Have you grown any nectarines that look like this?
This is the Goldmine nectarine, and sadly, they tend to do this when they get a drop of rain, if the weather conditions don’t suit them perfectly, or when you look at them the wrong way!
Heritage varieties often have thin skin, and Goldmine are a particular culprit.
This means they tend to mark very easily. It’s one of the reasons that many heritage varieties are no longer grown commercially, because they’re just not robust enough to get to market in good condition.
Despite this, we grew them in our orchards and sold them for many years, because they’re absolutely delicious, and worth the effort! They’re no longer in the orchard (because they were in the orchard that burnt in the fire), but we still grow and sell Goldmine nectarine trees in Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery.
If the marks are severe enough they can also become the site for an infection to begin, but usually these are just skin marks, caused by rain, that don’t effect the quality of the fruit underneath.
But these fragile fruits are also prone to other problems — for example if you get a severe case of Leaf curl on your nectarine trees, Goldmine can show damage on the skin of the fruit, even though this disease usually mainly affects the leaves.
Despite all the difficulties, we love them and frequently recommend them for home orchards.
If you can tend the tree carefully, protect the fruit and then pick it when it’s beautifully ripe and ready to eat, you can end up with a result as perfect as these beauties!
It’s quite hard to find Goldmine trees these days (and almost impossible to buy the fruit) because they’re very unfashionable, but if you have space for a tree in your garden and can track one down, and you have time to look after it properly, it will reward you.
Looking after your nectarines carefully is key, so we’ve put together a short course called Perfect Peaches (nectarines and peaches are closely related and require the same care) to help you with how to control Leaf curl and the other main issues that can affect your nectarine and peach trees.
Care, and attention to detail at the right time will give you the best possible chance of getting some decent fruit from those heritage varieties. Fiddly, but worth the bother.