Will a peach that ripens in July pollinate a peach that ripens in August or September

So I have 2 stark donut peaches which ripen in July and will have 3 Gold Saturn peaches which ripen in July and one Necta Zee nectarine. I put in a order for the Indian free peach because I have heard rave reviews about it and it ripens at a different time. Thing is the Indian free peach requires a pollinator. My question is will the Stark Saturn which will set fruit in July pollinate the peach that is set to ripen in August or September (Indian free).

Most peaches and nectarines are self fertile. A few exceptions include Indian Free and JH Hale.

I see that you are in zone 5. It is difficult enough to grow peaches that produce consistently in your zone. Indian Free is a late peach. Will you grow it in a green house?

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I plan to grow Gold Saturn, Stark Saturn, Necta Zee nectarine and Indian free. The Indian free is what I am concerned with. I plan to put the nectarine in the garage during winter.

What I meant was that with zone 5, will you have a growing season long enough to ripen Indian Free? I am in zone 6a, I barely ripened them in time. Also, since they ripened in mid to late Sept for me, we don’t have strong sun/heat to get its sugar up. The quality of the fruit was not optimal.

Most of my peaches and nectarines have bloom time that overlaps.
I don’t have the varieties you plan to grow. Hopefully, others will chime in.

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Our last frost is mid to late May and our first snow is typically in late October. Assuming they ripen in September I would assume I have enough time.

I think you do have enough time. They are high acid and even with sugar they can be tart. I managed to get them to 27 brix one year and they were still tart. I like them tart myself. I also found Indian free to be very graft friendly. I got five out of six takes. Currently I have four seedlings to use as rootstock.
I also love the red flesh of Arctic glow nectarine which ripens around august 1st. My only concern is how cold you are. You may lose fruit buds from time to time in the winter.


Drew, you live in an area where peaches are grown commercially, don’t you? The weather is strongly moderated by being next to Lake Michigan, so your advice maybe based on a different climate altogether. You are in a very kind area for fruit production.

When the weather gets cool, peaches may stop ripening, even without killing frost, but in a zone 5, I expect a killing frost would arrive before Indian Free was a edible. The advice I would give is don’t try growing the fruit you buy from CA and love, try growing the hardiest varieties available, unless you plan to grow your trees in pots and bring them inside. Even if you elect to do that, I would forget about varieties on the outer end of the bearing season, and Indian Free is as late as any peach I know, including Victoria, both of which I can ripen here in Z6, but barely.

When temps get below -15, even in fully hardened trees, flower buds are slaughtered, with no hope of crop when they get a few degrees lower. At -25F such trees can be killed. Of course if trees are not fully hardened it takes much higher temps to cause the equivalent damage.


How I would describe Colorado’s weather is bipolar. Like I said we typically have our first frost late October right before Halloween and last frost in May. It stays warm here until mid Octobers where about a week or two before our last frost it turns into the 30s and bam snow. Then it stays a fairy even temperature until April where it starts to warm up. We call April false spring here. Then it warms up into the 80s or 90s again in September. To be honest it has been years since we have gotten to -15 here. I think a few years ago we had a -9 and last year we had a -6. Many people in Colorado think we are a zone hotter but our zones have not been updated for years at this point.

I think you may have other issues but really the only way to find out is to try it. True I am in a state that is in the top ten peach producing states. But Michigan is big. I help my son with fruit in zone 4 in Kalkaska. Most challenging environment I tried to grow in. I relied on my Canadian friends in zone 4 to guide me.

We have commercial peaches growing in our state as well. They grow them in Palisade. Palisade is not representative of Colorado though is what I will say. Palisade is zone 7 and only gets 14 feet of snow and 10 inches of rain. Most of Colorado is zone 5 with the middle being zone 4. Most regular (not miniature) peaches I have found are hardy to zone 5. I think reliance is hardy to zone 4 and that is the only one I know of. The Colorado extension recommends Elberta, Haven, Polly, Hale Haven and ranger for self fertile varieties. For ones that are not self fertile they recommend J.H Hale, Early Hale, Hal-berta, Candoka and Mikado. I am sure there are many varieties the extension recommends but is just not aware of. In other words they do grow here. In fact I have seen peaches growing down the street from us and the trees produced quite a lot of peaches for the size of tree.

Zone is determined by average lowest temp during winter. I thought you were a Z5 but that is not what you are describing. It’ is still unlikely that your season is long enough to ripen Indian Free, but as long as early frost doesn’t kill buds you should be able to grow most types of stonefruit that ripen 3 weeks sooner- maybe 2.

Zones have moved up a point in the last couple of decades, I believe. You may be a Z6 now. I’m doubting the advice of your extension- those are all very old varieties (well I don’t know about Candoka and Mikado- never heard of them). First of all, no one talks about the specific varieties of peaches that are self-fertile because Hale-Havens aren’t grown much anymore and Indian Free is more novelty than a commonly grown peach- not that it isn’t really good when you manage to crop it. Almost all varieties of peaches are completely self fertile.

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BTW, what do you mean 14 ft of snow in Palisade? Do you mean this century so far? I got 16" a year from a search I just did. You must have meant inches.

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This shows are local weather averages where I live. golden weather by month - Google Search

According to this chart we are 90% out of the woods by May 5th. It looks like on average it goes down to 30s by September but does not freeze at a 10% chance but a 90% chance by October 6. 10% chance of a 32 by September 18th and 90% chance by October 14th.

Average temperature and growing season in my area

Average amount of snow here in Golden CO is 73.4 inches. Average amount in Palisade is 28 inches.

Freeze dates in spring aren’t directly relevant. Temps have to get down to about 25F to wipe out the flowers, sometimes lower, depending on their development. Critical Bud Temperatures | WSU Tree Fruit | Washington State University

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The sources I find say 14" average annual snow in Palisade, but it doesn’t matter- it’s not where you live. However, if you have a reference that supports the 28 inch amount I would be curious to see it just because it’s not what I’m finding, and I’m curious.

I miss remember what it was I think and said feet instead of inches.

Ripening time does not have anything to do with pollination or bloom time…
Many are at least partly self-fertile, but several types may help fruit set.
If you are in the midwest our biggest problem is late freezes (after a warm spell when your trees are already blooming), which kill your blooms, so you need types that are late bloomers and/or have bloom frost hardiness.(some types have flowers that can take more cold). Around the 23F to 27F temps kills flowers.
Ones that are good for this are Veteran, Early Redhaven, Redhaven, Garnet Beauty, Clayton, Contender, etc. @Olpea knows the best ones for the late spring frost issue…
And for zone 5 you need the ones that are the most winter cold hardy. Winter extreme cold hardiness is different than the spring freeze issue. Veteran has a real good name for zone 5 hardiness. And Contender and I believe the others i named.
Pollination shouldnt be near as big of an issue as spring late freeze hardiness and true zone 5 winter cold hardiness.


Interesting thread here. I concur with many of the comments.

“Elberta, Haven, Polly, Hale Haven and ranger, J.H Hale, Early Hale, Hal-berta, Candoka and Mikado” sound like really old recs.

Peaches developed from the South Haven MI breeding station, were developed in by Stanley Johnston from the 1920s to the early 60s. As far as I know, a couple peaches were named after various Haven towns in MI. Namely Fair Haven, and New Haven.

As an aside, apparently MI has countless Haven towns. I think the folks up there have skinny dipped a few too many times in the cold water, which dampened creativity to come up different names of towns I.e. Grand Haven, Fair Haven, New Haven, South Haven, etc. Stanley Johnston must have been a regular cold water skinny dipper to come up with his peach names. Redhaven, Cresthaven, Halehaven, Sunhaven, Fairhaven, Newhaven, Glohaven, Richhaven, Kalhaven, etc.

I’ve never heard of just a “Haven” peach which your Colorado extension recommends but I don’t doubt it once existed. Sort of follows the super creative nomenclature of MI peach varieties. Paul Friday seems to have ripped a page out of the ingenious/artistic naming process common to MI peach breeders. We have PF 1, PF 5, PF 14, PF 23, etc. Then we get to the imaginative varieties like PF 9a or PF 35-007, etc. I can’t tell you how awed a customer is when you tell them the peaches they just bought are named PF 9a.

Joking aside, I doubt you will find many of the CO extension varieties recommended, still extant.

FYI, Stark’s Saturn should pollinate any pollen sterile varieties you have. Very few flat peaches are pollen sterile.


Good to know they will pollinize the Indian Free. I agree with what Paul said. I have to worry more so about a late frost killing my flowers than a late frost if you know Colorado. Many posts I see talking about ripe Indian free are posting around October.