I'm thinking Flat Wonderful is kinda weird.

olpea(zone 6 KS)April 9, 2012

This will be the first time I expect it to fruit. This Spring it bloomed right along with my other peaches and was loaded with blooms.

Shortly after bloom, when everything else was setting fruit, this tree dropped about 80% of it's blooms. I'm not complaining because I thinned it today and it took little time to thin.

I've seen a few other young peach trees do this (but not to this extent). It seems like those trees follow a pattern. They always take an extra year to start bearing (3 years instead of 2). And for the rest of their lives, they set a lighter crop every year. I wonder if these are some of the same trees that are labeled non-productive in commercial tests and are thus relegated to home production? For my part, I like trees like this. They take 1/2 the time to thin.

Another thing that's different about this tree is it's over-the-top vigor. This is the beginning of its third leaf and the base is already 3" in diameter, and that with me pruning like a banshee last summer so it didn't get too overgrown. The tree has had no supplemental N (just mulched with wood chips).

I've also noticed the fruit hangs on more than normal. Generally you can just run your hand down the shoots to knock off fruit, but you pretty much have to grab these fruitlets to remove them.

I was wondering how much space to leave b/t fruit on this one. I normally leave about a foot b/t fruits, but wondered if you could leave a little more on this tree because the fruit is smaller. I ended up thinning it to about one every 8".

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Olpea mine has been similarly dropping and similarly vigorous; along with vigorous its growing more upright than most peaches. The grabbing fruit to remove is common on all my donut-shaped peaches, those guys are hard to get off and you need to watch damaging the shoots because they are on so well. I don't have anything to offer on thinning since my tree dropped about all of them last year which was its 2nd, and I haven't thinned yet this year (I do all thinning late since Surround provides imperfect curculio control). Most donut types have less weight per fruit and can be left closer in general. The only large donut I grew was Galaxy.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:20PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Any reports on eating quality of these flat peaches? I've heard several great reviews on Saturn and I think Scott likes Sweet Bagel. But how do they all compare?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:35PM
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austransplant(MD 7)

I've not had these problems with my Flat Wonderful. It fruited in its second year and now, in its fourth year, it has a good crop of fruit developing. It is very vigorous.

This variety was championed by Jellyman (look for old posts). I find the fruit to be excellent in flavor. It is, I believe, a cross between a regular peach and a donut peach.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:59PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

ATP I just checked mine tonight and it has very few fruitlets. Its right next to a different variety I planted the same day and that one has tons of fruitlets on it.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:44PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Same thing here Scott. It required very little thinning, whereas most other varieties are covered in fruit. I could have just about gone without thinning this one at all. I was also going to mention about the tree growing vertical. It does want to grow to the moon.

I knew Jellyman liked this peach. I discovered it by an acquaintance had this peach in their yard. It was an unmanaged tree in a very shady part of the yard. I was surprised how good it looked under total neglect, and still produced some fruit (that the squirrels always ate).

I haven't tried the fruit myself, but if it's as good as others say, this might be the ideal fruit tree for a homeowner who wants a little lower input.

It's also got the makings of an ornamental. Pretty lavender/pinkish flowers and red foliage.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:21PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

This sounds like an interesting peach, but probably too high chill hours for me? Any idea on chill hours? I can manage to get fruit from things 600 and under, but that's probably pushing it. 500 ch and below is probably more realistic, but there is some significant variability with that, I'm finding. My Sweet Bagel, which was an experiment is full of blossoms and setting fruit well - will have to thin this little guy pretty significantly. My Bellagold Peacotum, about the same amount of chill hours is just now starting to wake up, along with my Flavor Finale Pluot and my Autumn Glo Apricot (both are on Citation, though, which should help). Same with my Comice and Seckel pears. All at that 500 ch mark, which is probably going to be my cut off, I think. Big experiment will be born out next year with my Emerald Beaut. That's I think 700 ch, and may not fruit, which would make me a little sad. And, if I can get a Tasty Rich, that, too, will be pushing the envelope. Now, this winter is a very poor example, as we had a rather mild winter overall. We probably have less chill hours than we normally have, so I think in more normal years, these "envelope pushers" may produce for me.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:49AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Most stuff is actually less chilling hours than listed. This is for several reasons. The quality of chilling varies widely especially in low chilling areas like you and me. Every year is vastly different on timing of cool and warm periods. Secondly the nursery has to start high to limit their liability and usually it drops over time from there.

Tasty Rich blooms so early for me I doubt it is 500 hrs. But it could be and just has a low heat unit requirement after chilling to bloom. In my greenhouse it usually blooms within days of ending chilling. So during my chilling cycle it is getting it's chilling and then doing nearly all of the flower bud differentiation period, the period that needs heat units to complete.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:45AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Good to have this reinforced, fruitnut. And actually, we get a fair amount of between 38 and 45 degrees weather in the nighttime during the late fall, winter and early spring here in the hills of Vista. Especially down in the lower part of my yard where all the cold air rolls down. It can be 4 to 5 degrees colder down there, than up by the house. We have significant microclimates here in S. Calif (Calif is kind of known for it's significant number of microclimates, in fact.) And, my Emerald Beaut is leafing out, so it's not as slow as some of my other higher chill hour trees. I think I can grow a lot more here on my property than, say, my sister, who is about 3 miles from the ocean, whereas I'm about 6-7 miles. It really makes a huge difference, just those few miles.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 1:49PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Flat Wonderful vs Saturn...which one is better?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 2:44PM
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I know this is an older thread but since I purchased one of these trees from Gurneys I used the patent# listed on Flat Wonderful to find out what type of peach it actually is so I could learn more about it. It was actually developed by Rutgers and is named H28-52-96270. The original tree is over 15 feet tall at 6 years old. It further showed the tree gets very wide (26 feet + on the original if I calculated correctly). It looks like the patent date was filed May 17, 2006.

Here is a link that might be useful: H28-52-96270

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:39PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

The patent says Flat Wonderful fruit is 56 grams and 12.5 brix. Each year I get plums that are 200 grams and 20 brix. Nectarine 300-400 grams and 22 brix. Have had 100-120 gram nectarines and plums at 28 brix.

So all that leaves is flavor. At 12.5 brix the only flavor I've seen is sour.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:09PM
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Fruitnut I'm considering top grafting over some prunus besseyi to contender peaches since the patent should be expired on them. Contender was first released in 1987 and patents typically run 20 years. I'm looking at grafting some plums on them as well. I have close to 100 total prunus besseyi that I planted 10+ years ago. If I rind graft them this year with small scions I could be getting peaches within the next year or two. I'm like you I only purchased one flat wonderful peach and it's gorgeous but I've not seen it coming anywhere close to competing with my reliance or contenders. Olpea may have additional information on the variety but mine are more novelty than production. I'm growing additional lovell rootstocks from seed this year and starting some wild peach seeds from www.catnipfarm.com in Iowa. I figure the good wild peaches we will use and the rejects I will graft over. I have a fantastic cider apple I grew from seed that way. Sometimes wild is better!

Here is a link that might be useful: Catnip Farm

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:21PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"So all that leaves is flavor. At 12.5 brix the only flavor I've seen is sour. "

Sounds good to me! I can't equate sugar with flavor. Would you rather have the sugar frosting or the creemcheese frosting on cake?

"Sometimes wild is better!"

The older I get, the more I'm heading back to wild types. Much more flavor and zest. I like the lower brix myself, as long as it is not from being watered down.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:41AM
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alan haigh

Drew, brix includes the acids. It is the blend of sugar and acid that makes a lot of fruit taste best to me. But I still love mangoes.

Lemons have more sugar by volume than watermelon. Goldrush is as high in brix as Fuji.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:54AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I'll swim against the tide here. I think Flat Wonderful is a good peach and worth planting. No it's not the sweetest peach out there, but it tastes good.

I prefer it to the sweeter sub-acid donut peach BuenOs.

I wouldn't trust the brix number on the patent. TangOs patent shows 10.9 soluble solids, worse than Flat Wonderful. Most people on this forum speak favorably of TangOs.

My guess is Rutgers does brix testing on their peaches from a commercial type picking. Namely, pick it green and hard so it will last two weeks on the shelf. The brix number is meaningless.


I'm not sure what you mean that brix includes acid. As far as I know brix is the measure of sugar.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:38AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Why don't you guys that talk about brix measure something and give us an actual number?

And 56 grams? That's small for a plum. What's the excuse there, they didn't thin?

As for the sub acids. Ya they're no good at 14 brix. They start to come into their own at 18 and, some not all, are the best flavored fruit I grow above 22.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 11:12

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:51AM
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alan haigh

I wasn't sure about that, so made my statement somewhat vague. You are right, it is only sugar, I was confused by the interchangeable word, soluble solids. I figured brix was what remained if juice of fruit is dehydrated.

I should have made a simple search- but my point is the same. Low brix is not what makes fruit appealing to most people who like tart. Low brix apples tend to be quite bland to my palate. I believe even black currents are quite high brix.

FN, I feel no need for a refractometer. What my taste buds report is what matters to me and my opinions on varieties seem to often coincide with yours anyway, although my tastes aren't reinforced by readings.

I can see why you find the readings fascinating and helpful, but I got into my business for the primitive pleasures of it. If you rely on your senses they are improved, is how I see it. I enjoy doing math in my head as well.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:47AM
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alan haigh

I believe the industry needs a more standardized method of evaluating brix levels of specific varieties. You shouldn't have to guess at what level of ripeness when picked or how well they were thinned by the folks offering varietal descriptions. Or what the texture of the soil was and level of irrigation for that matter. What's more, the readings in the east will fluctuate a great deal, season to season.

Strange how TangO's were bland last year on a season where most varieties were unusually sweet here.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Brix can be very misleading but is sometimes a very good tool. I have a few acres of Aronia's and their brix content is 19-21. The tannin content is high so the taste is far from sweet but is more like a dry wine. The more acid something has with higher brix the better the fresh flavor but more tannin works the other direction. It is still very useful if you want to sell them for wine or to make wine. Here is an article on them http://extension.wsu.edu/maritimefruit/reports/pages/aronia01.aspx. Since Aronia are grown more for their ORAC value than flavor here is a link with the USDA chart and other useful information http://aroniainamerica.blogspot.com/2011/03/health-benefits-of-aronia-berries.html. I think flat wonderful has some potential as a good orchard peach for some people in certain situations though they are not a contender or reliance for lots of reasons. I'm kind of comparing apples and oranges. The hot KS sun makes them sweet so Flat Wonderful taste good here. Since they are patented the price makes them expensive which is a factor when planting large numbers of something. Why plant them when contender and reliance are not patented and taste ok? Flat Wonderful taste and shape is the only reason I can think of planting them which is why I consider them a novelty to the commercial grower. Shape and foliage are cool and people will buy them because of the different shape. The apple I grew from seed no one would buy because it's only a couple of inches across but is the best flavored apple I have and a very heavy bearer. I prefer its flavor to honey crisp. It's only potential is for cider. Back to flat wonderful for a minute I'm looking at processing as well and thinking it's a clingstone with a weird shape that is not as easy to process as contender so that leaves strictly fresh use sales for the most part right? Contender also blooms later than most peaches so I'm looking at it cropping most years because its not as likely to get frost damage as others. I'm glad I have one flat wonderful and think its very cool but I think contender is my choice for potential new plantings. Olpea is more of a peach expert than I am but that's my logic behind my decision. The wide variation of taste of flat wonderful is likely due to region and soil type where its grown. I have seen similar issues in apples. Like I said my honey crisp do not wow me here but I have had some that were unbelievable. Red delicious from Washington to me taste like cardboard but in Kansas they are incredible. Like with grapes it's location, location, location which is the key factor to flavor, brix, hardiness etc.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:05PM
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I should not have said that about Washington red delicious apples because it is likely a town in a county in Washington that sold to my area once and I have never ate another one because it tasted like cardboard. I've eaten a lot of other great apples from Washington.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:21PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

"Why don't you guys that talk about brix measure something and give us an actual number?

And 56 grams? That's small for a plum. What's the excuse there, they didn't thin?"


I know you are a big fan of the brix meter, and I can appreciate you are trying to establish some objective measure.

But for my part, I could care less what the brix measures. My personal motto is the same for my business - to focus on flavor. More specifically, what tastes good to me. That's what I like to eat, and that's what I like to sell (I can't get very excited selling something which doesn't taste good to me.)

I fruited about 35 varieties and I have my favorites. What the brix are, I've no idea. I just know what tastes the best for me as grown here. I have about another 50 varieties which are in the ground and haven't fruited yet. I'm sure after I try those, my favorites will change some. All the while I'll probably be oblivious to brix numbers.

I don't care much about size either. Like I said, it's all taste for me.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:44PM
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alan haigh

Clark, as I'm sure you know, there are commercial growers that sell to distributors and those that sell directly to the public, like olpea.

If you sell to the public you can usually sell fruit you like if you use some marketing strategy. Small apples can be sold when you make them "cute" or "kid friendly"- especially if they taste exceptionally good. "All the flavor of a big apple packed in a peewee pome"

Offer free taste samples and I bet you can sell those cute little apples.

What I know I couldn't sell are your Red Delicious. I've tasted the best that variety has to offer and all it has is sweet and a pleasant texture for me, even the original Hawkeye. Give me some acid with that sugar- and some aroma doesn't hurt either.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:59PM
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Harvestman sounds like great advice on the apples. If I ever don't eat them all maybe I will sell some! Actually once I graft some on 111 this year I should not need to worry about having plenty. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Olpea, I may have just missed it, but didn't see what you think of the fruit itself. I assume it has fruited..

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:45PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


I like Flat Wonderful fruit. I've fruited and sold it for a couple years.

Although the fruit is small, I don't think it's as small as a small plum. I don't recall what they weighed, but they were bigger than Green Gage plums. Maybe about the same size as Coes Golden Drop plums.

A couple customers liked them for (as Hman alluded) the small cute factor, or because they were kid sized.

One customer didn't like them, but I think it was more the texture than anything else. They are a non-melting flesh which is a bit different if you're expecting a soft peach, but the customers who liked them, really liked them and wanted more. Same thing with the TangOs which is a better flat peach IMO.

Flat Wonderful is the first flat peach of the season.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:21AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


My big issue with Tangos is the texture and I thought after eating a few, the taste would get a little sickening after awhile (one tree is more then enough and more like a couple branches)... I loved Saturn (texture was perfect, as was the sweetness).

Anyone grow Galaxy? I'm temped...very tempted. The size of those things is truly impressive.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:03AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I've heard lots of people that like Saturn. It's small too I think but apparently very sweet. What's the flavor like? It's described by some as mild and almond like, whatever that is??


Guess I'm feeling burned by the $30 and three years I wasted on Sweet Bagel. Size like Flat Wonderful, 8-10 per lb, 13.7 brix and typical acidic peach flavor. Sorry but at that brix classic peach flavor leaves me feeling blah. If someone on here had posted a 13.7 brix I won't have wasted my time.

Snow Queen same age same rootstock as Sweet Bagel and 4ft apart was 24 brix, ~1/3 lb each, and sub acid with little flavor. Better than Sweet Bagel but still not what I'm after considering I've got about 12 nectarine and peach that are as sweet and great flavor.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 12:46

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:36AM
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alan haigh

Saturn can be a PIA here because it over sets, attracts every kind of vermin- birds, squirrel, wasps, and it's wetness makes it highly prone to rot. The shape that is like a saucer holds water after rain which just makes that worse.

That said, if you like white peaches, it can be a very good one but if I'm gonna fight for peaches like that it might as well be something I love and can't have too much of- nectarines.

I wish I'd frozen a couple hundred pounds of them- I think they are my favorite frozen fruit if they are always like the ones I froze this year. They're almost as good a fresh- don't oxidize and hold their texture.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 6:46PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I hear you about nectarines. I dried some this year that were too ripe to sell. Best dried fruit I've made.

Most nectarines are sweetest and most flavorful right as they turn mushy. The slightest handling leaves indentations and the flesh darkens. But some of the subacids are also good harvested early while still crunchy.

No I don't like white peaches. Ones I've tried have been yuk. So I'll skip Saturn donut. Thanks for the input!!

This post was edited by fruitnut on Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 20:38

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:33PM
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