Comparing 2 east coast nectarines
As I've stated in the past, my favorite peach is a nectarine. For years the only variety I grew was an old variety (Mericrest, I think) that cracks every year and suffers from at least some rot no matter the spray regimen. It's exceptional flavor has saved it from the ax.
But then I started harvesting fruit from a Summer Beaut nectarine a few years ago and it is far less susceptible to cracking and not all that much harder than peaches for me to grow. Now I grow Eastern Glo, Summer Beaut, Redgold (ones I've tasted) Sunglo and Amber (maybe this year).
If you are considering trying to grow nectarines for their higher flavored flesh and smooth skin, as compared to peaches, I recommend you start with either Easternglo or Summerbeaut, both available from Adams County Nursery.
Because they are relatively early they may require only one additional spray over peaches- they probably will need a spray about 2 weeks before ripening with Monterey Fungus Fighter when grown in northeastern conditions. I'm not sure if preceding fungicide sprays will be necessary but I've included another a month before ripening.
Here, in the northeast, they haven't required any more than the initial petal fall (of latest blooming apples) and 2 weeks following sprays of a material such as Spectracide's Triazide to adequately keep fruit destroying insects at bay.
That is a total of two insecticide sprays with which I protect all the species of fruit I manage. Plums are the only species, especially European ones, that sometimes suffer a significant but tolerable amount of plum curculio damage under this regimen. Further south, and sometimes, even here, stink bugs and/or OFM may complicate this schedule with subsequent sprays becoming necessary.
Comparing Eastern Glo and Summer Beaut nectarines, Eastern Glo seems a less vigorous tree that may not size up fruit as well as Summer Beaut. It is just a few days earlier than SB this year- a gap I remember as being wider two years ago (necs were frozen out on my site last year).
Eastern Glo is almost a solid red color while SB has what I find a more interesting mottled appearance of yellow and red- but that's a subjective evaluation maybe influenced by my subjective assessment that SB is the superior tasting fruit between the two.
Summer Beaut is more acidic than Eastern Glo- a trait I appreciate, but last night my mother-in-law determined that it was too "sour" and she prefers the flavor of Eastern Glo. I suspect anyone who prefers white peaches to yellow would share her opinion. However, there's no way I'd describe a tree ripe Summer Beaut as sour- it has some tart swimming in sugar and nectarine essence.
Summer Beaut, as ripened off the tree, is pretty much the perfect fruit for me and I treasure it as much as anything in my orchard but Eastern Glo tastes almost as good to me. I hope in the future it ripens relatively earlier to Summer Beaut, so it doesn't suffer from comparison.
Incidentally, I had the opportunity to taste a couple of Crawford peaches this year from wood I received from Scott the spring before last. What seemed to distinguish it from other quality peaches I grow was a higher level of acid, although there was also another flavor in the mix that added distinction that I can't put my finger on. It's fruit still can't hold a candle to a good nectarine as far as my palate is concerned. A great early peach, though.