Peter M Hirst

Facts for Fancy Fruit Editor & Professor of Horticulture
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Area(s) of Interest: Commercial Tree Fruit Production

84 articles by this author

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Apple harvest is winding down with late varieties such as GoldRush and Pink Lady being harvested. Quality has continued to be good, although some stem-end cracking has shown up on some cultivars. We have continued to run about a week early throughout the season.


Indiana Flower Growers Association Conference October 10, 2017 Daniel Turf Center, Purdue University West Lafayette, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown @ljollybr@purdue.edu Indiana Horticultural Congress February 13-15, 2018 Indianapolis Marriott East Indianapolis, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown @ljollybr@purdue.edu Visit www.inhortcongress.org for more details


Apple harvest continues and apples are still running about a week ahead of normal. A higher than usual amount of stem-end cracking is showing up. Fruit showing these cracks should be sold first and are not suitable for long-term storage. Grape harvest is winding down with only the latest varieties left. Primocane blackberry and raspberry harvest continues.    


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I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again – Pixie Crunch is a no-brainer for retail orchards. The more I see this apple, the more I like it. Although we think of this as a relatively new apple, the original cross was made 45 years ago at Rutgers University and it was selected from a planting in West Lafayette, Indiana. Before being named Pixie Crunch, it was tested as Co-op 33. It resulted from a cross of two numbered apple selections but has both Golden Delicious and Rome in the pedigree. The Pixie Crunch tree is spreading and precocious. Expect good crops and excellent quality fruit from young trees. Fruit size is about the same as Gala and fruit finish is a dark red blush over a yellow background. With reasonable tree management, most fruit will have over 75% color. Fruit ripens a week or two after Gala. What[Read More…]



Hydroponic Workshop II September 8, 2017 Purdue University-HLA Contact Lori Jolly-Brown ljollybr@ purdue.edu Register at http://tinyurl.com/yb4dnwrh Purdue Wine Grape Team Fall Workshop September 25, 2017 Purdue West Lafayette campus Contact Jill Blume blume@purdue.edu Indiana Horticultural Congress February 13-15, 2018 Indianapolis Marriott East Indianapolis, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown @ljollybr@purdue.edu Visit www.inhortcongress.org for more details


Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center High/Low Tunnel Tour co-sponsored with Dept. of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University August 10, 2017 Vincennes, IN Contact Wenjing Guan, guan40@purdue.edu, or Dan Egel at egel@purdue.edu Registration: Call 812-886-0198 Pinney Purdue Vegetable and High Tunnel Field Day – co-sponsored with Dept. of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University August 15, 2017 Pinney Purdue Ag Center Wanatah, IN Contact Kym Schwinkendorf at kschwink@purdue.edu or 219-386-5232 Registration:  http://tinyurl.com/yc5lqvez or call 219-386-5232 Organic Vegetable Seed Production & Varietal Selection Workshop August 22, 2017 West Lafayette, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown ljollybr@ purdue.edu Registration: http://tinyurl.com/y7da7dsh Hydroponic Workshop II September 8, 2017 Purdue University-HLA Contact Lori Jolly-Brown ljollybr@ purdue.edu Register at http://tinyurl.com/yb4dnwrh Purdue Wine Grape Team Fall Workshop September 25, 2017 Purdue West Lafayette campus Contact Jill Blume blume@purdue.edu Indiana Horticultural Congress February 13-15, 2018 Indianapolis Marriott East Indianapolis, IN Contact Lori Jolly-Brown @ljollybr@purdue.edu Visit www.inhortcongress.org for more details  


Grapes are starting to ripen (veraison) in Lafayette. Marquette and Brianna are the earliest varieties and both are about 2 weeks from harvest. Floricane producing blackberry harvest continues. Primocane fruiting blackberries and raspberries are just getting started. Japanese beetles continue to be a major problem in addition to Spotted Wing Drosophila. Peach harvest is winding down in Lafayette. Japanese beetles were a major problem, but we only had a small amount of peach scab. Apples harvest is underway. Early varieties such as Pristine are still producing and a few others such as Gala are about ready.


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Although PristineTM was selected in 1982, its history goes back to the early days of the PRI breeding program. From an original cross of Rome Beauty with Malus floribunda 821, selections and hybridizations were made incorporating Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Starking Delicious  and Cazumat along the way. The cross that resulted in PristineTM was Coop 10 x Cazumat made in 1974 at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and PristineTM was selected at the Purdue Hort. Farm in 1982.PristineTM is a very early maturing apple usually ripening in late July in Lafayette. It is very attractive with a clean finish (see Fig. 2). For such an early apple, it has very good eating quality, certainly much better than other very early apples such as Lodi or Transparent. The texture is crisp and flavor has a good acid/sugar balance. If fruit are allowed to become over-mature, pre-harvest drop can be severe, but with[Read More…]