Hello, Braintrust - calling for some recommendations from y’all…
Had a phone call from a neighbor down the road who’s wanting to plant a ‘small’ home orchard… a half-dozen apples, 2 or 3 pears, some peaches & cherries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries… he’s wanting recommendations from me.
I’ve grown all of these at one time or another; but I’m a minimal-inputs sort of guy…don’t really know what he’s got in mind, with regard to spraying, if at all.
I can handle pear, blueberry, and blackberry recommendations, but need help with the others.
Located just NW of Hopkinsville KY… about 80 miles NW of Nashville TN.
Early on, I had over 60 apples at one time… have abandoned almost all as not worth my time or trouble; about all I still have that I care for are MonArk and a few of the lunchbox/edible crab types. For the past 10 years or so, late-ripening varieties have had no chance at ripening, as the big brown European hornets eat them all up long before they ever get past August.
He was inquiring after the ‘disease-resistant’ varieties, and I reminded him that ‘disease resistant’ doesn’t also include ‘bug-resistant’. Other than GoldRush, I’ve never grown any of the disease-resistant varieties, can’t make any recommendations regarding flavor, productivity, etc.
He indicated he was mainly interested in flavor… don’t know if any of the disease-resistant varieties even fall into the ‘flavorful’ category.
Cherries… not even on my radar screen. I’ve had, and still have, Montmorency. It’s productive. No one picks it.
Peaches… planted some early on because the wife wanted them. They manage to escape spring freezes and set a crop maybe one year out of five… and even then, no one will pick them. They’ve almost all died out, and I have no intention of planting another one.
Pears; like I said, those I’m pretty comfortable with… but go ahead and tout your favorites.
Raspberries…again, not really my thing. Don’t care for (OK, I hate) the flavor, though I will eat a blackcap every now and then.
Rootstock choices… I’m old-school; most of my apples are on M7 or M9/M111; I’m presuming there are possibly better choices available now? Stonefruits… I’ve got no idea what to tell him to look for. I suspect space is not a constraint. Soils will be a good clay type, probably with a fairly high water table.
Looking forward to hearing everyone’s recommendations. Thanks, in advance.