Looking for a peach between Red Haven and the late season peaches

I’d be interested to hear what are people’s favorite mid/late season peaches. I have a couple early season peaches that got zapped by frost the last two years which I think will keep me eating until Harrow Diamond and Red Haven kick in. I also have a couple late season peaches like Victoria and a grafted Autumn Star (my Indian Free died this year and I’m not sure if I should replace it or not…it never did well or tasted very good, but I think that may have been due to the location).

Anyhow, I’d love to get a post-Red Haven and pre-Late Season peach, but the shear number of choices is making my head spin.

Flavor is the top criteria
Free stone is preferred but not required
Yellow flesh is preferred but not required
Disease resistance is preferred, but I’m in the Mid-Atlantic so I’m spraying all the time anyway!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


PS - should I replant Indian Free or try to graft it?

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Kit Donnell and Baby Crawford are very tasty peaches in that period, also Red Baron. These are all California varieties but they have done well for me.

Not everyone likes Indian Free. If they were getting really sweet then you just don’t like them. If they were not getting sweet, try again. Mine were 18 or so brix this year, sweet for a mid-atlantic peach and awesome to my taste buds.

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Thanks Scott!

My issues with Indian free were that they always seem to develop deep cracks that none of my other peaches had, and the skin seemed thicker than other peaches. In fairness to Indian free, I don’t think I ever got them to a fully ripe condition. Part of it was due to the deep cracks in the other part, I think was due to the substandard soil I planted it in. It was basically planted on top of a giant rock a.k.a. the top of a mountain

Indian Free was a tough grow for me too. But it was uniquely flavored. Scott’s (and myself, and others) have grown it and have opinions. For my part, I think Raritan Rose is nice reflection of Indian Free.

With few exceptions, anything post Redhaven is going to be freestone. Lots of peaches there. Off the top of my head I like Blazingstar, Ernies Choice for a couple of dessert peaches. Some others are July Prince, TangOs, Glohaven, Loring.

Those are some peaches which taste really good in my orchard. Those peaches have nothing to do with overall ratings/disease resistance. And of course locale makes a huge difference.

Picking a favorite peach is about like picking a favorite song or favorite car,. There are so many variables, it’s impossible to be absolute.


I would also recommend Kit Donnell. Outstanding flavor!

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Bart would you mind letting me know what your spray schedule is like? I’m debating adding peaches and also in Virginia. You can PM me if you’d like.

I’m in a similar situation to Matt, and that my orchard is more than an hour away from where I live so I only get out there on the weekends. What that means is that I often can’t spray at the optimal time.

I do a spray of dormant oil and copper in the late spring, just before flowering, and this year I need to use all my powers to remember to do a copper spray after leaf fall because I’ve been having some peach leaf curl issues

My next spray is after petal fall. Every 2 weeks I spay with imidan (insects) and captan and sulfur (mildews, rots). I do maybe 4 sprays like that and sometime late in the season (a couple weeks before harvest) I switch to Sevin and Monterey Fungus Fighter to combat brown rot. (Another lesson learned the hard way!)

I think I spray more than a lot of people, but can’t do any daily monitoring and it seems like I have a few different cycles of plum curculio attacks (my worst pest problem), so I keep spraying


I picked the Contender peach. It ripens about 18 days after Redhaven peaches. Then I chose a late peach that ripens about 41 days after Redhaven peaches.

You are a zone colder than me. Am in zne 6a MA.
This year PF 24 C ripened from around Aug 24- Seot 10.

Right now, my Autumn Star is starting to ripen from Sept 14- Sept 25 (or more?).
Both are good peaches for me. PF 24 C is more cold tolerant than AS. They may fit the window you are looking for. I can give you scionwood if you want.

Based on flavor alone, I would say Loring. Best peach I’ve ever eaten. Literature says it is vigorous and productive, but buds can be frost tender. Samples I purchased from Boyer’s Nursery in southern PA ripened on Aug 22. Beautiful apricot-colored peach. Super tangy and super juicy tangelo-like flavor produces a wow factor. Luscious sweet melting freestone flesh. Univ of Missouri release from 1946. Long the standard of its season.

Another peach I’ve been getting turned onto is Sunhigh. This year, it was tastier than Harmony.

Cold hardier good ones are (Canadian) Harmony and Contender. Harmony can get very big. Contender is frost and disease resistant. Small but delicous with real peachy flavor.

Folks say Windblo and Carolina Gold are very good. I haven’t tasted them yet.

If you can only plant two in that window, I would plant Loring (go for the gusto) and Contender (excellent and perhaps more reliable).

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Loring is a great peach here in missouri


I’m not sure I’d place Canadian Harmony in the winter hardy category. I would actually describe it as more on the winter tender side.

Here, we’ve had what I’d call two “test winters” for winter tender peaches since I’ve been harvesting Canadian Harmony and it’s performed mediocre at best. One winter it hardly produced any blooms and the other one it produced only fair blooms after winters of -10 and -9F, respectively. These same winters, hardy peaches like Contender and Redhaven, sailed through and produced full crops.

There are a lot of references on the internet stating Canadian Harmony has " Cold hardiness comparable to Redhaven", but that seems to be just copied and pasted from one source to another, as far as I can tell.

Bill Shane (peach specialist at MSU) also indicates Canadian Harmony is not hardy. “Peach varieties with decent hardiness and good to excellent quality include Harrow Diamond (early), Starfire and Red Haven (midseason), Redskin (late August), and Harcrest (early September). Canadian Harmony and Loring are favorites for fresh and canning but tend to less tolerant to cold temperatures.” (Emphasis added)




That’s helpful information to consider. Thanks. The notations in the literature - and the fact that it was bred in Ontario - gave me the impression that Harmony must at least be able to do something. We’ve had some rough winters here too (particularly 14/15 & 15/16) and the orchards bordering z6/z7 around here have been cranking out yummy Harmonys.

It could be the heat of Kansas that is the culprit Canada never becomes that warm so I was thinking that the tree was unable to harden off enough. So may be fine here or Maryland. My Zaiger trees have produced even with weeks of sub-zero weather. So zone ratings of the tree or the area do not tell the whole story.

You would think peaches developed in Canada would be hardy. Most of the ones I’ve grown seem to be. Harrow Diamond (as long as it’s not on K1), Hardired nect, Harrow Beauty (to a lesser extent) all seem to be fairly hardy. But Harken (also developed under the same breeding program) is not hardy at all. I’ve harvested Harken peaches for 9 years and they can’t take the cold.

This has nothing to do with Harrow peaches, but I stumbled across this power point a few days ago by Jerry Frecon (who now works for Adams County). I thought it was interesting (and unfortunate) that he mentioned cold hardiness is not as important to breeders/evaluators as it once was.


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Jerry may be right but the Romance series tart cherries are amazing in cold zones. So is honeyberries with multiple active breeders currently. So maybe in peach circles it’s not important. Cold hardiness seems alive and well with other fruit.

Olpea, do you grow Harcrest? It was one of my selections when I started my nursery years ago, and I always kept a tree in my orchard until the last one died. I have one that I manage on a site where it is hand’s down the most productive of quality, nice sized yellow peaches on a consistent basis. I’m surprised it has fallen out of favor as a home orchard peach because it seemed fairly resistant to brown rot back in the days I didn’t routinely do at least one Indar summer spray. It sometimes produced well at sites where it wasn’t even sprayed.

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I haven’t tried Harcrest. I don’t believe I’ve ever noticed it being offered by a nursery. Your description of it sounds enticing and I would like to try it. “hand’s down the most productive of quality, nice sized yellow peaches on a consistent basis” It’s those kinds of trees I wish I could have for every window.

Do you remember if it ripens with Encore, or before or after Encore? I’ve looked it up on the internet and get all kinds of conflicting info on ripening. But the descriptions are all consistently positive. I suspect it’s fallen out of flavor because of color. I’ll put with a less red peach if it excels in the other categories mentioned.

For anyone interested, in addition to Alan’s description, here’s a few other descriptions I came across:

– A hybrid of (‘J.H. Hale’ x ‘Massasoit’) x ‘Sunhigh’, introduced in 1983 by Agriculture Canada, Ontario. Trees are winter hardy and produce showy blossoms. Harvest season begins Aug. 20 to Aug. 25. This is a very attractive, large (2.75 inches in diameter) peach. Fifty to 70% of the surface is covered with red over greenish yellow, and there is little pubescence. The flesh is freestone, fairly firm, and contains some red pigment. The fruit is aromatic and the flavor is good. There are some split pits some years. It is moderately resistant to bacterial spot. "

“Harcrest fruit were flavorful, had good size, and had very impressive quality in 1996.”

“Peach varieties with decent hardiness and good to excellent quality include Harrow Diamond (early), Starfire and Red Haven (midseason), Redskin (late August), and Harcrest (early September).”

It ripens about with Lady Nancy (or Elberta, Messina). The site where I manage it is one of my most frequent visits. Late last week there was still some fruit on the tree, but too soft to be useful. I’ll send you some wood if you like. I summer pruned it a lot but I will find you some good sticks.

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That’s perfect for me. I’d like to have a hardy peach for the Encore window, and that just about fits. Encore is a few days later than Lady Nancy and Messina here, but it’s close enough.

I would like to get some wood from you if possible. Thanks.

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