I’ve been growing a wide variety of fruits in southern AZ for about 8 years. In my experience, our hot and dry tends to “runt” the fruit of many trees/vines. I am hoping to trial some “large” varieties to see if they end up producing “average” size fruits for us. Based on all of your vast experiences, what varieties produce the largest fruit?
Here’s a list of the fruits I’m interested in, and what I’ve acquired so far to test:
The largest and juiciest peach I’ve ever had (or seen) was a white peach I had a few times at our local market. The people at the stand called it a strawberry peach. I have found them 2 or 3 times in June at the same stand. The peaches are 5"-6" in diameter. They are sweet aromatic white peaches with floral undertones. The best peaches I have ever had for sure. I planted a Strawberry Free peach this year hoping it is that peach, but I am not completely sure.
We call it summer dormancy. After the serious heat of late June most trees stop growing and stop putting energy into sizing up fruit. We have also had much trouble with the sunny side of fruit tending the ripen far before the shady side. There are a number of early fruit that size but I think you are looking for late fruit of a good size. The only one ive seen get really large is the local variety of pear called a “Waddel Giant”. They can get in excess of a pound.
You definitely have a bigger struggle than we do… we are at about 5000 ft above sea level and only get up to ~95-100 for a week or two in late June before the rains start. I’d be very interested to hear more about your specific experiences around which root stock and cultivars have done best at your farm. Do you have a blog or anything similar where you’ve posted any of this info?
Dave Wilson doesn’t say anything about it being exceptionally large, but @Olpea reported gigantic Lady Nancy peaches from only one of her trees, while her other trees had more moderate sized fruit. I wonder if some trees just tend to throw out huge fruit based on factors outside our control?
You didn’t ask about apples, but this seems like a reasonable place for me to give a shout-out to the Hanners Best sport of Spokane Beauty sold by Trees of Antiquity. I planted one a couple of years ago and let the little guy set a couple of fruit last year out of curiosity. They were enormous - by far the biggest apple I’ve grown.
If interested in large fruit, you should maybe try growing Quince.
I was curious if they grow in Arizona as i thought they do like the dry heat out west (in CA at least).
Found this article: http://ediblebajaarizona.com/quintessentially-quince
You can get some quince that are pretty big than the standard variety from California (which might be Pineapple). You might want to get a large one (to cook pies/jams/meat-stews with) and also a tastier one that you can eat fresh (if you like sweet-tart fruit).
Nice, i must have around 10 quince trees here on the east coast near Philly (5 are new [and not sure where to plant most of them, no room left hehe] and 5 older ones that are 10-15ft tall) but lately I been a bit down on them as they hit hard by the cedar-rust and the fruits haven’t been great (and the good fruit the squirrels have gotten).
Hoping the ‘Claribel’ variety, which I heard is somewhat disease-resistant, will work out better than what i currently have planted (now what to do about the squirrels if so).
think i have Crimea, Kuganskaya, Kaunching, Karps Sweet(mislabeled), Aromatnaya, Orange, Claribel, Havran, Sekergevrek, Ekmek, (Van Deman died,
and my Valdivia yellow grafts died unfortunately, was hoping to try that one).