|By Randy Yavitz,
Many of you know that I am a fruit tree enthusiast, who is lucky enough to have 4 acres and sell the bounty my trees provide to Whole Foods. Some of my favorite fruit trees EVER are still available on the VPA Shopping Cart (to access click here).
Apricots: Garden Delight Aprium is my #1 selection of ALL TREES available. Within 2 years of planting it, we had a hundred tasty apricots. After 3 years we had to resort to serious freezing. Deee-licious. My Katy has been in the ground 15 years and is semi-dwarf. It always produces excellent apricots.
Peaches: Peaches produce wonderfully in the Valley. Every variety on the shopping cart has been vetted and received rave reviews. You need to THIN when the peaches reach marble size, one peach for each 6 inches of leaves. Get rid of baby peaches exposed to the sun, and keep ones shaded. The one tree that is fully self pruning is the Bonanza Dwarf. The peaches are FULL SIZE, but the tree is smaller and dense. After 5 years the tree is waist-high and will produce maybe 40 peaches; after 10 years mine are 8 feet tall and produce 100.
Figs: Avoid old varieties like Brown Turkey which become infested by the sour fruit beetle. The newer varieties with “closed eyes” that are big winners in the Valley are the Lemon Conadria and the Texas Blue Giant. These are impossible to find at nurseries, but we have some left on the Shopping Cart.
Pomegranates: We bought out a rare collection of Pomegranates from the Turkmenistan region near the Caspian Sea. The Wonderful variety should have been named “Pretty Good.” The varieties we are offering are truly wonderful and probably you will never see them available again. Look for the crazy-named ones.
Plums and Pluots: All of the varieties we ordered were tested and produce delicious plums. Some plums need pollination so read up on the descriptions we posted.
Cherries: Amazing but true. The amazing plant breeders at Dave Wilson Nursery have finally developed a low-chill cherry tree that works in the Valley. Mine produced hundreds of cherries last year–three years in the ground. We offer them in sets of two to ensure proper pollination. Please plant them in filtered shade –not full sun–for example under the canopy of another tree. Give consistent deep watering, especially in the first summer (for more details on watering see the free educational resources listed on the left).
Randy Yavitz, past Board Chair of VPA (Valley Permaculture Alliance)