Anyone else experimenting with lapins or Stella in coastal SoCal? I have about 400 hours of chill. Mission viejo Cali here.
I think I've been short on chilling in my greenhouse. The self fruitful that sets best is Sonata. Rainier is the best that needs a pollinator. I don't have Stella but do Lapins. Sonata sets better than Lapins. Sonata is very large and a bit tart unless fully ripe. But when fully ripe it's very good.
In general I've had a harder time setting fruit on the self fertile than on those that need a pollinator. The primary issue is deformed flower parts and lack of pollen.
I'll know for certain next year if my issue is chilling. I'm going all out to get more than enough next winter.
I have both Stella and Lapins (ultradwarfs in containers) here at the Central Coast (just a block or two from the back bay). They both bloomed and fruited a little last year. I expect they will do so again based on the looks of their swelling buds.
According to the recently posted chill calculator we got somewhere between 400-500 hrs this past season, That's more than I always assumed we would get so just to be sure I have these trees in a spot that gets no sun from Fall to early Spring. Seems to be working so far.
The other experiment that also seems to be working is a planting of Minnie Royal and Royal Lee in a similar shaded situation. These trees are still in the shade and have not bloomed yet. Meanwhile, two potted trees of the same variety that started getting some sun in January, began blooming in mid-February. I'm trying to miss the rains that ruin stone fruit crops during bloom and plan on putting some apricots in a similar situation.