I’m eating and canning my Contender peaches. They were very small about a month ago with very little rain. Since then we have had several really good days of rain between last month and now. There were 3 1/2-4 bushels of peaches off of two semi dwarf trees this year. They were so dark this year they looked black in the trees. Almost looked like black plums from a distance. VERY juicy too.
Zestar might be on its way out if Honeycrisp and Macintosh are coming in where you are. I’m pretty clueless with peaches. Based on the limited research I’ve done over the past week or so I think something along the lines of planting one Coralstar and one Messina might be the way to go for me, and to graft a variety or two onto those trees to extend the season. Glengo/Redhaven might be grafted for some earlier peaches, Indian Free might be one of the later ones. The thinking is to make my two mother trees desirable patented varieties, fill in the rest of the desired harvest period by grafting on non-patented varieties. I know very little about what varieties might taste good here, and nothing about what varieties might make a good mother tree here.
I’m eating one of the Ginger Golds now. I think I like it better than the Zestar. Jucier, more balanced between sweet/tart.
The Zestar wasn’t fully ripe, but it was still very good. I remember more of a corn syrupy aftertaste from that. The descriptions online describe it as brown sugar flavor. I’ll go back to the same store and see how both varieties are in a week or two.
Wow, that seems like a lot of peaches off of two trees, how old and how big are they? How big would you say they were on average, diameter wise? So, did the rain cause them to swell up and dilute the flavor and sweetness?
I’m very happy with my tree (from Adams County), it’s only been in the ground about 16 months, and is already my biggest peach. It’s gonna need some pruning, but I’ll take that over my puny Coralstar and Redhaven, that are both 4ft or shorter, and have been in the ground an extra year. I think I’m going to have to move them next year to a better location. My other peach, a Blushingstar planted last year, is close to the Contender and has done pretty well this year.
My trees are in their 4th greening. Last year was the first actual fruit bearing. There was not quite as many peaches last year. This year I did not thin it like I probably should have. The fruit looked very tiny at that time.
Diameter wise they are very thick. I will measure them, good point. One branch broke because when we had the last rain it made the fruit too heavy at the tip. Peach trees have very brittle wood. After that branch broke I thinned them out. It always hurts me to take fruit off a tree.
I have a a RedHaven peach as well. I planted it the same time as the Contender peach trees. I had a lot of peaches on that tree last year. However, this year I only had about 8 peaches on it for same strange reason. Not sure what happened.
You might want to chat with @BobVance about peaches (and apples) as he’s in CT also.
Yeah, my wife has been asking when we can go to the orchard, as the Honeycrisp are ready too, prob our favorite of all their varieties. Zestar usually peaks there before HC, so I think we ought to wait a couple weeks. All their pick your own apples are $1.39/lb, except HC are $2.50. Kinda high, but from what I gathered from the owner, they are very difficult to grow a high percentage of clean fruit compared with other varieties.
I like Macs, but they don’t keep very long, and there’s others I prefer. I’ve tried their Ginger Gold the last couple of years and they leave me a bit underwhelmed. Just kind of OK, but nothing special. Their Sansa were very good last year, I really liked them. Maybe when my trees get a bit bigger I might add a Sansa graft.
We have a Honeycrisp tree, planted two years ago, and it’s struggled compared with my other apples. Plus, this year it was ravaged by J beetles, for some reason they attacked it just about as bad as any of my apple trees. Those beetles are a menace to my fruit plants, they seem to like my blackberries, raspberries, and pluots this year. Plus, my 5ft tall Juliet tart cherry is basically leafless now, thanks to them.
@BobVance, @alan, and @MrsG47 are all very close to me. I tend to like stronger, more acidic fruits which makes @alan’s opinions even more worthwhile (for me) than they’d otherwise be. And considering managing small orchards is his livelihood, that’s something. I search obsessively enough that I’ve gotten some ideas already from each of them.
I love Macs. They’re going to be grafted onto the Crimson Crisp a few years down the line when the tree’s established and ready for this. That, probably a Honeycrisp and a bunch of unusual/hard to find varieties that FedCo and others sell scions of. We have kids so applesauce is a no-brainer, and Macs are good for that.
Jap beetles used to do some damage to raspberries at the old place. We grew raspberries and they just loved them. I had some problems with Asiatic Brown Beetles destroying my basil plants earlier this summer. I wound up mitigating the problem by going out at night with a flashlight and some soapy water for a couple of weeks, but I saw that there are products that can help with these (and other bugs like Japanese Beetles). Milky Spore and beneficial nematodes can kill the grubs. Diatomaceous earth, but it looks like something that kills the beneficials as well.
I’m surprised you got any peaches this or last year, especially considering you’re not that far from me. Our blossoms got blasted the last two years; even the orchard we go to didn’t have any last year, and maybe a third of a full crop this year.
How did the CS and RH taste?
Are you getting any apples this year? None for us, unfortunately, but maybe next year well get some fruit off a few trees. And peaches, if we’re lucky. We planted a lot of berry plants this year, so even if our trees don’t give us much, at least we ought to get lots of black, rasp, and strawberries next season.
I considered a Crimson Crisp, but decided against it because of its susceptibility to fireblight, which in our humid warm climate can be a real issue. But, I do have a few varieties (i.e. Macoun, Cortland, King David) that do have some issues with FB, so I guess we’ll see eventually how they fare.
I noticed you have on order a couple G202 trees, I have a Liberty and Winecrisp on that rootstock. The Lib has done pretty well after two years, but the WC, not so great. I think it’s more an issue with poorly draining soil than the rootstock, so I may have to move it.
Yes, I may have to try some DE next year, they seemed especially brutal this year.
Did you get any blueberries this year, or is it still too early for them? I have 3 of the ones you have, planted last year. We got 5 berries off our Patriot, but our Bluecrop got attacked by some cane borer, and now only has one little cane left. They also got after a Nelson next to it, but it was a larger plant and will prob be OK.
I ordered the Crimson Crisp entirely based on Alan’s recommendation, as it is fairly disease resistant and has a good growth habit that will lend itself to being a good mother tree. I’d considered Liberty, and those are available here at Home Depot so no need to order from Cummins or ACN, but the tree’s apparently difficult to manage and only a few people on this site even like the fruit from it.
Still too early for the blueberries. Mostly my fault. I put the pails/pots into the ground to overwinter but didn’t protect them and they got nibbled down to the ground. Now that my wife and I have come to sort of an agreement on where the blueberries will go, I can put them into the ground in the fall and build a permanent enclosure for them. The Berkeley and Bluecrop shot up like rockets. I was thinking about swapping the Berkeley for a Toro after reading so many of Drew’s posts but the person who owns the orchard where I bought the apples and peaches from on Sunday says that he had bad luck with Toro but that Berkeley performs very well in his orchard. I’ll just keep the Berkeley. He also singled out Collins as the one variety in his orchard that people seek out. Still, I’m hesitant to order Collins because of the size of the fruit. I’m leaning towards adding 2 Cara’s Choice, 1 Hannah’s Choice, a Chaniticleer, and maybe a Northland or two. I may split the half-highs (CC, Northland, and Patriot) up into their own area with a separate enclosure. Not sure. I’m probably overthinking this. The typical backyard blueberry grower probably picks up whatever Home Depot or Lowe’s has in stock and then puts it straight into the ground.
My grandparents had a blueberry patch that’d just give you bucket after bucket of blueberries. The worst pests (until SWD) have always been birds and this one moth whose larvae make what look like spiderwebs on the branch and eat the leaves/kill the branch. A net for the birds and clippers/fire for the bugs work. I don’t think they’ve ever had borers like that.
Edit: This guide has an excellent table that rates blueberries on a scale of 1 to 4 on a number of different factors. Collins actually ranks 3 out of 4, so pretty good, on size. I took the orchard’s owner at his word that Collins was small. It could be that it’s small for him, but Cornell doesn’t describe it the same way. Spartan’s a variety I forgot to include in that list of what I’m thinking of getting, probably because I’m not “thinking” of getting it but set on adding it to what I have. It’s pretty high (3 and 4) across the board, at least in every category that matters most for me (and I’d imagine, most home owners)
A fair use copy of the guide I’m looking at can be obtained here:
We had one night of freezing temps at the blooming time- as always with peaches here. I use some old bed sheets to drape over the top and sides but use a small three step ladder to reach over the top. That seems to work for me. The only issue was the RH this year. Very little fruit. Most of the fruit was on the inner part of the tree. So I am not sure if the RH is more temperature sensitive or perhaps we got another blast during one other night. Perhaps they are biennial for me in this area. I have not heard anything about RH being biennial.
The RH and Contender are both very nice peaches. My daughter likes the RH better for taste. They both are very juicy. I think perhaps the RH had that little tart taste like peaches have more than the Contender does. If that makes sense. Size wise I think they are similar but the Contender does seem to have more blossoms for me. Almost like a spur apple tree.
The only trouble with peaches is when it time to be ripe you gotta use them up. They wait for no one. I am doing preserves now with all the ones I have. They taste great that way.
Everything looks delicious. I was looking at getting an O Henry peach. I have heard great things about them.
Thanks Mike, O Henry peaches are one of the best, great peach, recommended!
When do they get ripe for you?
Early to mid august depending on the heat of our summer.
TY. I had only read things about a time of season, i.e., early season,mid season, late season type ripening times. Knowing a more specific ripening date really helps. I would enjoy having an O Henry peach tree. I will look for one to plant.
You are in zone 5. Fruitgrower is in zone 9,a big difference.
You may want to find out when O’ Henry ripen from someone in zone 6 like @Olpea (I can’t think of an O’ Henry grower in zone 5) and how it performs from someone with a similar growing condition to yours.
Generally speaking, almost all stone fruit grown in CA (if Fruitgrower is in CA) are good quality because of its excellent growing condition.
I appreciate you reminding me of that. Sometimes I get anxious and forget to check that fact unless I know where they are from actually chatting with them online here.
I use two charts for the difference in zones. It is a rough estimate to when the fruit will ripen here. I used a Wilson Nursery ripening chart vs a ripening chart for my area.
You are so right about the different growing zones and those in the CA region always seem to get excellent stone fruit. One benefit to being in that area, always nice weather to get great fruit.
I do not know anyone in my area or growing zone that grows the O Henry peach. If I do find someone it seems they do not get the irregular frosts we get here at exactly the time the peaches bloom. With no one growing that peach may be a good indication it does not do well here.
Geo Pride Pluot.This was on a graft,done about a year ago,the only one and first time trying.
Very good flavor and right at 20 brix.I want more. Brady
How does it compare to flavor king? Similar flavor?