Plums - almost ready

ltiltonAugust 27, 2013

This is Hollywood, the latest-ripening plum on my 4-in-1 Frankenplum from Raintree. What with pests and weather and whatever, this is the first thing like a crop I've ever gotten from this variety.

This plum I like. Skin isn't nasty and sour, flesh is firm, pit is freestone. I'll be budding it onto the wood of the Shiro and Beauty next week, as soon as the heat subsides.

The fruit is red-skinned from the time it sets. It turns purplish when ripe. These, not quite yet.

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ltilton

Stanley. The tree is loaded this year after no crop in 2012. I go poke these every day. Most are still hard, but I've found a very few ripe ones already. A matter of days, I think.

Not gonna be happy, picking in this heat wave.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 12:34PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I might have to try Hollywood...any idea how it compares to Satsuma?

I've got a lot of growth from Satsuma i budded last summer, so i hope to fruit that next year.

This heat sucks.

I've been eating Geo Pride (pluot) and they've been very good.

Squirrels just went nuts about a week ago..i've been eliminating as many as possible.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 2:40PM
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ltilton

Dunno Satsuma, can't say.

That's the problem with plums, if you can't find and taste them before deciding what to plant. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have picked the varieties on this 4-1, that are largely packages of juice wrapped in a sour skin, with a pit inside that won't come free.

Squirrels were berserk last year, I think the drought had a lot to do with it, and now it's drying up again. Tho They Say not for long.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 4:25PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

If you can get Flavor Supreme pluot to grow where you are, i'd recommend that.... Its red fleshed, very good and very early...

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 5:27PM
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ltilton

Freestone? Firm flesh? No sour skin? These, I have now determined, are my criteria for Japanese plums. Early is good to avoid the JBs and the wasps.

I'm keeping the Methley despite it being a juicebomb because they're small enough to pop whole into your mouth. And the skin isn't tart. And to pollinate the Hollywood.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 6:10PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

No sour skin (i dont think any pluots have that), flesh isn't firm, not freestone (if i remember right)...only freestone pluot i can think of is Geo Pride.

I'm chopping my Superior. I've got it grafted to a few other trees, so i'll keep some around..but i don't need a whole tree of it. Plus the tree is in a horrible spot.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:28PM
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hannah9880(5b)

So I'm not alone in the aversion to Superior skin--I thought I was doing something wrong. So far, my best use has been making applesauce-plum combo using skinned Superior plums and Duchess apples. Had only 6 Duchess this year, so plum-applesauce yield was small: 2 1/2 pints.

Discovered too late that the plums I really want are European, not Japanese. Maybe next year.

This sounds crazy, but my quest has been to find the canned plums that my grandmother made. It would have to be an older variety and I did buy a Santa Rosa last season ( one plum this year). The plum I remember had red skin and yellow flesh.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 9:07AM
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ltilton

I can Stanley plums. They're excellent.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 9:43AM
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hannah9880(5b)

Thanx ltilton. I may try to find some Stanleys here in our fruitful paradise in Michigan. Maybe you have a tip for keeping the fruit from rising to the top of the jar--I've tried pre-heating as opposed to cold pack, but fruit still rose. Am guessing heavy and medium syrup used for processing is heavier than fruit. So what do winners of state fair canning use--water?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:38AM
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ltilton

My only tip is to make sure you have head space with Stanley, it's prone to siphoning. I simply accept that the fruit will rise. Doesn't bother me.

If you've ever had canned "purple plums" that's about what they come to.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:48AM
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spartan-apple

Itilton:

Mighty nice looking plum crop! Thanks for passing on the tip about canning plums. I will have to try that in a few years.

I have a young Stanley plum with 17 fruits on it (first crop). They were all blue a few days ago but still hard.
I will have to check on them tonight.

I hope some day to have enough plums to try canning them. I also want to try my luck making the fabulous plum kuchen my grandmother made every fall so many years ago.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 9:41AM
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ltilton

I love cooking with these plums. They're the perfect baking fruit. And they make a fine jam.

Not to mention, of course, drying them.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 12:49PM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

Just curious...you guys mention squirrels. You ever have issues with birds and have to net your tree? That is a magnificent looking crop you got there. Can't wait until I get some plums hopefully next year.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 3:59PM
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ltilton

Last year, which was very dry, I had birds all over the Japanese plums, what few there were after the late frost. I ended up with none.

But it was the squirrels that took off with the very few Stanleys that managed to set.

This year, no problems with either.

This post was edited by ltilton on Thu, Aug 29, 13 at 20:05

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 5:02PM
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hannah9880(5b)

Birds were horrible this year starting on Lodi apple--then Shiro plum and Superior plum. I tried netting too, but what a mess. Applied some bird tanglefoot that comes in a caulking tube, but I got caught in it yesterday when removing the net. Have many bird pecks on Florina apple which won't be ripe for weeks--but it has red coloring. They aren't deterred by owl figure either. Also tried a bottle with suspended nail that clangs in the breeze. Nail holds a CD also that flashes. I bagged some of the Shiros and they were not bothered.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:13AM
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mrsg47(7)

I no longer have bird problems on my european plums as I use great green netting. I noticed, before the trees were netted, the birds dive-bombed into the fruit to knock it off the tree and only peck at half of a plum or less when it was on the ground. Netting took care of the birds and squirrels. This Sunday is finally 'Italian Plum Prune' jam making day. Can't wait. My crop looks very similar to that of Itilton's Stanley plums, but my plums are a bit more egg-shaped. They are as sweet as honey and ready to go! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 10:22AM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

What type of netting do you use Mrs. G? Do you have a link?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 11:36AM
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mrsg47(7)

http://www.americannettings.com/our-bird-netting-products/

Pranksta this is the link I got from a fellow forum member. It is excellent. It drapes easily and is sturdy enough so that wind can blow and the netting moves with the wind. I used two pieces about 15' x 30' and cross draped it over the tree and wrapped it around the bottom of the tree right under the branches. I can already tell it will be easy to remove. I'll store the nets in a large garbage bag over the winter to use again next year. I'm about to buy ten more next spring; Its great. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:40PM
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ltilton

Big wind came thru this evening, knocked over the ladder. I wondered if it would blow down all the plums, but when I went out to check, not. Still not ready, then.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 9:04PM
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