Peach Blossoms!

Diamond Princess Peach Tree Blossoms

Diamond Princess Peach Tree Blossoms, Mar. 2014

We’ve got quite a few peach blossoms this year–hopefully each one will end up as fruit! This peach variety is “Diamond Princess”. Although purchased at a local garden center, this tree is not well suited for this geographic area. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned–very recently–that will help me select a tree for next year.

If you want to successfully grow peaches, you’ll need to do a bit of homework first. Here are a few suggestions. Continue reading

First Peaches Harvested!

Peaches from July 10, 2013

Peaches were picked July 10, 2013

These peaches  came from two different trees The first two (left to right) were from one tree and the third one (far right) was from another tree. The first two peaches on the left are smaller and have small dark sunken spots, surrounded by yellow areas (see bottom picture for closeup). Both peach trees are the “Sweet Sue” variety and “Sweet Sue” is susceptible to bacterial infections. These spot were caused by a bacterial pathogen. The spots first appear as a round yellow areas that turn brown and collapse in the middle. As the disease progresses, the sunken areas merge.

Bacterial Spots on Peach

?This peach (left) has minimal damage at this point so it can be washed –or the spotted area can be cut out–and the peach can be eaten. Crops that are organically grown (without chemicals) often have spots and blemishes (look next time you are in the produce section at a grocery store).

How do I prevent this damage from happening?

Damage over time ruins the peach.  The best way to control this disease is to buy bacterial spot-resistant peach varieties (that should be noted on the plant information label ). Plants do not have immune systems, like humans, and a genetic system geared to help the plant resist invasion by various pathogens is the best approximation. Unfortunately, as microbes are tested by resistant varieties, those microbes may be able to overcome the plant’s resistance to disease, and a new variety of plant is developed. (If this condition is worse next year, I  will probably look for a resistant peach variety to add to the garden–until then, I’ll enjoy these!)

NOTE:  This is an ongoing war in nature. (We see the same thing in humans when antibiotics are overused and “super bugs” emerge—like the antibiotic resistance staph infections that can become deadly.)


Peaches, June 13, 2013

Peaches, June 13, 2013

The peaches are just about ready to pick. This year, we planted two trees in April. The trees had already leafed out and bloomed shortly after planting. Over the course of the May frosts, about half of the peaches were destroyed, five survived.

Peaches can be eaten fresh, frozen, or canned. The fresh peaches don’t last long — only a week or two–so if I have a lot of them, I will can them in jars because they last longer than frozen (I’ve used peaches up to 2 years after canning). Add peaches (fresh or canned, or any fruit) to Greek non-fat yogurt for a healthy breakfast with a variety of macronutrients AND low calorie!