I picked bunch of peaches and nectarines today. This is mid-early season here with late early being Redhaven time in about 9 days. My first peaches were Rich May which, in spite of way too much preceding rain, were pretty good for an early season peach- a little low on sugar but highly flavored. Desiree followed and was about as good with Harrow Diamond maybe a bit more bland (less morning sun spot).
However, nothing I tasted excited me until about mid-harvest for my Silver Gem nectarines. Tough year for nects with rain creating cracks and uneven ripening that makes a certain amount of brown rot unstoppable. I don’t care.
I’m almost done harvesting my Carene and SG nects and they are so much better than any peach I grow at this point of the season. I sampled the biggest Gold Dust on my tree, dead ripe at time of picking. Also a softening Glenglo. Both had a brix reading of 8-9 (Messina and Flavor May got higher). A ripe SG hit 15 and my palate makes a similar reading. Twice as good! No… incomparably better- an experience only a grower and friends family are likely to enjoy, unless you have a really good farmer’s market nearby with a specialist grower of stone fruit. But the title of this forum is “Growing Fruit” not “Tasting Other People’s Fruit”.
Take my advice, east coast peach growers, purchase some Indar (share a bottle) and grow some nectarines.
I agree…!! And maybe the most surprising thing about it is the higher brix. I’ve had lots of nectarines in the 20s brix even low 30s. Peaches are hard to get into the 20s. They can be very good in the upper teens but they aren’t nectarines.
I’m not sure why nectarines are higher brix. I’ve speculated here a few times. Maybe more water loss thru the skin. Most likely it’s just genetic.
I believe I have a Mericrest and it was the first one I planted 25 years ago because it was supposed to be disease resistant. I don’t think so, but it certainly is a highly flavored fruit. Cracks a lot even for a nectarine here, which is why I waited so many years to plant another.
Yup- here’s a real beauty on my Mericrest…It’s planted next to the driveway, which I figured would be good to get lots of sun and heat. But, maybe it isn’t ideal, as it means that it gets periodic flood of run-off when it rains.
I’ve had a Cavalier nectarine for a few years. Last year was the first year with good set and they cracked badly. This year, they seem to be OK- do trees get better about handling our wet conditions over time?
I’m guilty of this- I use the farmers market to see what can be tasty in the area. I would also encourage anyone getting started to talk to the vendors. Many are just re-sellers of produce that others grow, but there are some who are into it and have good (and local) info. Also, see if you can get them to bring you the “good stuff”. The Harrow Diamonds (9-11 brix) I bought from a place this week were inferior to both the nectarines which they only had seconds of (for me ).
The input helps all of us, I just don’t consider evaluations of fruit that may have been picked too early or inadequately thinned to be reliable. When you buy something grown in your area that’s really great it means something, if it isn’t, it only suggests something.
One is a Sunglo in there, plus a couple are Mericrest and the rest are Summer Beauts. The main problem as you can see is bird damage, there is no rot on them at all. The Sunglo is tastier than Summer Beaut, I have the two trees in the same hole and I think the Summer Beaut is probably going to get removed.
Mericrest rarely cracks for me. They need a lot of disease sprays though - when they get spot or peach scab they don’t size up nearly as well. I didn’t thin my tree well enough this year, its a super-heavy setter that needs massive thinning.
Alan and @fruitnut,
20+ years ago, I tried nectarines for the first time. The fruit were beautiful, better looking than peaches. The taste was awful, very sour. The texture was crunchy. Obviously, the fruit were picked too early like any peaches or nectarines from supermarkets.
What a lasting effect on me was negative perception on Nectarines. After reading Alan talking about Earlyglo a few years ago. I planted Earliglo 3 years ago. This is the fiest year it fruits. Only a few left on the tree. I have to figure out when to pick them. Even Earliglo does not have high marks on taste, if I could pick them at the right time, I hope they would taste better than any store bought ones.
I have grafts of Arctic Star and Arctic Glo fruiting this year. Hope I have to eat the fruit and will decide if I should graft my peach trees over to nectarines.
I was wrong about my cracker being Mericrest. It must be the other cold-hardy nectarine most recommended a quarter century ago. Bob is in approximately the same zone as me and my mistaken Mericrest tree is still probably about 3 weeks away.
As far as cracking, IMO, all nectarines crack when you get too much rain at the wrong time and my cracking varieties vary year to year based on that- except my first not yet identified nect almost always cracks.
:Mam, it was Easternglo I recommended and my early recommendations were based on my early failures as well. I now know there are many varieties that can be grown in the east. Summer Beaut and Easternglo were the first Adam’s varieties that I tried. Unlike Scot, I still consider SB to be a keeper- there really isn’t that much difference to me between most yellow flesh nectarines beyond the acid level and the only low acid variety I have that is exceptional just doesn’t seem to do well here, but I will give it one more season. It is the one I got like a 28 to 29 brix reading when no other nect has gotten higher than 16 here that I’ve tested,
If your best nectarines are normally 16 brix that’s all about growing conditions not variety. The way you describe the vigor of your trees I’m not surprised you have brix issues but 16 max? That’s worse than I suspected. It’s just lousy growing conditions IMO. You have no control over water and nature doesn’t cooperate.
We were dry all yr thru June about 4 inches total ppt for 6 months and constant sun. The coons dined on my 30 brix nectarines in June that I actually realize now I should have watered more. The last 4 weeks it’s constant rain and clouds. My fruit is suffering but Valley Sweet peaches still 18 brix. Savor melons are splitting wide open. Give me back my sun.