Peach selection for Mid Atlantic

I want to add 1 or 2 peach trees but likely 4 varieties to zone 6A/B northern WV. I’ve read Scotts stone fruit guide which is incredibly helpful. I want some variety and would like to space out ripening so that I’m not inundated all at one time. I’ve not heard much good about early peach varieties and I’m basing my ripening times on what ACN uses for central PA. I definitely prefer free stone peaches to cling stone. Here is what I’m thinking:

  • Red Haven - Early-Mid season (Est) Aug 1 - because it’s the standard and is known to grow well in NE/Mid-Atlantic.
  • Saturn/Galaxy/TangOS/TangOSII - Early-Mid Season (Est August) - I’d like some type of Donut peach and they all seem to ripen at the same time. I’ve heard TangOSII has a unique flavor so might try that. I’m not adverse to scrapping the donut peach in favor of a peach that would fit in after contender but before indian free. Maybe Lady Nancy although Adams says it’s a light cropper? Anything else good for that segment?
  • Contender - Mid Season (Est) Aug 21 - I hear a lot of great things about this peach and I’m considering Loring instead but I’ve heard it may be less cold hardy.
  • Indian Free - Late Season (Est) late September - Because I have some scion wood coming and I’ve heard it’s an excellent late season white peach. This one will be grafted. And allows me to eat a high quality peach during apple season.

Any advice or recommendations?


All of the donut peaches are prone to rot. Saturn in particular is highly prone. So unless you are doing cover sprays all summer long I would skip that one. TangOs is tolerable for rot. Galaxy is between those two but it is too rubbery.

I don’t think you need to worry about cold hardiness in zone 6, its zone 5 that is borderline.

My report I would not really call a guide, it only covers the peaches I have grown which are not the most common ones. I think they are a notch better than the standards for flavor, but almost any perfectly tree-ripened peach is excellent when you are biting in to it. That said, if you can find some of the peaches on that list they should be good ones. Raintree is selling Kit Donnell I noticed. In most years you can find Winblo, but probably not this year due to crop losses. Note that if you have not yet grafted any peaches they are much harder. Many (most?) people get all failures the first time they try.


Thanks Scott. I’m not dead set on Donut peaches and it sounds they may not be the best best considering the rot issues and that they somewhat overlap Red Haven and Contender. Those two seem like no-brainers to me. I guess I’m kinda thinking of finding a peach that would split the difference between contender and Indian Free in terms of ripening. Kit Donnell sounds interesting but I have not been able to find any info on ripening in relation to the others on my list. Based on the ripening charts I’ve seen it appears there are tons of peach varieties that ripen concurrent with contender.

I am aware that peach grafting can be much tougher than Pommes and Plums. I’ll give it my best effort and if it doesn’t work out I’ll look into summer budding.

My two tastiest peaches are ‘Elberta’ and ‘Early Crawford’. Elberta is a huge peach with big, juicy flavor. Early Crawford smaller but one of the best peaches I’ve ever tasted. Our zones aren’t that far from each other.


Thanks for the info MrsG. It looks like Elberta may be slightly later than Contender and I guess that can work for me. What about Early Crawford? When does it ripen in relation to red Haven or Contender or Elberta?

Kit Donnell is in the Crawford school, it is a child of Baby Crawford and designed to extend its harvest to a later period. My guess is it will ripen about a week after Contender. The tastiest peach I grow in the middle of your late window is O’Henry, but it is prone to spot and cracking so probably not worth it. Carolina Gold is also in there, its a decent peach.

Our posts overlapped, Early Crawford could be pretty close to Contender. Elberta should be similar to Kit Donnell.

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Early Crawford is much earlier than Elberta (for me). Mid to end of August.


This post makes me think of Olpea. Haven’t seen him for quite a while. Anyone know if he’s been around?

Indeed, he knows the most about all the commercial peach varieties out there today.

@Olpea! We need you here!

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Olpea is around. I heard from him last week.


Redhaven is great.

Consider Glenglo if you want a peach a week earlier than Redhaven. Glenglo was bred in West Virginny.

If you want a great yellow peach around Aug 21, then consider Harmony (aka Canadian Harmony) instead of Contender. It is almost as cold hardy as Contender, but far superior in taste and disease resistance. It was bred in Ontario.

Windblo and Indian Free would probably work well too, and they get rave reviews.

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MrsG Those peaches look great. I think the Elberta or Kit Donnnel fits my window better since there isn’t as much overlap.

Interesting to read about Glenglo being a West Virginia Product. Maybe I should plant that to represent. haha Looks like Adams sell it. .

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These are the Glenglo I sampled from a local Maryland orchard.

Glenglo eats well during the last two weeks of July, right before Redhaven comes on the scene.

Olpea has said that he likes Glenglo a lot too. He is in Kansas.

More info here:

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… and here:

@scottfsmith, not sure if you mentioned this already, but how’s the disease resistance of Kit Donnell?

Its looking very good so far. Its only fruited one year for me but this was a real test year for diseases on my peaches.

Those Glenglo look great!

I like Red Haven and Contender a lot in my area. Although Contender is a NC peach, it is grown all over the country and often used as a parent in peach breeding. Winblo and Carolina Gold also excellent in my area. Winblo is earlier than Contenter and C Gold is later. A bunch of good peach variety were bred in Georgia, but I’m not sure how well they do in a cooler climate like WV. We did some blind taste test on tree ripe peaches last year. In our small test, people could not tell any difference between the 3 variety.


I cant quite read the price in the picture. Is it $8.50/basket? How about the size of the baskets? Looks like a lot more than a peck!

$8.50 for the basket load.


I believe it’s half a bushel. Their website is outdated, but in year’s past, they were selling peaches for $8 per half bushel. Price probably rose 50 cents since then. See here: