This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V25", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We reprint from the London Garden the following letter of a French correspondent, which we are sure will be read with much interest by American peach growers:
"M. Raymond Aurrau, the proprietor of this estate, who, for his remarkably successful cultivation (especially of American vines), has just obtained the prize of honor at an exhibition at Dra-guignan, was one of the first to plant on a large scale that remarkably early peach, Amsden's June, of which some thousands of young trees have been imported from the United States. In the spring of 1879, a hundred trees were planted at Decapris on the same piece of ground in which a number of Jacquez vines were at the same time planted. In the rich and deep soil of Decapris the Jacquez vine makes the most luxuriant growth, but the growth and development of Amsden's June peach on the same soil is quite extraordinary. Planted three years ago, as one year's grafts of ordinary strength grafted on peach stocks in America, these trees now have stems with an average circumference of 8 3/4 inches. The heads of those grown as standards, about 3 feet high, measure over 5 1/2 feet in average diameter. These heads take naturally, and almost without any pruning whatever, the most regularly rounded form. 1 saw these trees on the 28th of June last, and I may say, without exaggeration, that I have never seen, except in America, peach trees in the open air so well developed at the age of only three years.
I never before had an opportunity of witnessing such exuberant growth and such an abundant crop. Every tree this year bore at least 105 pounds of fruit, and there were some on which the crop must have exceeded 140 pounds. At this time (June 28th), at Decapris, where the winter temperature is lower than that of Hyeres and of the sea coast, and where, consequently, fruit does not ripen so early, Amsden's June peach had been gathered more than ten days. The fruit, although too numerous on every tree, was, however, tolerably large, weighing on an average 2 1/2 ounces each. It was particularly well colored, and I ascertained that it was disposed of at the market in Paris at a very remunerative price of from £7 to £8 per 100 kilogrammes (about 350 lbs.). At even half this price the entire crop of these 100 peach trees at Decapris, which are only three years old, would yield the very handsome sum of from L120 to ,£160. If we take into account, as we should do, that these trees were laden with far too many fruits, and that the thinning out of the half or three parts of them a fortnight or three weeks after flowering would have had the effect of increasing the size of those remaining to such an extent that the sum total of the entire crop would have lost nothing in weight, we are led to affirm that the amount realized would have been much more considerable.
The fact is, that the fruits would have ripened sooner if they had not been so excessively numerous, and would have attained the normal size and the usual weight of Amsden's June, viz., from 3 1/2 ounces to 4 ounces. Earlier and larger fruit, as is well known, command far higher prices, especially in the Paris markets. I may mention that the same vigorous growth displays itself under the same conditions amongst other early American peaches more recent than Amsden's June, which have also been introduced into cultivation in France, and especially in the south. Of these, Alexander, Cumberland, Musser, Waterloo and Downing are just as vigorous in growth as Amsden's June. They all come from America, grafted on peach stocks raised from seed."