Nowhere is the superiority of home-grown fruit more evident than when you bite into a peach off your own tree. When you tire of fresh fruit peaches can be used in many different ways; baked, canned, froze, pureed, roasted, and sauced into preserves. All our peaches are freestone (flesh separates from seed)unless noted. In cooler summer locations attractive espalier (two dimensional pruning) works well along a wall which provides extra radiant heat for fruit ripening. While peaches require well-drained soil, they are more tolerant of wet feet than cherries or apricots. Don't let the fear of peach leaf curl keep you from growing peaches; copper dormant sprays are very effective in controlling it. All of the peaches are self-fertile, except Indian Blood Cling and J. H. Hale.
When to harvest peaches: Harvest your peaches when they are fully ripe. If they are picked before reaching peak ripeness, they may soften but their flavor will not reach its peak flavor. Peaches reach full ripeness when there is no green left on the fruit, with the exception of a few heirloom varieties. Before you pull the fruit off the branch, gently squeeze. Peaches get sweeter and juicier as they ripen so squeezing them will tell you about ripeness. Gently press or squeeze the shoulder and tip (where the stem was) - if it just starts to give, it's ripe and ready to eat. Peaches should come off the tree with only a slight twist. The fruits found on the top and outside of the tree usually ripen first. Be careful when picking your peaches because some varieties bruise very easily. A damaged peach will release ethylene which causes other peaches to over ripen and can ruin an entire crate of fruit, so handle peaches with great care. Peaches have a relatively short shelf life compared to other fruits. They can be stored for approximately 2-4 weeks, after which they are unlikely to be appetizing or safe to eat. You can also store peaches by making jam or by making pickled peaches. Peaches can also be canned or kept frozen for storage.