Winner and loser fruits in KS/MO/OK

In my “New here” thread I realized that there are more people familiar with my area than I expected to find.
I would love to start a list of fruits that people have had good luck with in the south central part of Kansas (or kind of close, within a state or two), and a list of fruits to avoid due to disease or climate problems.

So, any suggestions on what is awesome to grow and what is a pain in the butt here?

Also, if you have a source for the trees/bushes that you planted with success I wouldn’t mind knowing where you got them…

Peaches work somewhat. There used to be a lot of peach orchards around Wichita, but they all went out of business because of unreliable production. But for a hobbyist, regular annual production isn’t quite as critical. One of my wife’s relatives is planning to start a small peach orchard in Chanute. There is still a very large peach orchard in Porter OK.

Pecans also do well. Have an in-law who has an 80 acre pecan orchard in Coffeyville.

Why do they struggle? Is it due to disease, or are they early bloomers and tend to get hit with a late frost once in a while?

Is there a standard spraying program for peach in the area?

Best varieties?

Favored supplier?

I would love to have some peaches. Might be worth pursuing…

Do you graft your own trees?

Nope, never tried it but would like to someday. I started some Che trees just so that I could learn to graft something onto my native Osage Orange (I have tons of them).


You could grow some peach seeds for root stock and graft them over to desired varieties. Peaches can be a little tough to graft but I am no expert and was successful the last two springs top working older trees. I stratified seeds last year and planted root stock. I have more seeds in the fridge this year stratifying now. Have any of you Che fruited?

I’ve planted hundreds of nuts/acorns, never thought of planting peach seeds. Does rootstock not matter much with peach? Will anything that you can get growing work for rootstock?

How about time to produce? How long will it take a seed grown and grafted tree to start producing? I’ve read that it can be a slow process with apples and pears to produce from seedlings.

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Depending on growing conditions peach seedlings can grow quit quickly. I planted some seeds in good dirt in the fall of 2015. One nice seedling came up. It grew a little over two feet last summer and thick as my thumb at the base. I plan to cut it off and graft contendor on it this spring. If all goes well I expect to have a nice three foot tall tree by this fall similar to what you could get from a nursery but with nice roots that have never been disturbed, potted or pruned. I would think that I could get peaches from it in a couple of years. Olpeas seedlings grow much faster than mine , his top soil is much better than what I have here.

Peach seedlings have got to be one of the fastest growing trees i’ve ever grown. Apricots are right up there.


Next question; can just any store bought peach be used for seeds? If I send my wife to the store to buy some peaches will it matter the variety?

I have read that early season peach varieties contain pits which germinate poorly. I bought some Lovell peach pits this past fall and I am experimenting with them a bit to determine my luck at germinating them through different methods. I have some that are probably close to a 1’ tall now that have been growing under relatively poor lighting in the shop for over a month.

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Could use nectarines too. Best bet would be to find what variety you are buying and do a quick search. Sam’s Club usually has their fruit sitting right in the box so you can just read the labels. I think most of the rootstock i’ve used is from nectarines. I have had at least 2 different seedling nectarines bloom here in Wi…in ground trees. Whatever you do, make sure you have borer control. Not sure how bad it is down there, but around here the borers are thick like mosquitoes. You lose some seedling trees…who cares…start over. They are like annuals.

The peach I plan to graft my contender on is a store peach. The seeds in the fridge are from a local orchard which may be a little better suited to my area. Early cling stone peach seeds are hard to sprout. The ones I have in the fridge are late freestone. There is a good thread on here called seed savers that you would find very interesting Seed Savers

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Good peaches for me are reliance, Montmorency and carmine Jewell sour cherries work well, any type of blackberry, any type of fireblight resistant pear.

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I put an order in for Contender. A little late ripening for my likes, but i’m going to use it in some cross breeding down the road because of how hardy it is.


Late frost is for sure the biggest nemesis. It’s such a big issue the fruit belts in the Midwest are directly south of the Great Lakes (in the upper Midwest) and south of the Missouri river for my area. Those large bodies of water mitigate the spring frosts.

I know one grower who is on the leeward side of the MO river and told me he only had a total crop loss once in the last 40 years (2007). Those large bodies of water also help a little to reduce winter fruit bud kill from north blown winter storms, but the main advantage by far is protection from spring frosts.

Disease isn’t generally that hard to control for peaches in our area. Most diseases are fairly easily controlled with fungicides. The exception would be bacterial spot, which is more a cosmetic issue for home growers, and some viruses and soil pathogens. Things like X disease and tomato ringspot virus can be pretty serious. For soil pathogens, oak root rot fungus (and less so) crown gall, can be pretty problematic. There are really minimal or no controls for these pathogens if they get established,. But in this area I’d estimate they are generally one tenth of the problem of late frosts, for commercial growers.

In terms of a spray program, it really depends on the amount of stone fruit around you. I’m told the fruit belts in Michigan have a peach orchard almost on every corner. This kind of density changes the dynamic and makes home growing much more difficult. If you don’t have any stone fruits around you, you will likely experience pretty low pest pressure, unless you start to raise a dozen or more stone fruit trees. Borers can be a serious issue, if you have stone fruits around. They are easy to control, and generally not too much of a serious threat, you just have to watch for them. In short, I don’t think anyone can answer the question of how much you would have to spray. That part takes some observation on your part. Folks on the forum can for sure help you identify pest damage and recommend controls, but it’s really difficult to recommend a spray program sort of carte blanche for your area. Someone 20 miles away could conceivably require a different spray program from your own.

Best varieties? That’s really too large a question. There are so many differing factors which come into play to define “best” for different people. It’s almost like asking someone, what is the best car, or what’s the best music. You’re probably going to get 10 different answers from 10 different people.

In terms of my preferences, which tend to work so far for me, I like Glenglo, Redhaven and Julyprince, which so far would be may overall favorite yellows to grow (note I"ve only harvested Glengo for two years and Julyprince for one, so I reserve the right to withdraw my submissions).

For whites, I like Spring Snow, Saturn, TangOs II, Raritan Rose, and Lady Nancy.

Not a lot of peaches near me (that I know of) so disease might not be a huge problem. Like you said… plant and watch. Don’t be surprised if I start posting pics in a couple of yrs ask what the hell is on my tree!

Obviously the best car is a 58 vette, black with silver insert, lowered and sitting on 5 spoke Cragars. Anyone who says different is just wrong! :slight_smile:

Anyone planting Plum, Jujube, Crabbapple, other berries?
I’m really interested in Cherries right now too. I noticed Clarkinks only suggested a sour cherry. Is there a reason for this?

Look at the recent thread about Burnt Ridge - there’s some jujube talk there