Hey, I’m Desmond Layne, Peach Specialist at Clemson University. Welcome to the Clemson Tiger Peach Network.
Today is May 27, 2011 and we’re beginning our second season of “Everything About Peaches”. This new series of videos that we are starting this year is going to be called “Peach Picks for South Carolina”. Every week throughout the entire growing season we are going to be featuring those varieties that are best suited for growing in “the Tastier Peach State”.
We are here at my variety test block at James Cooley’s Farm in Chesnee, SC. Our purpose today is to take a look at what I believe is the very best early season cultivar that we can grow here in our state. Let me show you, it is called Rich May – and it also goes by the name Flavorich.
In our research trials over the last 5 years, the performance of Rich May has been excellent. This cultivar was developed by Zaiger Genetics in Modesto, California. It was patented in 1991. The patent is no longer valid. But it typically ripens for us here in South Carolina somewhere between mid May and early June depending on where you are located in the state.
For an early season peach, Rich May has excellent size. It averages about 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inches in diameter. They’ve got a very attractive uniform, round shape and an excellent red overcolor (or blush). The flesh color is yellow but there is some red pigmentation in the flesh and these are antioxidants so they are very healthy for you. Also, it is a melting flesh type and like most of the early season cultivars that we grow, it is clingstone.
If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of eating apples and bananas and you’re ready for something to excite your palate – like an early season peach that’s got that pizazz that reminds you of what you enjoyed last summer. So let’s see if this one lives up to my expectations?! “Mmmm. Now that’s a good peach!” Sweet, juicy, if I was to be eating any more of it, it would probably be dripping off my elbows. That’s what you’re looking for!
Why not join us next week when we’ll show you another “Peach Picks for South Carolina”. You know, being a peach specialist is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!
For more information on peaches, and to view the results of our peach germplasm evaluation program, you can view my Clemson peach website at www.clemson.edu/peach. And to read my regular peach columns for the American Fruit Grower magazine, visit their website at www.growingproduce.com.