Hey Drew…good to hear from you. I should have expected that you’d have some good advice on Blackberries and you did! But more importantly, you now have me excited about Tayberries and I’ll probably try them on your recommendation alone. I’ve seen them around (on-line I mean) and wondered how they were. IF you, with your brambles experience, think they are that good then they are certainly worth a try. I actually planted some Loganberries that I got at Tractor Supply last year but like many of the plants I get from TS, they died. I applaud TS for offering a surprising variety of interesting fruit and nuts (hazelnuts, chestnut (seedlings), pecan (seedlings) etc.) But the packaging techniques they use the extremely small size of many of the plants they pack into sawdust and then a plastic bag, and so on dooms many of their plants from the start. But I digress. I’m also very interested in the fact that it sounds like you, overall, prefer the berries that come from thorny plants vs those from thornless plants. I’ have tasted blackberries from many other places (friends/famly, neighbors, and local u-pick places) and I had already formed a personal opinion that (ON AVERAGE) thorny plants just have better tasting black berries. No doubt there are exceptions to this rule and I don’t have experience with huge numbers of different plants, but hearing you confirm my own experience is just really interesting to me. I will also tell you that here in my area, I find the taste of wild black-berries to be better than most if not all of the “tame” blackberries I’ve tasted. In fact, as you may recall, I spent about 3 years creating my own wild blackberry patch by digging up and transplanting a few wild plants from a wild patch that was especially good tasting. Considering the way wild patches spread on their own, I was very surprised to find my transplants took a VERY long time (years) before they really began to send a lot of runners and shoots starting coming up. Worse yet, I really never get my transplants to bloom or produce fruit…even the third year, when they were sending up lots of shoots. I ended up with a big patch of thorns but that was all…never got a single berry. I don’t know enough about Brambles to know, but is it possible that I dug up all males and so their runners and shoots simply made more males that don’t blom? Or does it even work like that? (ie do only females produce fruit, or are there even male/females? If not, any idea why my wild patch, even after it became healthy with a lot of new plants that emerged from my transplants, never fruited? Once again…though…I’m chasing down another rabbit trail here. Same old Kevin! ha
@Olpea always a honor to hear from the king of peaches, and your compliment on my variety means everything to me. That being said, I always feel a little like my list of varieties paints an unfair picture of what I have in my orchard. Don’t misunderstand me, I absolutely have every single tree on my list in my orchard. But many of them (majority, in fact) are either this year or last year, so they are very small trees. Worse yet, several trees on my list have some sort of problem that means they are small, spindly little trees. In short, I don’t want you or anyone else who read’s my list to have visions of my orchard being filled with large, healthy, well pruned and shaped trees that are ready to produce bushels and bushels of fruit. That is my goal, of course, but I just feel compelled to tell you and others that I’m not there yet, not by a long shot. Speaking of which, can you shed any light to why I have had such bad luck with late season peach trees. It has to be more than bad luck. I’m talking primarily about Indian Free and Fairtime and one other very late variety I tried a few years ago and can’t remember right now (it died). I’ve planted and/or replanted these 2-3 varieties several times and had them die or just look awful and refuse to put on hardly any growth. I’ve planted them at different locations all around my property in the same conditions- and usually within feet of other peach trees that are healthy. Before you or others can help me much you’ll probably need to know the root stocks. Unfortunately (CRINGE) I don’t know. I bought most of the problematic late season trees from Peaceful Valley/Grow Organic or Stark Brothers. Not sure what either uses for RS. But I bought lots of my other trees from the same people and at the same time in many cases. Yet my late season varieties just do awful. Can you imagine anything inherently different about late season trees that could explain why I’ve had such (repeated) bad luck with varieties like Indian Free and Fairtime and another late peach??? Or do you think I’ve just had some coincidental bad luck with a few trees that just happened to be late fruiting varieties?
@drewk Since we are still talking about “peaches in Middle TN” I hope you don’t feel like I’ve hijacked your thread here. BTW…did you ever tell me what county you are in? If I missed it then I’m sorry, but I’m curious to know how close we really are. Let me at least try to answer your questions:
If you haven’t seen it, @scottfsmith has assembled an amazing and incredibly helpful list on on-line nurseries. If you are not yet aware of this list, you’ll be thrilled when you see it. Here it is:
As for your question about whether there are any nurseries to avoid, you might get different people to suggest one or two nurseries with which they have had bad experience with or don’t like or trust their trees. But there is one SUPER-STAR when it comes to the list of nurseries to avoid! There is one on-line retailer that, when I mention its name, is sure to get a lot of “Amen’s” and “I agree” and “LIKES”. It also happens to be one of the most advertised on-line nurseries out there (albeit with the strangest ads I’ve ever seen) The infamous offender of which I speak is: Ty Ty The depth of their awful reputation cannot be overstated. If you were on a desert island and the only way you could avoid starving to death was to (somehow) order a fruit tree from Ty Ty, I would recommend you just start eating sand. haha.
Finally, I concur with your inclination to buy and plant an Elberta peach tree. You mentioned it in conjunction with red haven and contender. In my own limited experience, those 3 trees would be the absolutely perfect for this area and are probably the 3 that I have the most success with. Hope some of this helps. Good luck!