New Fruits for a New Year

Friday, January 9th, 2009 by Jenny Watts
    • Fruit trees can be pruned this month. If you’re not sure how, take advantage of one of the fine classes being offered this month.
    • Primroses will give you the most color during this cold weather. Choose some pretty ones now for your boxes and beds.
    • Roses are the longest blooming shrub in this climate. Fill your garden with their colors and fragrances by planting bare-root rose bushes now.
    • Check the watering of outdoor container plants especially if they’re located under the eaves or porch where rain can’t reach them.

Flavorful, Fresh Fruits

Each year the list of mouth-watering summer fruits grows longer with new hybrids introduced and sometimes antique varieties making a comeback. Home grown fruit is becoming increasingly popular as we learn the benefits of local food production.

Discovering new flavors and even new fruits can be an exciting taste experience. Here are some varieties that may be new to you.

A delicious new pear, introduced in 1999, called “Blake’s Pride” is now available. With a golden yellow and slightly russeted skin, the fruit has a sweet, rich taste and pleasing aroma. Importantly, “Blake’s Pride” is resistant to fire blight, a major disease of pear trees.

Just the word peach or nectarine starts my mouth watering. But how about “Flavortop” Nectarine. This beautiful yellow freestone is a taste test winner with a smooth texture and excellent quality. It’s skin is mostly red over a bright yellow background. “Independence” Nectarine is another red skinned, yellow freestone. It has rich, tangy and sweet flavor, and is rated one of the best.

“Elegant Lady” is a beautiful peach (“almost too pretty to eat”) with red over yellow skin and yellow flesh that is red at the pit. It is perfect for tree ripening because it holds well on the tree, and allows you to harvest the peaches when they are the most flavorful.

“Snow Beauty” White Peach is another beautiful fruit. This white-fleshed peach is low in acidity and high in sugar, and packs a tantalizing flavor.

The “Laroda” Plum looks like a classic plum in color, shape, and texture, but it has an extraordinary wine-like flavor, and has long been considered one of the best-flavored Asian plums. Purple on the outside and amber-streaked with red on the inside, it is very juicy and slightly sweet, with a touch of acidity; excellent for making jams and jellies.

The flavor of a good ripe plum has a sweet-tart balance. “Mariposa” Plum is a large, round plum with a glossy maroon skin and dark red flesh. The plum is extremely juicy with an excellent, lingering flavor and can be used fresh or cooked.

“Nubiana” is a large, shiny black to reddish purple plum with deep amber, moderately sweet and pleasantly flavored flesh. Sweet, flavorful, with very little tartness at skin or pit, it is a favorite in the fresh fruit market, and excellent for the home orchard.

“Celestial”, also known as Celeste, Blue Celeste, or Sugar Fig, is a small, dark fig with very sweet, high quality flesh. It has high yields and good cold tolerance. Delicious fresh, it is also excellent for preserved.

Now is the time to plant fruit trees of all kinds from bare-root trees available at local nurseries. Be sure to add some of these tasty varieties to your orchard.