Thursday, June 16, 2016

Basics for Growing Peaches

peaches

This is what happens when the kids leave home. I used to try to capture the perfect photographs of them. Fruit is so much less trouble.

Today's post is really just an excuse to post some pictures of this year's peach crop from our one and only peach tree. We have never seen anything like the crop we had this year in either quality or quality.

Here are the basics for growing peaches:

Like most things peaches prefer a location that is well drained.

A soil PH of around 6.5 is ideal.

Find a location that gets full sun, meaning at least 6 hours a day. 

You need pollination for fruit but you don't need more than one peach tree. They are self-fruitful.

Planting:

Dig a hole big enough for the roots to be able to spread out. Soak the roots of the tree for several hours before planting. Plant your tree and back fill the soil. Water in and add an inch or two of mulch to help keep weeds under control and conserve water. Keep mulch away from the trunk of the tree! Finally, prune the tree, cutting off side branches to increase your crop.

peach tree

In the above photo you can see how close this tree is to our hives. I can only assume that this was a key factor in this year's success. I also wish I had saved the tree's tag because this may also be a marvelous cultivar for this area.

The tree was planted in the garden a couple of years ago and has previously produced some small fruit. Imagine our surprise when this year the size was comparable to anything we've ever seen for sale in any produce section or farmers market. Because the tree is only a few yards from our bee hives any treatment done is home made of simple ingredients such as water, hot peppers, oil. Sometimes some dish soap.

peach tree

We had a very wet and cool spring which may have contributed to the health and deliciousness of this year's crop. I'm also a firm believer in diversity in the garden as a means of keeping pests and diseases under control.

peaches

I normally consider pears to be the most photogenic fruit. Yes, I'm the kind of person who thinks about these things. The peaches in these photographs are making me rethink that.

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