Large quantities of fruits - apples, pears, quinces, peaches, nectarines, apricots, grapes and melons - were exported by special trains to central Europe, where the Turkestan crop was received a short time before the south European supplies ripened.
That there is no essential difference between the two is, however, shown by the facts that the seeds of the peach will produce nectarines, and vice versa, and that it is not very uncommon, though still exceptional, to see peaches and nectarines on the same branch, and fruits which combine in themselves the characteristics of both nectarines and peaches.
As to the nectarine, of its origin as a variation from the peach there is abundant evidence, as has already been mentioned; it is only requisite to add the very important fact that the seeds of the nectarine, even when that nectarine has been produced by bud-variation from a peach, will generally produce nectarines, or, as gardeners say, "come true."
Darwin brings together the records of several cases, not only of gradations between peaches and nectarines, but also of intermediate forms between the peach and the almond.
Thus the botanical evidence seems to indicate that the wild almond is the source of cultivated almonds, peaches and nectarines, and consequently that the peach was introduced from Asia Minor or Persia, whence the name Persica given to the peach; and Aitchison's discovery in Afghanistan of a form which reminded him of a wild peach lends additional force to this view.
To perpetuate and multiply the choicer varieties, peaches and nectarines are budded upon plum or almond stocks.
If the leaves should happen to shade the fruit, not only during the ripening process but at any time after the stoning period, they should be gently turned aside, for, in order that the fruit may acquire good colour and flavour, it should be freely exposed to light and air when ripening; it will bear the direct rays of the sun, even if they should rise to loo°, but nectarines are much more liable to damage than peaches.
Peaches and nectarines are frequently cultivated in well-drained pots, and are then 'usually trained as pyramids, and in some cases as half-standards.
The following are some of the best peaches and nectarines, arranged in the order of the times of their ripening :- Peaches.
Figs, apricots, nectarines and peaches grow to perfection.
The number of peach-trees, especially in the west part of the state, where the quality is of the best, is rapidly increasing, and in the yield of peaches and nectarines the state ranked thirteenth in 1899; in the yield of pears it ranked fifth; in apples seventeenth.
Peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and the more tender varieties of plums and pears succeed well in houses of this kind.
These houses require careful management in early summer so as to induce the more delicate varieties of peaches and nectarines to complete and ripen their growth before cold, sunless weather sets in.
Cordons of apples and pears have to be similarly treated, but cordons of peaches and nectarines are pruned so as to provide the necessary annual succession of young bearing wood.
Shoots of peaches, nectarines and morello cherries are "laid in," that is, placed in between fruiting shoots where there is the space to be ripened for next year's crop.
- Peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs and dessert plums, cherries, apples and pears are commonly cultivated in the orchard-house.
Peaches and nectarines are generally planted out, while the rest are more commonly cultivated in pots.
Every effort should be made to complete the growth of peaches and nectarines while the sun is sufficiently strong to ripen them.
- Prune apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums, before the buds are much swelled; finish pruning apples, pears, cherries, gooseberries, currants and raspberries, before the end of the month; also the dressing of vines.
- Disbud peaches, nectarines and other early trees against the walls; also attend to the thinning of fruit.
Where the walls are heated, assist the maturing of peaches and nectarines, and the ripening of the young wood for next year, by fires during the day.
The supremacy of the state is established in the growth of oranges, lemons, citrons, olives, figs, almonds, Persian (or English) walnuts, plums and prunes, grapes and raisins, nectarines, apricots and pomegranates; it also leads in pears and peaches, but here its primacy is not so assured.