches it is likely no fluke.


I just ate some Victoria from a local orchard. Not impressed. Fairly sweet but lacking in flavor.

I also ate some Snow Gem. This one has caught my attention. Super sweet, beautiful juicy melting pure white flesh with that pure white peach flavor… very good eating for mid September. Skin peels easily. Freestone.


Thank you, Bob.

My 24C has been just like you said brix of 8, 10, 12. However, everyone I gave them to (almost the entire neigborhood, many friends and co-workers) all said they were very good to excellent. Some said they were better than any peaches they have ever eaten.

That goes to show you what a big difference between the store bought rocks that they call peaches and home-grown peaches. Even the subpar home grown taste better and more flavorful that those rocks.

By the way, my late peach in Autumn Star. Most are still ripening on the trees. A few have dropped but still hard. Not sure why they dropped. I may start picking a few each day.

With the PF 24 C, it took me over 2 weeks to harvest them all. As a home grower, I am glad I don’t have to harvest hundreds of peaches in a day or two. I’d not know what to do with them.


I’ve had several on citation runt out, or at least grow very slowly. Nectarines seem particularly slow/weak growers on it. I have a absolutely tiny Liz’s Late and a slightly-larger-but-still-small Mericrest on Citation. Elberta and Carnival are growing a bit better on it, but still way smaller than Lovel, which isn’t entirely a bad thing. Ideally, I’d like something in between, but closer to Citation. The bigger problem is that the small citation put out very little fruit, most of which encounters a problem before ripening (nectarine’s crack and rot and animals steal all the Gold Dust peaches). I generally don’t water too much, but we’ve had plenty of rain. LL, Mericrest, and Elberta are all next to and downhill of the driveway, so they get additional rain in the form of runoff.

Sure thing- I’ll do some pruning on it. I was thinking about adding more varieties to it, but based on this initial fruit, I think I’ll keep it intact (other than the small Kit Donnell graft I put on this spring).

I had the same experience, but I assumed that people were just being nice. I couldn’t understand how they thought that they were good. Maybe they just like the change of pace and the more tender/juicy texture.


I really think several of my frienda gave honest feedback. Their experience prior to this was with store bought peaches. Those have little to no sugar or flavor ( at least what are sold around where I live).


Maybe your fruit was better than mine- I’ve had a lot of store bought fruit which was better than what I grew. I’ve had some store-bought fruit that was worse, but it was usually the cheapest available and/or during the off-season. The best home fruit is better than most grocery store fruit, but it is now possible to get decent fruit at some stores. Stop and Shop isn’t bad for peaches/nectarines (better than Shop Rite) and Whole Foods and higher end stores can rival home grown. I’ve had some exquisite 20-22 brix nectarines from those stores. Of course, they were $4-6 per pound, not $0.79/lb, like the horrible stuff.


I just ate a 19 brix crunchy firm Sweet September, a Zaiger peach. This was grown outside and was very good. I’ll be eating one a day for the next two weeks.


We have Shaw’s, Price Chopper’s, Stop&Shop, Wegman’s and Trader Joe’s nearby. It is hits or misses on fruit they sell. Most of the times, it’s misses, based on my home grown quality. These apply to all standard fruit, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, except for apples. Sometimes, apples sold are labeled “locally own”. They taste as good as my own apples. Stone fruit, all brought in from somewhere else.

I have had so many of my peaches for thse past two weeks. Some tasted very good, many were subpar but they still had “peach flavor”. Afpter the first few, I did not even bother measuring the brix afterward.


There is a short window when high end stores have some high quality stonefruit, but it is hit and miss and I doubt you can find anything by Sept as far as peaches and nects go (plums and pluots are another story). Last year, I asked my wife to pick up some nectarines from Costco, which has a rep for high quality produce in bulk. She bought me a case of horrible white nectarines which I couldn’t eat even though I had a very light crop last year. They sure were big and beautiful.


I would agree, when I don’t do a poor job of growing my homegrown fruit, as I appear to have this year for peaches. I’m convinced that I can do it much better. But, for what I grew this year, only the Carnival clearly beats the stores, with Loring, Carmen, Early Crawford, and Shu Mi Tao (sample size of 1) maybe beating the store fruit.

I think some of it comes down to what you value in fruit. I think I’m fine with more acid in my fruit than many others. So I actually like the organic peaches from Mexico that Whole Foods sells in April/May, even though they are 11-12 brix and a bit tart. Better than the 8-10 brix peaches I grow, even if they are “sweeter” due to lower acid (being completely ripe).

I would also view Costco as hit or miss. Always beautiful, only sometimes tasty. I was pretty happy when my wife said that my Loring peaches looked like they came from Costco- that’s high praise :slight_smile:

One of the high-end stores near me (more expensive than Whole Foods) is Walter Stewarts. They sometimes sell fruit from Frog Hollow Farms in CA (one of the sources for a 20+ brix nectarine) for about $6/lb. I went to FHF’s web site and they sell peaches from mid-May until the end of September (Autumn Flame), so I suspect that after September the choices/quality may decline steeply until the Southern hemisphere kicks in. But I get your point that any particular store doesn’t always have top-notch fruit. You may need to scout around a bit, more than most non-obsessives would be willing to do.

Of course, it would be hard to produce year round fruit yourself (I’ve toyed with the idea, including massive grow lights, walk-in freezers to artificially apply chill, etc…), so finding good places to buy it is really necessary if you don’t want to get by on frozen peaches.


It isn’t just time, it is also money. I suppose you can buy a single piece of fruit and sample it outside the store to determine if it is worth buying more but there is no other way of knowing what the brix level will be based on looks, generally speaking, so even if you pay a premium from high end stores that sell “tree ripened” stone fruit you risk disappointment and a wasted investment.

Incidentally, most of the forum members don’t have the types of sources you mention. You live within commuting distance of NYC and in one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. Of course, if money is no object, there are CA producers of high quality fruit that fed ex boxes to customers. The only people I know of that use this service are triple digit millionaires- I believe one such person (a Greenwich CT customer) mentioned Frog Hollow Farm. They stop doing it when their own trees have ripe fruit.


Anyone have any experience with Fireball, Kandi Korn, or Autumn Angel Peach Trees? These are late season trees being sold by Burchell Nursery - Tomorrows Harvest.