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Plums: An underrated fruit?

 
master gardener
Posts: 2832
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
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Little Jack Horner
By Mother Goose

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!"
Source: The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes (2000)

Plums! A diverse fruit that has been grown in many different conditions and grown in many different conditions. The plant tend to be kept at a smaller size but they can grow into large trees if not pruned. There are heavy bearing cultivars of plums taking advantage of the flexibility of the tree's branches. I personally have both a Santa Rosa and a Methley plum on my property. I appreciate how these fruit trees seem to be tenacious in their growth habit and rebound even with environmental stresses such as deer or rabbit browsing. The fruit comes in a mixture of sizes, but I do enjoy the smaller plums for fresh eating especially.

What do you know about plums? Do you grow them? Any tips/tricks/challenges that you have fast? Post below!


Related Threads

https://permies.com/t/223983/wild-plum-processing-Squeez-Nope
https://permies.com/t/236650/plums/Plum-identification
https://permies.com/wiki/98768/plums/tasting-European-Plums


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pollinator
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Location: Southern Ontario, 6b
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I love plums but the problems I had were: trying to get pollination partners to match up and the plum curculio weevil. Between those issues we called our plums " the lying freeloaders" due to their lack of production.
While you can salvage some bitten fruit, it all looks ugly and most didn't make it to ripe. I also didn't like that there really didn't seem to be many ways to deal with the bugs aside from sprays that I will not use. Even distracting them didn't work since they would damage my pears a bit too.
The Italian plum was a bit slow getting started but once it got going, it got huge and very productive. I am hoping to put in several of those, here on our new lot.
 
gardener
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Location: Proebstel, Washington, USDA Zone 6B
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My area was known for growing Italian Prunes back around 1900. We have one prune tree on our property and it has done very well. The flavor is so strong that it carries through into a jam or pie really well.
 
gardener
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Fresh plums are amazing!
I have never tasted any other  fruit so ready to become booze, like ripe plums are just moments away from being plum wine.
eating them tart is treat as well.
Our plum tree was the most reliable producer of fruit I've ever had, right up until it died, entirely, for reasons unknown.

I am interested in using pits, also known as  Noyaux to make Persipan
 
master steward
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I'm still waiting for my plum trees to fruit......I had one damson last year - so close! I get flowers and the trees are getting bigger but they are still not setting.
 
Posts: 423
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, 350 m, USDA 8b, sunset zone 7
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Tree ripen plum of a proper variety can taste like paradise's nectar. Most people do not know about that, because stores sell bland trash, hard as stone - "stone fruit". I remember plums from my childhood that tasted like Manila mangoes that were melting in my mouth. I still don't know what cultivar it was, but will find it.
For now I have 20 plums, mostly European, two Asians, American and am getting three hybrids soon.
Damson already gave me 12 fruits last year. Right now Santa Rosa and Opal are in bloom.
 
pollinator
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Location: Northern UK
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At our last house we had a plum tree but as it was already there when we moved in I have no idea which variety it was but my oh my, those plums were delicious. Unfortunately in the 10 years we lived there we only had one decent harvest. Some years hardly any fruit set. Some years they split. In other years it was a fight with the wasps to get the fruit as they would start on them just before we thought they were ripe enough to harvest. To anyone who is wondering what fruit to grow in their garden I would say go for plums. You will be frustrated by them as you will never know how they will behave in a particular year but when you taste that fruit straight off the tree it's paradise.
 
master steward
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Dian Green wrote:I love plums but the problems I had were: trying to get pollination partners to match up and the plum curculio weevil.

It does seem like Southern Ontario has more than its share of bugs that bug fruit. (I used to live there, and family still does.) We don't seem to have a permies thread about them in the bugs forum, so I would suggest you start one here: https://permies.com/f/67/bugs Give permies a chance, and you might find a solution that interrupts the life cycle sufficiently that you get a share of the fruit more reliably. For example, we had a big problem with cabbage butterflies until I found some human tolerant wasps (some wasps recognize people's faces and will learn friend from foe - but ones that don't, I deal with as I react very badly.) I've watched them hunting through the kale plants "harvesting" the little green caterpillars.

Here in BC, I have 3 different plum varieties. Two yellow plum trees that produce way more than anyone can eat considering they get so soft and juicy within a week. A grafted Italian prune plum which comes much later and we love both for eating out of hand and making jam from. Technically, this tree has a second earlier purple eating plum, but that part of the tree has never done well and the deer seem to be able to, and motivated to, get most of that fruit. Lastly we have a volunteer plum tree with a small deep red plum that is delicious for eating, jamming, and making a passable substitute for ketchup. Unfortunately, that tree blooms first and last year with weather weirding, we got barely any fruit. This year, it's already in full bloom and I've got my fingers crosses that some pollinators will find it, as it seems awfully early again.
 
pollinator
Posts: 284
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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I was lucky to get two very large mature plum trees (15 gallon root) last summer. They came from a plant clearance sale. One is a methyl and the other a satsuma.
We are eagerly waiting for them to produce. We got 4 plums on the satsuma last year, so we are hopeful. So far they are doing fine. I am really looking forward to getting them.
We use dried prunes in cooking, and love eating the fresh too. Plums has always been a favorite of mine.
 
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