In the around 6 years I’ve grown peaches, I’ve had few to harvest, mostly due to disease and insect problems I believe I now have under control. I am hoping to add 1-3 peach trees that are real workhorses and have compiled a list based on recommendations on this site. I’m curious regarding others experiences with these and whether people with limited space favor extending their season earlier or later and why. Also, I’m unsure of ripening times of a few late varieties I listed. I live in 6a southern Michigan and currently grow Coralstar. My Redhaven just died from previous borer damage (problem had been addressed, but tree succumbed anyway).
Options I’m considering and have found available:
To Replace the Redhaven
Redhaven again (I still like this one and could give it another shot – developed in Michigan, fairly hardy, tasty, commercial breed known for productivity)
Contender (hardy, but unfortunately a very similar season to Coralstar; some complain about quality, but overall it sounds like a workhorse of a peach.)
Blazing star (another one of the Stellar peaches, bred in Michigan, which again I like since it feels like part of our state heritage; Redhaven season, which would be nice; Olpea likes the taste, but it sounds like it’s less productive/hardy and so I worry about having a great-tasting peach that I don’t get to eat because of spring freezes – but it’s not supposed to be THAT cold here in 6a by the Michigan-Ohio border and so maybe it’s worth a shot? But, I’ve had such a hard time getting actual peaches, though this is probably disease and bug-related.)
To further extend the season
Saturn (several on this forum consider this among the easiest of the donut peaches; my kids would find this very fun, but I couldn’t can it since it’s a low-acid white peach and would definitely only want it if I had another very productive yellow peach first. Also, it’s about the same season as Redhaven, which is the same season I’m looking to get my first peach.
Indian Blood (interesting peach, looks like it’s cold hardy, but how late is this? Would it extend my season nicely after Coralstar or would it simply be too late?) How would it do in Michigan? Alan and Scott complained about rot in their climates, but Drew said it has done well for him… Updates
Polly (interesting white peach, sounds like it’s tasty and I hope productive? I’m having a hard time finding how late this one is, too)
Veteran (late peach with reputation for being hardy/tasty.)
Glowingstar Peach (again a stellar peach, but would it be less hardy and therefore less productive for me than Veteran, Polly, Indian blood or Contender? I’m not as close to Lake Michigan as the developer of this variety and have wider swings in the temperatures. How does it taste?)
Early Redhaven (I could add this one, which I’ve found available, to extend my season earlier when I don’t have as much fruit coming in, but how does it taste and how hardy is it?) Is it better to extend my season earlier or later?
Hardired or Flavotop nectarine - my daughter loves nectarines, but after my fight for peaches, they scare me!
There are others I’ve considered, but I am not finding them in stock at the places I’d like to shop this year. Unfortunately, I live on a smallish city lot or I’d buy all of them and compare!