Hello! This is my first post to this forum, and I’m so happy I found it!
I’ve been wanting to plant a peach tree or a few years, and keep going 'round and 'round as to which variety. It has to be the best. Haha. I’ve been researching and keep coming back to a few varieties that sound good, but I would love to find someone in Baltimore who has experience growing peaches.
I would like, since I’m only going to grow one, excellent disease resistance, excellent flavor, kind of firm, melting, juicy, large, red skinned with deep yellow flesh, free-stone. No problemo. right?!
I’m looking at PF 24, Contender, Loring. and, of course, Redhaven. I am skeptical of the good reviews PF24 and Contender are getting because of their apparent appeal for cold-hardiness. I’m concerned that might mean that among the cold hardy varieties, PF24 and Contender might be the best tasting, but overall they might be just okay. I’m not sure I would need to limit myself that degree og cold-hardiness in Baltimore anyway. Loring, of course has a color issue, but of everything else checked out, I might ease up on that desire. Redhaven appeals to me because of it’s reputation, and if it is truly the best tasting, I’d like to know how free-stone it is. I’ve read it is semi-cling, or that it is unreliably free-stone year after year, or that the ripeness determines it’s free-stone quality. Hmmm…which is it? One other thing I’ve read about Redhaven that, if true, would be very appealing to me is the need for a few harvests. I spoke with Mark at Tubby about this and he said (if I understood correctly) that commercial growers might not find multiple harvests efficient, but honestly most varieties yield crops that do not ripen all the same time anyway, but yes, Redhaven does seem to need an additional harvest or two. This appeals to me greatly because we want to eat fresh ripe peaches off the tree and we are a small family. Sure we will cook with and preserve some…we will have to…but it would be great to have an extended harvest of sorts from a single tree.
I’ve already read the post about the Red Baron vs. Kaweah, but have not looked further into either of those. I would be more than happy to be pointed towards other varieties better suited for my area.
Additional site conditions for my tree include typical Maryland clay soil, but I have been amending it somewhat over the years in the bed where the peach will be planted. It will be at the top of a 4 foot slope as well. Full sun.
I’ll deal with the inevitable squirrel problem later.