Summer Pearl or NJ252 peach

alan haighJanuary 7, 2009

Do any of you have experience with Summer Pearl as named by Stark and/or NJ252- the same peach?

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I heard some high remarks praising this one so I planted it. Now that it is fruiting I have found it similar to Georgia Belle and Carolina Belle -- decent peaches all, but nothing exceptional. It has been a quality and productive grower, no complaints from that end at all.

The only white peach I am sold on at this point is Silver Logan, a California heirloom. It did get rot badly this year but so did nearly all of my peaches. It packs a lot of flavor. I didn't get any George IV this last year thanks to the tree rats but I recall them as also being very good if on the small side.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 12:55PM
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alan haigh

Scott, I planted George years ago and cut it down a few years later. I have often found heirloom peaches dissappointing although Indian Blood was real good the one time I tasted it. Lady Nancy is an excellent white peach- far superior to Georgia Belle but it really wants to rot.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 5:47PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have been impressed with almost every heirloom peach I have tried, I wonder why the difference? The only two duds were Lemon Free and Veteran -- bland and watery. Foster, St. John, Indian Cling/Free, Salwey have been excellent and with a much broader spectrum of taste than the peaches of today. Most of them are very small by todays standards and I think that is what has done them in. That plus the fact that they tend to be later as opposed to earlier peaches.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:53AM
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alan haigh

Scott, the difference may be that I just haven't tried many of the real good ones. I used to work on an estate that had hundreds of heirloom varieties of all manner of fruit they had purchased years ago from Southmeadow. The experience actually turned me off to heirloom apples for a time even though I was managing some that I liked. Most of the ones on this site were tart, bland summer apples. They had several mediocre heirloom white peaches as well.

Because peaches are short lived I don't get the chance to manage heirloom peaches as a matter of course. Isn't Elberta an antique? 1870 too modern? It's very good but not as nice as say Coral Star or Loring as grown here.

Belle of Georgia is a very popular heirloom but it's vastly inferior to Lady Nancy by most tastes (Rutgers used L N as the quality standard in their taste tastes and no other white matched it. B of G didn't come close)

Another antique I grow on my property that has a doubtful future is the one that requires pollination. My brain is a little frozen right now but you probably know the one I'm talking about. Bares a bit before Elberta.

Obviously I don't get your light intensity up here so it wouldn't surprise me if that has something to do with their quality here as opposed to their. Heirlooms generally tend to be regional in their performance. New pattented varieties are widely tested before release.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 6:17PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Ah right I forgot that Georgia Belle and Elberta are heirlooms; I expect JH Hale is the one needing pollination you are thinking of. There are indeed many average (or worse) heirloom peaches. I primarily have focused on the ones rated very good in Peaches of New York. Georgia Belle, JH Hale, and Elberta only get a good rating there. I find their ratings are accurate except some of the varieties already old in 1917 they may be too negative on - the "passe" fruits. Indian Cling they do not rate highly at all for example.

So let me revise: the heirloom peaches rated very good in Peaches of New York are generally excellent. Try a Foster. Pallas, St. John, or Oldmixon.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 8:39PM
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alan haigh

Love to try them but I never get around to budding and haven't learned how from practice. My summers are usually frantic. These heirlooms you mention are not easy to find.

Pallas is said by FB+N Inventory to have originated in the '20's- did they get that wrong? You seem to like white fleshed peaches which I am generally not much fond of. When I was younger I was drawn to their low acidity but that has changed.

Are your opinions about modern peaches based on fair comparison i.e from your own orchard or off someone elses tree? I would expect that you wouldn't compare yours to store bought or even farm stand bought but I thought I should ask.

I have tried what was supposed to be Old Moxon years ago and it didn't impress me, even when I was into white peaches. I didn't think it was as good as Rariton Rose which I favored at that time.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 6:38AM
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I currently grow over sixty varieties of peach and nectarine. Sometimes I ask myself, "what the heck am I doing"? I haven't grown many of the old varieties.
Harvest, you mention Coralstar and I think this a fine peach. I also like Allstar, but that is more from the point of view of selling as it produces like people would not beleive and it stores for weeks. Don't get me wrong, it tastes very good.
The overall best whites I have tasted have been Sugar May, Blushingstar and ...that's it. I just am not impressed by Zaiger's later varieties, but that might be my site.
One of the best peaches I ever ate was an Elberta.
Scott, if you have better flavored peaches that Elberta I have been remiss and I am listing and acquiring them. Silver Logan and Lady Nancy seem to always be mentioned by those who know. Salway, Foster, Pallas, OldMixon.
Has anyone anything to say about Peregrine?
I used to grow and sell canning peaches by the box; Elberta, Golden Jubilee, Gold Medal, Slappey. Over the years my return customers came back for Slappey.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 9:17AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Hman, Pallas originated in 1878 according to Peaches of NY (published in 1917 BTW, so that pretty much kills any claim of 1920's).

I also prefer yellow peaches; I like Foster and St. John more than Oldmixon for example. I don't call Pallas a white peach, it is a "honey" type which I put in its own category. The flat peaches are a mutation of a honey type peach so they are related in flavor.

I am trying to compare with my own peaches, e.g. the NJ252 of this thread I grew myself. I don't have many of the standard commercial peaches planted but I do have a few. I should say I don't think the standard peaches are bad, and some of them are quite good. I like O'Henry a great deal for example, and Carolina Gold is also a great peach. But the old heirlooms offer other interesting flavors. Foster for example is an incredibly sweet peach with a subtle unique flavor I don't recall in any other fruit I have eaten. St. John tastes something like apricots. Both are very small-fruited for me so I doubt they would ever make it out of the backyard.

There are many false Oldmixons floating around, apparently Southmeadow sent the incorrect variety all over. I have one which is called "Oldmixon Improved", presumably because someone thought it was similar to but not identical to the original. Whatever it is, it is a white peach which I put right up there with Silver Logan.

Geraldo, I am not growing Elberta so I can't compare directly to that. I can say that the older peaches have a broader range of flavors than the modern ones, and that alone is a good thing. I have Peregrine but the squirrels beat me to every peach the last two years.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 11:21AM
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alan haigh

yeah, the oldmixon i tasted was from southmeadow as was the king george so maybe i've never tasted the real thing.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 6:30PM
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