Sunday, December 31, 2017

Late December Citrus

Today I found a variety of ripe, or almost ripe citrus fruits in the yard. I'll describe here my tasting results on some oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, and lemons. The pictures and tasting are all from December 31, 2017.

Navels and Tangor

Left to right: Early Navel, Washington Navel, and Kiyomi Tangor
All these are ripe, but Kiyomi Tangor may benefit from couple weeks more on the tree. This tangor is the most juicy and the least sweet out of these.  Washington Navel has the most complex flavor, but I should note that it comes from the oldest (out of these three) graft.

Pigmented oranges

Left to right: Moro blood orange, Boukhobza blood orange, and Vaniglia Sanguino.

Moro needs a week or two more on the tree, Boukhobza is pretty good already, but should be even better and more colorful in couple of weeks.  Vaniglia Sanguino is sweet and juicy, and I suspect it is at the peak of flavor now.  It is an acid-less orange. 


Left to right:  USDA 6-15-150, Daisy SL, Page, and Algerian Clementine

All four varieties are fully ripe now.  Daisy SL is my favorite.  Page and USDA 6-15-150 are pretty good too.  Algerian Clementine is the most acidic, but has a nice complex flavor.  It's also very juicy, along with the USDA 6-15-150.


Red and Cocktail.

The Red is not ready, may need 3-4 more weeks on the tree.  The Cocktail is perfect, very juicy and sweet.


Lisbon (left) and my unknown lemon.

They are pretty sour and juicy.  I assume they are ripe.  The unknown has thinner peal, but does not pass for Meyer, as it is too sour.

I'm planning to re-taste many of these in mid-January again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mid-December citrus

These are the earliest citrus fruits in the yard. The exception is Corsica #2 that was all consumed by now.  The pictures and tasting are from December 13, 2017.


Left to right: USDA 6-15-150, Daisy SL, Page, Algerian Clementine

By this date, Daisy SL and Page have developed the flavor well, but USDA 6-15-150 and Algerian Clementine need more time on the tree. Maybe couple of weeks more.

In the order of my preference at this date, Dec 13:
1. Daisy SL
2. Page
3. USDA 6-15-150
4. Algerian Clementine


Top row, left to right: Early Navel, Washington Navel, Boukhobza Blood Orange
Bottom row, left to right: Vaniglia Sanguine, Moro Blood Orange

All these oranges will benefit from more time on the trees.  Vaniglia Sanguine is the best out of this set, as it is an acidless orange.  Early Navel is almost ready. The other three fruits need more time on the trees.  Here they are in the order of my preference at this date, Dec 13:

1. Vaniglia Sanguine
2. Early Navel
3. Washington Navel
4. Boukhobza Blood Orange
5. Moro Blood Orange


Cocktail grapefruit with Nagami kumquat for comparison

This might be the best grapefruit ever. Very sweet and juicy at this date, Dec 13.

Pink Fleshed Eureka lemon and Buddha's Hand Citron 

The lemon tastes like a regular sour lemon, and I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to use the Buddha's Hand citron.  They both are fully ripe now.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

One year of fruit harvest

Fruit harvest chart for mid May 2016 - early June 2017

I recorded the ripening dates for most fruit varieties collected in my yard (Davis, California) for about a year.  To my surprise, aprium Flavor Delight ripened on the same dates in 2016 and 2017.  We had a very late cold spring in 2017 that did not affect this aprium.  All peaches and nectarines fruited later in 2017 vs 2016.

Check our sales site if we have the scions available

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Peaches: Australian Saucer and Babcock

Both varieties were ready around mid-July in 2017.  They are white soft sweet peaches.  The main difference is in the shape and flavor.  Australian Saucer is a flat peach with significantly more complex flavor than Babcock.  Babcock is a simple sweet juicy peach.  They both are very easily bruised and hardly have any shelf life.  They both are good peaches to grow for home gardeners.  I have my Australian Saucer peach grafted onto the Stark Saturn peach tree, and Babcock is grafted onto my Redhaven peach tree. The picture was taken on July 21, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Yellow nectarines: Tashkent Gold, Maria Gold, and Silk Road

Tashkent Gold  nectarine is a seedling of a yellow fruited variety from Central Asia. The seeds were brought to the US by Andy Mariani (Morgan Hill, CA) in 1991. The fruit is small-medium, yellow-golden with a bit of red striping on some fruits; it is freestone. It sets heavily in CA Central Valley (Davis) and it is a delicious nectarine with low acid content. These fruits are coming from 2 years old graft made onto a mature peach tree.

Tashkent Gold  fruits are in the above picture. The scions of Tashkent Gold are usually available from our sales site in winter at

Maria Gold is a seedling of Tashkent Gold crossed with a Californian nectarine. The fruit is small-medium, all yellow-golden, with occasional red  blush by the fruit base. This variety has significantly richer flavor than Tashkent Gold, and higher acid content.  It sets heavily in CA Central Valley (Davis and Vacaville). My fruits are coming from 1 year old grafts made onto mature trees.

Maria Gold  fruits are in the above picture

Above is the only fruit of Maria Gold with red blush that I found so far.

Silk Road  is  also a seedling of Tashkent Gold crossed with a Californian nectarine.  The fruit is medium sized, golden-yellow with red striping/blush on a small percentage of fruits.  It is complex in flavor and similar to Maria Gold. The breeders of this variety state that the fruit is pure yellow, but I see some red blush on some fruits grown in Vacaville and Isleton. Sets heavily in CA Central Valley. These fruits are from 1 year old graft on a mature rootstock tree (Vacaville) and from an established Silk Road tree in Isleton.

Above are the selected Silk Road fruits with the most red blush.

Fruiting season

End of July in CA Central Valley.  I started picking fruit on July 18 in 2017.  Silk Road seemed to be the first to ripen, with Maria Gold next and then Tashkent Gold.  There are just a few days between the harvest start dates for these varieties, and they seem to be mostly overlapping.

Fruit appearance

Tashkent Gold fruit has a pointy top, while Maria Gold and Silk Road are round. Here in CA Central Valley I have some green shoulders on Maria Gold and Silk Road.  Tashkent Gold seems to ripen more evenly.  All three varieties are very similar looking.  Maria Gold fruit is a little smaller than the other two. In the image below: Tashkent Gold, Maria Gold, Silk Road.


They all are excellent fruits.  My favorite out of these is Maria Gold, very closely followed by Silk Road. These two have more intense flavor with higher acid content than Tashkent Gold.  Maria Gold seems to have thinner skin than Silk Road. Tashkent Gold may be preferable by those who like fruit with less acid.  All these fruits have sweet kernels.
Correction on July 24, 2017: Tashkent Gold fruits developed excellent rich flavor with strong apricot notes.  All these three nectarines have apricoty flavor in them.  Today I feel that Tashkent Gold has the most of it.  I have a strong suspicion that Tashkent Gold requires high heat (>100F) during ripening season to develop the best flavor.  

Where to find them

If you are looking for fruit, they are available in season from Andy's Orchard in Morgan Hill, CA. They ripen there in August.  Check with the store  to find out when they are available.

If you are looking for plant material, Tashkent Gold scions are usually available from our sales site

Maria Gold and Silk Road scions can be purchased from the Hybridizers Group of California Rare Fruit Growers at the Santa Clara Valley chapter scion exchange in January.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Random Info on American Persimmons

I will use this page to collect the info on Diospyros virginiana accessions that came from emails, Facebook, or other sources.  Some of the info that I got through Facebook has already disappeared from there, or I'm unable to find that particular post.

1.  In January 2016 I purchased American persimmon with label H-68A, from Patric Shaffer. Since I could not find any info on this accession, I asked for info at the Facebook NAFEX group. Jerry Lehmann replied that most likely it is misspelled and actually H-63A that was distributed widely, and he sent it to Patric.  Patric says that this is the best performing and best tasting variety of D. virginiana in his conditions.  So in Patric's book it goes under H-68A.

2. In January 2017 I picked few cuttings of D. virginiana at the CRFG Redwood chapter exchange.  I asked for the info on these accessions at the Persimmon World group at Facebook, and Jerry Lehmann came up with the info.  Posting that thread here while I could access and take screenshots from it.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Short descriptions of some pomegranate cultivars

1. 'Vkusnyi' (Turkmenistan) means "tasty" in Russian. Sweet/tart flavor, soft seed, medium dark arils and skin, medium size fruit, keeps well, with skin that can dry. Usually liked by everyone.

2. 'Sirenevyi' (Turkmenistan) Meaning is "lilac colored" in Russian, sweet/tart flavor, softer seed, very dark arils, pink skin, very large, late season, does not keep well.

3. 'Parfianka' (Turkmenistan) "Parthian female citizen", one of Dr. Levin's favorites) tart/sweet complex flavor, medium dark arils and skin, medium size, must be ripe, variable some years.

4. 'Desertnyi' (Turkmenistan) "dessert" as translated from Russian, tart/sweet flavor, medium soft seeds, coral pink arils, dark skin, large size, mid-late season, needs to be ripe, good for juice.

5. 'Gissarskii Rozovyi' (Turkmenistan) "pink from Gissar" as translated from Russian, tart/sweet flavor, soft seeds, pink arils and skin, very large size, late season.

6. 'Azadi' (Turkmenistan)  the name is Persian for "freedom", and also name of the 18th cent. Turkmen poet and scientist. Sweet flavor, soft seed, pale aril, gold skin, late season, good keeper.

7. 'Sakerdze' (Russian) tart/sweet flavor, hard seeds, high yields, good for juice, keeps well.

8. ' Medovyi Vasha' (Turkmenistan) "honey Vasha" as translated from Russian, sweet flavor, soft seed, early season, low arils yield from the fruit, as it has lots of the white pulp.

9. 'Sin Pepe' (a.k.a.: 'Pink Satin', 'Pink Ice')  Sin Pepe is "Without Seeds" in Spanish. Very sweet flavor like mild fruit punch, very soft seed.

10. 'Vina' sweet-sour, soft seeds, Californian selection from the monastery in the town of Vina.

11. 'Ariana' (Turkmenistan) sweet-sour, soft seeds, consistent taste-winner.

Check what is  available from our sales site

Successful Rooting of Pomegranate, Fig, and Mulberry Cuttings

The steps to follow

1. Cover the upper portion of the cutting that will be exposed above soil, with one layer of parafilm.  You want to have 3-6 buds above soil.

2.   Cut the scion at 1/4 inch below the lowest bud.  You want 2-4 buds to be buried in the soil/perlite mix.

3.   Plant the cutting in a pot with a light potting soil.  The pot should be tall enough so that the inserted portion of the cutting is no longer that half of the pot height.  This way the moisture drains down from the lowest portion of the cutting, and the newly formed roots have space to grow down from the stem.

4.  Put the pot on a heating mat in a cold, low-lighted area, such as a garage.  The bottom heat will stimulate root development. The low light conditions will slow down the bud development.

5.  These instructions are based on Harvey’s video on fig rooting:

The dormant cuttings of various cultivars are usually available during our winter sales at

Cuttings sale in June of 2024

This post describes the cuttings sale on  in June of 2024. The sale will open at 6 PM PST on June 1. ...