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Growing Peach Trees


Varmint
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Although this is a gardening question, it's all related to food -- in this case, peaches.

I have several neighbors who have peach trees in their yards, and this time of year, I just want to start picking the fruit off and carrying the peaches home. However, I don't know these neighbors, so I walk by their houses and mope.

I want to grow my own peach trees, but I've never planted anything in my life that's survived, let alone a peach tree. So, I need some guidance. Who can help me????

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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The easiest way to get your peach fix is to make friends with the neighbors!! Don't even be shy aboout it either. Make some comment about how lovely their peaches are, and if you could have some!! Gardening Tony style. I love it!

Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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I really recommend the cooperative extension service at a nearby land grant university. They are often associated with the university's agricultural school.

They have Web sites and they are authoritative for your area.

Good luck! Fresh peaches are hard to beat!

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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ObMeToo: I second what My Confusing Horoscope had to say. The university extension service should be able to help you pick a variety that will grow in your area and with your soil conditions. They also should be able to give you some general guidelines on care and feeding of your trees.

It also wouldn't hurt to find out what variety of peaches your neighbors have. (Heck, you might even get to sample some, and find out that your neighbors are glad to share, thereby sparing you the trouble.) You could do what my father did when he was learning the citrus business: he watched his successful neighbor. When Maynard irrigated, Dad irrigated. When Maynard pruned, Dad pruned. Eventually they became good friends, and "Uncle Maynard" was always there to help Dad - or vice-versa.

For what it's worth, Dad always cautioned me that fruit trees are very labor-intensive. There's the pruning, the checking for diseases, the irrigating (perhaps not an issue for you) and the fending off of, er, Varmints Not of Your Family. Those peaches will grow whether you're ready for them or not, and depending on where you have them planted you may have to deal with the windfalls. I think I'd still go for it, given the proper climate, but then I usually overcommit my time.

Oh, yeah. Start finding out now about the reliable nurseries that sell good healthy stock. You don't want to be doing this from seed; you want to plant a sapling of the right size and age, and you want it to be healthy.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I have a couple of tree in my yard (plum and apple).

Every year I have to prune them but the disease hasn't been a problem. However, the fruit when it falls on my grass does make a mess. Go buy a peach tree, dig a large hole and plant. I also use fruit tree spike fertilizer. There is more work then regular trees but I love going out with the kids to pick fruit. It is really relaxing and fun.

You could also try my parents method. Go up to your neighbors door and offer them some $ to pick the fruit off the tree. My parents do this with their neighbors pear trees every year.

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I've always wanted fruit trees, and dammit, I'm going to have fruit trees! I'll search around the nurseries this fall and see what's available. Fig trees are easy. Peach trees are not. Maybe I'll do a pear tree, too.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Dean, to repeat what everyone has said, ask your extension service for some advice and information. Especially if you kill everything you come across. Make sure that the nursery is reputable, and make sure you properly amend the soil before you stick a tree in. And, don't expect peaches the first year. I've discovered over the years that there is no such thing as not having a green thumb. It's all about loving and taking proper care of the plants and above all, making sure that they are planted in the right location and that the soil is the right soil.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Fortunately, our home-town college, NC State University, has a great extension office and has lots of good information on its website. There's a bunch of articles on fruit trees for the home grower, including several on peaches alone! I may have to go just with a peach tree, as it's self-pollinating. But I may also have to plant some raspberry bushes along my driveway. Lots of fun chores for the L'il Varmints.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Good, Dean, that you have so much advice readily available. I'm not sure about the NC State Univeristy system, but here in MN we have "master gardeners" who in order to continue to maintain their status (they are volunteers) need to provide X number of hours of community service. If your system has such a system, don't hesitate to avail yourself of their services. They can provide on-site advice and assistance that not even a web site can give.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Stone fruits typically need a certain period of cold in the winter, and perhaps more importantly, a period of sharp contrast between day and night temperatures.

Doesn't mean you can't grow them, but peaches and raspberries in a warmish coastal climate may be prone to various types of bacterial and fungal diseases. If you are particular about cleaning up dead leaves/twigs/fruits, especially infected material, and spraying from blossom to pre-harvest, you can surely grow them, as your neighbor's bounty shows.

I come from a climate with similar problems - the solution for the lazy but successful home gardener is to pick fruits native to areas with similar climates.

Try GardenWeb Carolina forum

P.S. Figs - especially smaller types

Edited by helenjp (log)
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Gaah. Now you've got me wondering whether it would be worth trying to grow something up here other than raspberries (which do beautifully, all on their own). :hmmm: *Must* *be* *realistic* about my time! :angry: Have fun, Dean!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Can avocados grow in your area? They take a long time to bear fruit but I think they're worth it.

And what about lemons and/or limes? I realize they're run-of-the-mill, but their uses are endless.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Dean, growing peach trees will be a great exercise. But, in the six or so years it may take them to be fruitful, I'm supporting the "make a friend". And, don't forget that there are legal precedents for you to be able to harvest fruit that hangs across the property line between you and your neighbors.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Dean, growing peach trees will be a great exercise.  But, in the six or so years it may take them to be fruitful, I'm supporting the "make a friend".  And, don't forget that there are legal precedents for you to be able to harvest fruit that hangs across the property line between you and your neighbors.

When I say they're my neighbors, it's not like they live next door or even on the same block. They live 3 blocks away, but I walk by their house many mornings when I'm taking my so-called "power" walk.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I'm sure you can do it! We have two peach trees in Halifax, Nova Scotia and they're incredibly productive (so much so that we lost a branch one year from the weight of the fruit). The only thing we do is prune, watch for peach curl and remove infected leaves, and spray with sulphur once a year. In our case, we also had to make sure the cultivar was grafted to the proper rootstock so that it could survive the climate. Oddly enough, our pears never seemed to work out...

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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