Just the word “Peach” creates associations that make the mouth water! And the word “Peachy” makes one think of something beautiful, soft, and fragrant. And then there is the colour; a soft, warm, pastel shade that is reminiscent of the flesh of the fruit rather than the blossom. A tree well worth growing for its delectable fruit, the Peach is also a truly beautiful flowering specimen, with its blossoms bursting into ‘pinkness’ in the early spring. And, being a deciduous tree, it will also produce beautiful autumn foliage after the fruiting is over. This is a good specimen to shape into an Espalier form.
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Peaches like moist, well drained soil with some protection from strong wind for the spring blossom. Keep the ground around the base of the trees free of weeds and feed young trees with good quality organic compost. Peaches should be located in a position with good air flow. This allows cold air to flow away on frosty nights and keeps the area cool in summer. Peaches are best planted in early winter, as this allows time for the roots to establish and be able to sustain the new spring growth. For optimum growth, peach trees require a constant suply of water. This should be increased shortly before the harvest. The best tasting fruit is produced when the peach is watered throughout the season. Drip irrigation is ideal, at least one driper per tree.
Most of the peach trees we stock are named cultivars grafted onto a suitable rootstock. It is possible to grow a tree from either a peach or nectarine seed, but the fruit quality of the resulting tree will be very unpredictable. Peaches have a high nutrient requirement, needing more nitrogen than most other fruit trees. A mulch of poultry manure in autumn soon after the harvest will benefit the tree.
If the leaves of the peach are yellow or small, the tree needs more nitrogen. Blood meal and bone meal are suitable fertilizers - and don’t forget lashings of luscious compost.Tips for good fruit: If the full amount of peaches remain on the tree, they will be under-sized and lacking in flavour. The fruit should be thinned when they have reached 2 cm in diameter, usually about 2 months after flowering. Fresh fruit is best consumed on the day of picking, as they do not keep well. They are best eaten when the fruit is slightly soft, having an aroma, and heated by the sun.
Cultivated peaches are divided into "freestone" and "clingstone" cultivars, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both kinds can have either white or yellow flesh. Peaches with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colours often have some red on their skin. Apart from eating them sun-ripened off the tree, or slightly chilled with fresh cream, there are some fabulous recipes that use peaches, such as smoothies, fruit salads, the great Peach Island Sunset drink, peach and plum gratin, fruit kebabs, peach-teriyaki grilled chicken, buttermilk and peach muffins and many, many more mouthwatering munchies.
Apricot Queen produces a late harvest of small fruit with both flesh and skin of an orangy yellow colour. This is a freestone variety and a heavy cropper which is great for bottling. Ripens late in the season. Deciduous.
White flesh. A delicious peach with large firm fruit. The juicy white flesh has an attractive pink blush. The tree crops in abundance late in the season and as it has a high resistance to leaf curl would suit organic gardens. Deciduous. TM.
A stunning peach with a dark wine coloured outer and inner. The rich, juicy, textured flesh is absolutely delicious. One of my favourites. If there are any left over after raiding the tree (which I doubt) they also bottle well. Low chill requirement so is suitable for most areas in NZ. Deciduous.
A genetic dwarf Peach tree that will provide you with a bonanza of delicious juicy peaches in summer. The fruit have yellow skin with a red blush and the flesh is a pale yellow. With pretty pink spring blossom and lush green foliage this tree is highly ornamental as well as productive. Self fertile.
Peaches are tolerant of most soils but they do need good drainage and love to be in the sun. Low chill requirement so is suitable for most areas in NZ.
Heritage Peach. A popular Peach with orchardists as it is a reliable producer that shows some disease resistance. The medium sized yellow fruit are very juicy with a rich flavour. Clingstone. Ripens around December. Plant in a sunny well drained spot. Deciduous.
White flesh. This exciting Peach variety was selected and developed by NZ Hort. Research. The results are a beautiful looking peach with pink skin and crisp white flesh with just a hint of pink. It looks and tastes great. Ripe towards the end of summer. Deciduous. PVR.
Double Graft Peach. Blackboy - A stunning peach with a dark wine coloured outer and inner. The rich, juicy, textured flesh is absolutely delicious. April White - Large firm fruit with juicy white flesh that has a pink blush. The tree crops towards April and has a high resistance to leaf curl.
Medium sized fruit with yellow skin strongly blushed dark red. The yellow free-stone flesh is of excellent quality and suitable for fresh eating or preserving. Ripe around January. This variety is happiest in areas with a cool winter. Plant in a sunny well drained spot. Deciduous.
'Free-stone' means that the flesh easily pulls away from the stone i.e. no waste.
The fruit of this variety are really 'pretty as a peach' with skin that is strongly blushed red over yellow. The firm, free-stone flesh is just the right balance of sugar and acid and coloured a warm yellow. Crops well and ripens in mid January. Plant in a sunny well drained spot.
Fayette is a heavy cropper that produces quality fruit of a good size. The flesh and skin are both yellow. Fayette ripens mid to late season. Plant in full sun in well drained fertile soil. Self Fertile. Deciduous.