Flowerdale Nursery  & Landscaping
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Flowerdale Nursery & Landscaping

Nectarines

Nectarines These fruits are in the rose family (Roseaceae) & basically are “fuzzless” Peaches. These fruits are called stone fruits because they have a single large hard seed in the middle of a fleshy fruit. Just like all stone fruits Nectarines need winter cold to set fruit properly. This could be a problem in our mild SoCal gardens, so providing this winter chill is our main concern.  Selecting a variety that has a low chill requirement (400 hours or less) is crucial to obtaining a quality crop.  Nectarines love heat & become sweetest where summers are hot. Most Nectarines are self fertile & do poorly in coastal gardens & containers. Nectarines are vigorous trees that respond well to pruning. Most, if not all, quality Nectarines are grafted to increase tolerance to diseases & widen the range of growing conditions & increase their resistance to pest & diseases. 

What Nectarines Like

Exposure:  Nectarines prefer to grow in full hot sun all day, & they can tolerate windy areas. Nectarines do not respond well to being planted in gardens near the coast.  Nectarines can be grown on steep slopes provided they receive adequate water & nutrition.  The colder the winters the better for inducing a quality crop in Southern California.

Soil:  Nectarines can tolerate poor soils but grow best in soils amended with compost, so add organic compost as mulch once or twice a year 2 to 8 inches thick.

Irrigation: Nectarines require infrequent deep irrigation (about once a week to once every two weeks) only during active growth. In the winter (October through February) irrigate once a month only if rains fail.

Diet: Feed Nectarines trees once a season once every three months. Fertilize with organic granular fertilizers.  We recommend Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer. 

 Pruning:  Nectarines must be trained so that they conform to an architecture that promotes health & vigor. We want a tree with an open structure with a dense canopy of foliage but an uncluttered crown of branches. Remove all dead & crossing branches whenever noticed. Protect the graft union & remove any suckers that sprout below it.  It’s best to prune the trees when the foliage is absent during the winter. Also it is advised to keep trees around 15 feet tall as to ease harvesting.

Harvesting:  Harvest fruit when they have achieved their “full color”.  Nectarines are best picked ripe. Trees may produce poorly if the flowers are damaged while in bloom. The fruit should be easily removed from the stem when ripe & they should be slightly soft.

Varieties

 Goldmine- Large white skin with red blush. Juicy, sweet, white flesh, excellent flavor. Freestone. Ripens: Early August
 Panamint- Medium, rich red skin, golden flesh. Freestone. Heavy bearer. Ripens: Early to Mid-July
 Sun Red- 
 Medium. Bright red skin. Firm, yellow flesh, sweet good flavor. Semi-freestone. Ripens: Mid-May to Early June

 

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