Thursday, July 15, 2021

Samarkand Gold Nectarine

 This is a recent introduction by the Hybridizers Group of SCV chapter of CRFG. This is an excellent yellow nectarine. Very sweet and juicy; ripening in early to mid-July in Sacramento Valley.  The grafting wood is available from the Santa Clara Chapter Hybridizers, and the fruits are available (when in season) from Andy's Orchard fruit stand in Morgan Hill.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Creme Brûlée Flavored Persian Melon

 A friend gifted me this melon which is new to me. This is an Iranian melon with a very pronounced creme brûlée flavor. There are slight vanilla and basil notes too. I grew up in Central Asia where many different melons were available, but I do not remember any which would be similar to this one. This Persian melon has a very unique sweet flavor and crunchy texture. My son describes the flavor as chocolate covered marshmallow. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Early July blueberries

My Southmoon is the star producer now. We like this cultivar a lot. I just picked a very good amount of blueberries from my single plant that I have in a large pot.

Next to the Southmoon plant I have a Pink Lemonade blueberry in a similar pot, but Pink Lemonade produces significantly less. I am not sure it is worth growing in my conditions. In the picture below is a comparison of a harvest on the same day. I do not see many berries forming on Pink Lemonade either.

I have two more cultivars that just started to produce this year. These are still small plants, but I can already see that their berries are very different. Climax (left) and Krewer (right) are shown in the picture below. Krewer fruits are very large, probably the largest blueberry fruits I have ever had.

All of these taste different, with Southmoon being the most complex. We enjoy it a lot. Pink Lemonade is the most sweet with a very low acid content.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Late June Mulberries

Lots of Buluklu, occasional berries from Pakistan White, and the Illinois Everbearing just started.  My two Morus nigra cultivars, Kaester and Nigra LA started to ripen too.  

In the below image, all white berries are Buluklu, which are intensely sweet. Illinois Everbearing fruits are in the lower right corner. These are complex in flavor with good amount of sugar and acid.  Kaester is in the upper left corner, and the Nigra LA fruits are in the upper right corner. The Morus nigra fruits are very flavorful and sweet-sour.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Himalayan mulberries

 In this post I will be collecting info on the Himalayan mulberries I grow or find in other gardens.

Himalayan DMOR9

I have described the Himalayan DMOR9 accession in a number of posts in this blog. I have grown it for a few years.

Himalayan Skinner 

I received Himalayan Skinner scions in early 2021, and some of my grafts already made a few fruits this spring. The fruits seem to be very similar to DMOR9, but I need the grafts to mature before making any conclusions. The leaves of this accession are heart-shaped and thus different from DMOR9. 

Himalayan Turkish

A few weeks ago I came across two more Himalayan trees that may or may not be identical to each other. They also look very similar to DMOR9 but have even more palmate leaves. Time will tell if these are different from DMOR9. 


When I have the plant material available for sale, I list it at

Mulberries in June of 2021

 Buluklu is the queen of the June show. Pakistan White still produces a good amount of fruit. Himalayan DMOR9 is mostly done, this was my earliest mulberry.

Buluklu in the below image. Very sweet melting berries.

Buluklu, Pakistan White, and the last smallish berries of Himalayan DMOR9 by the end of the month.

Early in the month I had good sized DMOR9 fruits, image below

Black Prince is fruiting on my young trees and grafts, three pictures below 
Plenty of Pakistan fruits

Maple leaf is still a good producer this month, 2 images below 
Still plenty of Oscar fruits. 
Four Seasons mulberry fruits are sweet and flavorful by the mid June, see them in the image below.
And the Persian Morus nigra LA just starting to get ripe 

There are a few black fruits on my Morus nigra Kaester too.

Plants or scions for some of these cultivars are occasionally available at

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Developing avocado fruits, June of 2021

I found 14 accessions that made the fruitlets this year. I don’t expect all will hold the fruits to the maturity as some are recent grafts or new trees. Today we expect to reach 100F, and tomorrow we are up to 110F.


Plenty of fruits on my old tree. I suspect most will make it through the Thursday heat of 110F.


Not a lot of fruits this year as I had to prune these branches significantly.



Guatemalan UCD

Brazos Belle


Long South Gate

Daily 11

John Herd

Bonny Doon

Royal Wright 

Second Red


Friday, June 11, 2021

Strawberry and Argelino loquats

 I missed to collect the Strawberry loquat fruits when they were perfectly ripe. The ones I have here on the left part of the picture are past their prime. No detectable acid here, sweet fruit, mostly of a baked apple flavor. 

Argelino fruits just reached their peak ripeness stage. These are probably the most flavorful loquat I have, with an excellent sugar and acid balance. Apricot-grape and maybe even mango flavored.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Four White Loquats in Early June

 All these four selections are very good loquats. All are growing on the same combination tree in Vacaville, California.

Chuck has the most dense flesh, sweet, apple-grape flavored, overripe now.

Ed's Delight is still very good, but now at the end of its peak ripening period. Very sweet with a little acid, soft, juicy, pear flavored.

Surprise is at the peak ripeness now.  Very sweet and very juicy with some strawberry-apple notes.

Fletcher White Many fruits are ready, some will need more time. Sweet with a good amount of acid, grape-pear flavored, juicy.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Sour cherries in Sacramento Valley

Back in December 2017, I ordered scions of 12 sour cherry accessions from the USDA Geneva (NY) station. They arrived in early 2018. I also collected some additional cultivars from the local gardening friends. In total, 16 different cultivars were successfully grafted and planted in the ground in early 2019. 

They are:
Belle Magnifique
Bianco Rosato di Piedmonte
Csengodi Csocros
Pamjat Vavilova
Shatten Morelle

For the rootstocks, I used Mahaleb and a few Adara.

A few accessions were also grafted onto in-ground trees:

Almaz -> Adara Intersteam -> Shiro plum
Belle Magnifique -> Adara
PV1 -> Adara
Duke -> Adara Intersteam -> Shiro Plum
Sumadinka -> Royal Rainier sweet cherry

The first to fruit were the grafts made onto in-ground trees. I got a few fruits from Almaz and Duke in 2019 already. Belle Magnifique and Sumadinka started to produce in 2020.  Sumadinka seems to be the most productive, with Belle Magnifique coming in a close second. Now in 2021, Duke and Almaz produced just a few fruits, and this might be due to the short Adara interstems.  I used just ~4 inches of Adara, while I should have used a foot of it. These grafts reside on my Shiro plum, and they stopped growing.

Sumadinka on the other hand is taking over the Royal Rainier cherry, and now this graft represents most of the tree. The fruits have a very typical sour cherry flavor. Shown in the picture below.

Belle Magnifique fruits (picture below) taste sweeter, as this is a selection of a hybrid Duke cherry.
However, Belle Magnifique fruits (the right fruit in the image below) are a little smaller and lighter than Sumadinka (the left fruit in the image below).

Duke is a relatively large and “sweet” sour cherry as it is a sour-sweet hybrid.

Almaz is a light-colored cherry with transparent juice. I only had a few not fully ripe fruits, so I do not have an opinion about this accession yet.

From the newly made trees, only Sumadinka, Balaton, and Oblachinskaya made fruits in the spring of 2021. I will need a few more years to learn which cultivars perform well in my area. Sumadinka and Belle Magnifique seem to be the most promising for now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Blueberries, the first real harvest

 Blueberries turned out to be one of the most challenging plants to grow here in Davis. This was until about a year and half ago, when I followed an advice to grow them in large pots. Last year I already had some berries from a couple of my potted plants and today I picked a bowl from each Reveille (left) and Southmoon plants. 

The Reveille fruits seem to be larger and sweeter than Southmoon, but this could be due to the sunnier location. This plant has almost full day of sun:

While my Southmoon plant is mostly in the shade:

Both plants grow in a peat moss rich mix with added sulfur and occasionally get a balanced fertilizer. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Second tasting of loquats in May of 2021

 This is a much smaller set of loquat fruits than I described a few days ago. All fruits here are from my multigrafted tree in Davis. I have more grafts that fruited this year, but these are what the birds and squirrels left for me. 

Argelino still needs more time. It’s an excellent late cultivar, but does not have enough sugar yet.

McBeth  is actually not bad this year, or I may have caught it at the right time. Pretty sweet, dense flesh with some acid.  Mild apple-apricot flavor. Good size.

Shed fruits are coming from a recent small graft. Very sweet, juicy, with intense melon-apple-apricot flavor. Little acidity makes it an overall excellent fruit.

Napa Library is a small but very early and extremely sweet fruit with a flavor of very sweet melon and apple. I do not detect any acidity in this fruit.

My pick from this tasting is Shed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Mulberries in May of 2021

This year we started picking mulberries already in April. The first cultivar to produce was Himalayan DMOR9, the longest berry in the picture below. Here I have (left to right): Pakistan, Oscar, Maple Leaf, Himalayan DMOR9, Pakistan White, Big leaf FL

Himalayan DMOR9 is an excellent mulberry with very high sugar and some acid, a few more pictures below 

The tree is large and vigorous. The cuttings do not root and the propagation is by grafting mostly. I didn’t try the air layering yet, this might work too. The leaves are slightly lobed.

Pakistan  White (Saharanpur Local, Australian Green) produces extremely sweet long white mulberries. No acid in these fruits and they can be consumed even when not fully ripe. The tree is very vigorous. The cuttings do not root and should be grafted.

Oscar is a relatively common cultivar with sweet- sour fruits. They need to be fully ripe to be enjoyable. Just a standard good dark fruit without anything special in it. Large tree that needs pruning every season.  Oscar dormant cuttings can be rooted. Below are the Oscar fruits along  a few Pakistan white fruits.
In two images below I show how Oscar compares to Maple Leaf mulberry fruits. Oscar is on the left in both images.
Maple Leaf is an excellent mulberry and deserves a better distribution. The fruits are long, some can be as long as the smaller Pakistan mulberries. Very sweet with a little acid. The tree is large. It seems it can be rooted from dormant cuttings. The images are above along with Oscar fruits. In the below image, Maple Leaf is the rightmost fruit. Left to right here are Himalayan DMOR9, Pakistan, Oscar, and Maple Leaf.

Buluklu mulberry just started ripening in the end of May. The large tree produces a lot of sweet very juicy fruit without any acidity. I like them very much. This type of the fruit is very common in Central Asia and Turkey.
In the image below, all short white fruits are Buluklu.

Big Leaf FL
is the code name for the mulberry that came nameless from Florida. The fruits are relatively large, black, sweet-sour and need to be completely ripe to be enjoyable. The leaves are very large on this tree. In the image above, these fruits are on top of the Buluklu fruits in the container on the right.
More pictures below.

 is a very good large fruit with a balance of sweet and sour, more on the sweet side. It’s not as intense as the Himalayan DMOR9 however. Here is how it compares to Illinois Everbearing in the picture below. This is a large tree, needs yearly pruning. The dormant cuttings can be rooted.

Illinois Everbearing
is just starting to ripen the very first fruits. It’s a later ripening cultivar. The fruits are small, sweet-sour and need to be fully ripe to be enjoyable. The fruits are in the picture above on the right. The tree is large, the cuttings do not root and should be grafted.

Black Prince doesn’t normally fruit in May, but I have a grafted tree in a 10 gallon pot by the Southern wall in my backyard and it produces now. The fruits on my in ground tree are not ready yet. These are excellent, very sweet with a little acid. The fruit size from this potted tree is smaller than the ones from the in ground tree. 

The fruits have a lighter middle core.

I should move this tree to a large pot of I want to keep it in my yard. Here is the tree:

Black Prince trees are large, and it seems that the cuttings can be rooted.

Material availability.  Many of these can be found as cuttings at the winter exchanges organized by the CRFG chapters.  If I have material for sale, I post it at 


Samarkand Gold Nectarine

 This is a recent introduction by the Hybridizers Group of SCV chapter of CRFG . This is an excellent yellow nectarine. Very sweet and juicy...