A new year means a new set of peach cultivars for producers to choose from for the upcoming season. According to UGA Extension peach blog, the USDA at Byron, Georgia has released a trio of “Joy” peach cultivars, named ‘Crimson Joy’ (early mid-season), ‘Liberty Joy’ (mid-season), and ‘Rich Joy’ (late season).
The three main-season cultivars have self-fertile showy pink flowers that produce large, firm, melting and freestone fruit with high blush, yellow flesh, normal acidity and pleasant eating quality. The cultivars are suited for trials in areas with medium to high chilling accumulation.
‘Crimson Joy’ requires ~700 chill hours (CH) and typically ripens approximately with ‘Harvester’ and ‘Redhaven’ and about a week after ‘GaLa’ in mid to late June at Byron. The fruit are redder, more attractive and firmer than the three cultivars in the similar harvest window.
‘Liberty Joy’ requires ~650 CH and typically ripens in late June to early July at Byron. It could be a reliable lower-chill alternative to ‘Fireprince’, ‘Blazeprince’, ‘Scarletprince’ and ‘Redglobe’, some current commercial cultivars in the harvest window that all require ~850 CH and do not crop well when chilling accumulation is insufficient.
‘Rich Joy’ requires ~850 CH and typically ripens about a week after ‘Julyprince’ and approximately 2 weeks before ‘Flameprince’ at Byron, which can fill the harvest gap between the two cultivars. At maturity, ‘Rich Joy’ fruit have high percentage of bright red blush, making it more attractive and preferable to older, less blushed ‘Cresthaven’ and ‘Early Augustprince’, which are in the same harvest window. The freestone fruit develop excellent melting texture and pleasant rich flavor, and soften slowly on the tree as they ripen, allowing them to be picked over a relatively longer period compared to other typical melting cultivars.
The pedigrees of the three cultivars are different, so are their chill requirements, ripening days relative to ‘Elberta’ and harvesting seasons.