This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The experience of this season confirms the opinion I had previously formed on the respective merits of Mr. Rivers' three earliest seedlings. As the matter concerns growers for the market, as well as amateurs, it is worth recording. Early Beatrice, I see others recommend as the best early. I cannot think so after six years of careful observation, made on about a dozen trees, trained variously and exposed differently - under glass I mean. It is a fine Peach; carries a splendid color, and is of good flavor, but it is generally too small here. If others had mentioned the circumference we might have compared notes. Early Rivers has so far been the very earliest; this season it ripened without fire-heat, on diagonal cordons, by June 14. It is a very fine Peach, of large size, exquisite flavor, prolific, and to be relied on as a setter. All these are cardinal virtues in the Peach for the purpose of sale, and it is for market growers that this notice is intended. But the stone too often decays within, allowing passage to insects. This defect is owing to some tenderness of habit, or some imperfection in the fructification, which is inexplicable to me, considering its healthy foliage and general vigor.
Some artificial means might be adopted; these might well form the subject of consideration, for the Peach is a most valuable one. Early Louise is the third of the very early Peaches, and on the whole,
I am inclined now to give my vote for its being the best in its season. It is of a great size here, well colored, and healthy, flavor excellent, and altogether a telling market fruit. It is about a week later than Early Rivers and Early Beatrice. This is, of course, an advantage. Had Early Rivers been of a constitution equal to Early Louise, it would have proved the greatest acquisition made to the Peach grower during the last twenty years; as it is, I like it extremely. We want a very early Nectarine, not too small. Hunt's Tawny is our earliest here, but it is extremely subject to mildew, which dwarfs the foliage and renders the fruit small, unless carefully watched and thinned. - Thomas Brehaut, Guernsey, in Gardener's Chronicle.