I am just finishing the rest of my starfire peaches and here is my report for anyone interested. Among the varieties I grow I consider it an average peach here. I will start with the downsides
- Harvest window is short.
- Once picked they get ripe fast. You have to eat them or process them very quickly.
- I tried them slightly under ripe, just ripe, ripe off the tree and ripe off the counter. Flavor and texture is just OK not great. I got the best flavor picking them just underripe and setting on the counter 1-3 days.
- Large fruit
2 Very good production on my 3rd year tree.
- We froze a lot of them and we’ve been making peach smoothies. Very good for this.
- Seems resistant to peach leaf curl. Less than 10% of leaves were affected on this tree. Seemed to be resistant to other disease also. I sprayed only twice this year and got 100% clean fruit.
I like it but would not plant another tree. I can’t wait for Selena
The thing about peaches in the humid region is that quality is 50% based on how much rain and grey skies occured during the 3 weeks preceding harvest (assuming fruit is properly thinned), which may seem obvious, but has taken a long time to really sink into my brain.
You need to have at least two varieties that ripen at the same time to get an idea of the true quality of peaches, but even then, be aware that how a variety performs in your orchard may be different than next door. The first Red Haven peach I grew consistently produced big, beautiful but low sugar fruit when grown on one part of my property but sweetened up nicely on another part. I never even figured out why- the first wasn’t in a wet spot.
And then you need about 10 seasons to really get a handle on it- not that you should wait that long to post your opinions on any given variety.
A short harvest window is great for commercial growers, or from a tree with a single branch of that variety. Harvesting that requires looking and even touching every piece of fruit can get old in a mature orchard.