Geneva Mirabelle?

kokopelli5aSeptember 8, 2012

Hi, have any of you tried Geneva Mirabelle? Wife and I are impressed with these new and improved European plum varieties coming out. Any info would be much appreciated. We are mostly interested in eating out of hand.

Thanks.

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mrsg47(7)

Hi, It's Mrs. G here. I have planted two Mirabelle de Nancy and one Mirabelle de Metz. They only went in this past spring, so I have a few years to wait for fruit. However, I did a lot of research on Mirabelles that are for sale on the web. I only purchased the Mirabelles I ate in France. As a suggestion, I would not buy the Mirabelle de Geneva. The other two I have mentioned would be my choices yet again.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 7:29PM
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murkwell

MrsG47, why?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 12:12AM
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mrsg47(7)

I believe it was Scott Smith on this site who said he is 'an orchard forum guru' it was not working out for him. He too suggested the Metz and Nancy in a former post to me when I asked about mirabelles. Metz is from the 17th century and Nancy is from the 16th century. Can't go too far wrong with old standbys! Mrs. G The other mirabelles are new.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 9:16AM
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mrsg47(7)

Scott by the way is one of my gurus! He did not call himself one! lol sorry for the wrong puncuation Scott! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 9:42AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

MrsG, what cross pollinator are you using for your Mirabelle Nancy? Will Metz cross pollinate, or do you need some other European plum? I wonder if Mirabelles will produce in my lower chill area (500-600 ch).

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 12:28PM
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mrsg47(7)

Mirabelle de Metz and Nancy are self pollinating (supposedly) but I also have an Italian Plum and a Reine Claude de Bavay, for backup. Patty, Mirabelles can grow in the south of France (Provence) but they have the same weather (pretty much as we do in Newport, RI). The Mirabelles (after leaving China,originally) are grown primarily in the North-East of France. They live in Lorraine (as in quiche fame). So they live where there is a frost and snow in both areas. Hope this helps you Patty! I know that Konrad has Mirabelle de Nancy, I think, and his small crop last summer was beautiful. The plums as you know are the size of a quarter, or a bit larger. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:00PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Thanks, MrsG. I did a little more research, and apparently they will produce here. I read a comment where they may not like our more interior areas due to the heat, but I'm only about 6 or 7 miles from the coast, so not so hot here. I'll have to think where I can put these if I add them. Running out of room on my 1 acre property at this point :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 2:16PM
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alan haigh

I wouldn't base my decisions in the Rocky Mountains on the experience of someone in the mid-Atlantic- particularly on E. plums. Scott has poor success with Euros in general. Up here in SE NY European plums produce very well although Mirabelles are not something I've tried.

I wouldn't run with them as a first variety to try when there's so many larger luscious varieties. However, not ever having tasted a Mirabelle that opinion might not be worth much.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Mrs G, There is nothing wrong with Geneva Mirabelle, it is just that I think the other two, Metz and Nancy, are more worth growing. I have not gotten many fruits on any of my Mirabelles and none were particularly impressive. This year only the Reine des Mirabelles fruited and they were not super exciting. I'm not sure why they don't have more flavor. Now I am getting Middleburgs from a tree right next to the RdM and they are wonderful. This plum somehow has never caught on, not sure why -- here is what Plums of NY said 100 years ago: "It is somewhat remarkable that so good a plum as Middleburg should have so long escaped the attention of fruit-growers and even of pomologists". Some things never change :-)

Scott

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:26AM
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alan haigh

In the West you don't have to worry so much about brown rot and not at all about plum curculio and other of our insect pests so you can grow plums more easily from that standpoint. However, plums are the most mysterious of fruits as far as fruit set. If I was you I'd try to find what people are growing in your region with success and start from there.

Scott has so many varieties he can afford to experiment but I strongly recommend that unless you already are harvesting a lot of fruit from existing trees that you should make sure the ones you plant are fairly reliable producers.

That said, if Middleburg performs well at both Lake Geneva NY and Maryland VA I would guess it would probably produce where you are. Of course, you probably won't be able to find a tree. Is it offered by any nurseries Scott?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:50AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Middleburg is super reliable for me, it sets like crazy and even seems somewhat rot resistant. Too bad nobody seems to be selling it now. I have seen it sold in the past.

It also sort of sums up why I grow so many varieties: I am looking for gems like Middleburg. Many great varieties got brushed aside in the rush for some latest hot trend.

I really don't know why the Mirabelle types are not doing better for me. They have not been sweetening up like they are supposed to so something is not optimal for them in my orchard.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:05AM
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mrsg47(7)

Konrad grows Mirabelles as well. In a post last year he did mention that when all conditions are perfect (paraphrasing) they set fruit. I like plums of 'antiquity' and history. I also, simply like Mirabelles! I hope my three trees work out.

I'm sure the newer strains will perform better?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes,..I'm still amazed how good this plum will set fruit, you're right, self fertile, this branch I grafted some years ago has grown well and is loaded, just getting yellow. As it turns out fairly hardy for my climate, on top of it, this plum is super sweet and free stone which would make it good for dehydrating I think? I will test this out soon.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:26AM
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plumhillfarm

We have both the Mirabelle de metz and de Nancy, as well as American Mirabelle here in vermont. In my opnion the American Mirabelle is better, with much less of the "not ripe on the outside and squishy soft on the inside" that the french varieties have here, as well as ripening 3-4 weeks earlier. We are picking the Metz and Nancys now, as the outsides have softened up. But the american Mirabelle is bigger, and better. An issue with the mirabelles is they crack easily with rain, we lost over 75% of ours to a 4" rainfall. We tried Geneva from raintree, but got a rootstock instead, they replaced it but it has not fruited yet.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:29PM
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alan haigh

On another note, by far the best plums I've eaten this year were Valors. I was comparing them to Empress today (just picked) and they are so much richer and meatier- just an exceptionally good fruit. There are plums I've had that are as good tasting, but Valor fills the entire bill- reasonably reliable, later ripening so they can be enjoyed into fall, and very good size.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:52PM
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mamuang_gw

Hi H-man,

If I plant a Valor plum, what would be the best variety to cross pollinate it with, please?

Also, if I want to plant just one Euro plum, would you recommend Castleton? I've heard it's self fertile.

Could you please compare the taste of Valor to Castleton? Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 6:13PM
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tedgrowsit(6b PA)

I have a Geneva Mirabelle in my small home orchard. We really enjoy these plums, but our exposure is quite limited. They are the size of large cherries, yellowish with pink dots when ripe, susceptible to cracking and brown rot, but all in all good fruit. Ted

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:14PM
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alan haigh

Castleton is an ideal home orchard plum here. It is a natural dwarf with a nice spreading habit and is perhaps the most reliable cropper of E. plums I grow. I don't think it's as luscious as Valor and a couple of other large fruited prune plums but it really gets up the sugar and unless you were eating it side by side with something better you'd think it was perfect. It would be a good pollinator for Valor and fruits earlier so you'd have a great spread of harvest. If you don't want to grow 2 tees you can learn to do a simple splice graft and perform one after you initial tree leafs out on its second or third season.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:30AM
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mamuang_gw

H-man,

Thank you very much for your advice. I'll order Castleton. I know it's high time I learned how to graft. There are two main reasons. I am running out of space to plant more tree and I have a tree or two I am not happy with the quality of the fruit i.e Shinko Asian Pear. but I don't want to cut the tree down. Knowing how to graft other pear varieties on it would be great.

Koko - My sincere apology for hijacking your tread. I like to try growing Euro pear but don't want to start with Mirabelle.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:27PM
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