GET GROWING WITH THE MASTER GARDENERS: Which varieties of fruit do you prefer to grow?
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This feature is answered by members of the Lycoming County Master Gardeners. Readers who wish to submit a question to be answered by these experts may email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions also should include the reader’s full name, phone number and town of residence. Submitting a question does not guarantee that it will be answered in the Sun-Gazette’s Sunday Region section.)
Which varieties of fruit do you prefer to grow?
Irene H., Cogan Station: “I grow black raspberries and red raspberries. I also grow pears, but the tree is old and I do not know the variety. The pears are pale green when ripe.”
Edie D., Loyalsock Township: “I grow plums and peaches. My plum tree is infected with black knot, which I will treat this spring. My peach tree is not productive yet.”
Linda B., Montoursville: “I have tried everything from apples to quince. Growing fruit is hard. You have to commit to spraying fruit trees and fight the Japanese beetles for your raspberries and the opossums for your stone fruit. And then there are the late frosts, ugh. I have just discovered a really cool fruit: goji berries. They thrive in my bad soil, nobody bothers them and they keep on pushing out beautiful red berries, even after frosts. To me, they only taste good after they are dried in a dehydrator (on low, because they burn easily). The leaves also are supposed to be edible. They are the latest rage in health foods.”
Karl Z., Williamsport: “I grow June-bearing strawberries. I prefer the Jewel variety, as it is a good eating berry that stays well after picking and also freezes well. I also grow blueberries. Blue Crop and Blue Ray are excellent choices for our area and plant zone. As far as cherries go, Black Gold sweet cherries are my favorite variety. It produces glossy and sweet cherries and is a hearty tree with all the great traits from its parents. It blooms late to avoid spring frosts.”
Ginger R., Elimsport: “I grow Ever Berry strawberries, blueberries (I don’t know what kind), rhubarb, and I am starting blackberries (this will take three years).”