Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2002
Publication Date: 5/1/2002
Citation: Layne, D.R., Cox, D.B., Newall, W.C., Okie, W.R. 2002. 2001 peach variety evaluations and web site development. Hortscience. 37(5):750. Interpretive Summary: Many decisions must be made when starting a new orchard. What variety to plant is one of the most critical decisions a grower or homeowner can make. There are hundreds of varieties available. This web-site reports evaluations of peach varieties in South Carolina and includes photos as well as descriptions. Many of the newest USDA-ARS breeding lines are also being tested and are included. The site is easy to use and will help growers make a better choice for a new orchard.
Technical Abstract: During the 2001 growing season, over 200 peach and nectarine varieties and advanced selections (both yellow and white-fleshed) were evaluated at the Musser Fruit Research Farm, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina. The earliest variety was harvested May 11 and the latest was 13 Sept. This is part of a long-term project to determine suitability of new cultivars and advanced selections for South Carolina, in particular. Many selections were from the breeding program of Dr. Dick Okie (USDA-ARS, Byron, GA). Some varieties may perform better or poorer in neighboring states depending on location, disease and insect pressure, chill hours received, etc. For nearly every variety evaluated this year, fruit size was larger than in 2000. This was likely due to early flower thinning due to freezes in early March. Most trees had a good crop load and were thinned appropriately. All trees were irrigated throughout the growing season as necessary. It was also noted that nearly every variety was harvested commercial ripe 1 to 5 days earlier than in 2000. Variety images, evaluation tables and other relevant peach information can be found at my peach web site at http://www.clemson.edu/hort/peach/peachhome.htm