Peaches: to grow, or not to grow...
The revered peach: this tender fruit can make just about anyone drool when they hold a sun-ripened, sun-warmed fuzzy peach in their hand in the dog-days of summer. But does that mean it should have a space in your garden?
In short, peaches are finicky, yet wonderfully rewarding when you find the right space for it.
While peaches are a favourite for many people, they can be exceptionally tricky to grow. Although hardy to zone 5 (the same zone we are in) we find that if planted wantonly, they may suffer winter dieback, get root rot, or just not thrive due to poor nutrition. In our orchards, we are successfully growing a variety of peaches, and do have better luck with them being planted in slightly more sheltered locations. Varieties like Veteran and Redhaven particularly have done well for us in more open locations, while other cultivars have come and gone in the same area. We’ve concluded this boils down partly to location, and partly to soil type, since our orchard ranges from heavier clay at the north end, to sandier loam to the south.
For the organic grower, peaches can be challenging; they get bacterial canker and peach leaf curl with relative ease. That said, we have found our peaches can handle a round of peach leaf curl, as every year there is a small flush of it in certain varieties, then it cycles out, and we have had delicious, blemish free peaches consistently for a number of years now, without spraying any fungicides, instead spraying beneficial bacteria and fungi in our spring sprays.
Considering late spring frosts, see HERE.
Due to these challenges, we do not offer the same guarantees that we do for our other fruit trees. More information can be found HERE. If you want to grow peaches on your property, we recommend planting them in a sheltered location on the north facing wall of a building or bush (preferably on higher ground; frost settles in valleys), and fertile, well-drained soil - though as some of our peaches are proving, location helps, but it is not definitive!