Peaches, Peaches, Peaches!
Oh, my goodness, y’all! We absolutely LOVE fresh peaches! Local orchards are open for business, there are always pick-up trucks selling peaches and watermelons parked in the shade somewhere along every major street, and all of the WalMart, HomeDepot, and garden centers are selling fruit trees that are ready to transplant. Most of the fruit trees available for sale around here are big enough that you will have fruit ready the very next year. Afterall, THIS is summertime in Arkansas.
In this post: 1) Picking peaches at a local orchard, 2) “Peach & Pecan Crumble” for dessert, 3) “Peach Bellinis” for adult beverage hour, 4) planting new peach trees in my yard, and 5) tips for pruning the trees each year! ::
:: Peaches grow really, really well here in Arkansas. (The Zone 7 climate is perfect!) ::
1) Since we had no other plans on a recent Saturday, my husband and I decided to take our three daughters to a peach orchard and let them pick a few pounds of fresh peaches! We went to Cadron Crest Orchards in Guy, Arkansas. It is near Conway, here in central Arkansas. I don’t know whether they have a website or not, but you can call them at (501) 679-3243 to find out whether or not the orchard is open or closed for the day and which varieties are being picked each week. They have about 20 different varieties of peach trees; a full, long row of each variety of tree makes for a large orchard! Different varieties ripen during different times of the summer. “Summer Prince” peaches open the season and are picked around June 20th, but “Big Red” peaches don’t ripen until around September 15th. ::
:: Anyway, each of our two older daughters carried a bag and filled it with peaches! In just a matter of minutes, the bags were full. We went to have them weighed in order to pay for our haul, and we discovered they had picked over 20 pounds of peaches! Oy! Well, we are a family of five, so we ate them all pretty quickly! ::
2) Photo of “My Peach & Pecan Crumble” for dessert (The Peach Crumble recipe that I followed)
3) Photo of My Peach Bellinis (The recipe that I followed has great photos!)
4) GARDENING: Well, we live in the suburbs. Our lot is only 13,500 square feet, not acreage. Womp, womp, womp… I want acreage, lots and lots of acreage. At our next house… I digress. Back to my current garden space… We have 13,000+ square feet, which is plenty of room for a small collection of fruit trees. When we bought this house in 2010, the backyard was already fully fenced, had one mature walnut tree, and the rest was lawn, a blend of Zoysia and Bermuda grass, to be specific. Thus, even with all of our girls playground equipment, there is plenty of room to add fruit trees! So, guess what we bought?! We bought 3 new little peach trees!! We bought three different varieties that will ripen during different parts of the summer!! YaY!!!
Having never grown peach trees before now, I did a little research about how to care for them. It turns out that they have a pretty short lifespan and for best fruit production they need a pretty specific style of pruning every year. Peaches only grow on new little pieces of wood (branches) that are less than two years old. That’s quite the opposite of apples, which only grow on wood older than 3 years. Thus, the way that you prune a peach tree is very different than the way you prune an apple tree.
5) RESEARCH: Here are a few links to what I learned in order to help me care for my new peach trees:
A diagram showing how to prune:
…a short video explaining the differences between pruning apples and peaches…
Why are most fruiting trees in the south painted white at the bottom! Nope, it is not to prevent bugs; it is to prevent SUNBURN! Who knew?! I haven’t painted my trees yet, but I will. I will use household interior latex paint, only. Exterior paints and enamels contain chemicals that could damage/poison the trees. ALL of the trees at the orchard that we visited had their trunks painted white from the ground to about 24″.
🙂 Okay, that is all for now. My youngest daughter is calling for me. I’ll probably write again tomorrow. My goal will be to use and write on this blog/website at least once or twice a week. We’ll see. Whether you like my post, see technical errors, or have a comment, please, try my “comment” button and/or enter your email address to subscribe to updates! Thanks!
“Later, ‘gators” and “Afterwhile, crocodiles!” ~Your friend, Amber
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