I had a mini meltdown last night trying to pick out a mattress for Bug’s crib. There are just too many options, all of which seem basically the same. Amazon reviews are really only making it worse. How can a mattress be both too firm and sag in the middle? How can these stupid things make me feel like a bad mother even before I’ve given birth? Really people, this is just crazy talk.
I’m having a similar conundrum with our backyard. Bolt suggested that we plant a tree in our backyard to celebrate our little boy-to-be. Something we can point to for the rest of his life and say – ‘that tree is as old as you are.’ We decided, in order to make our back yard as edible as possible, to plant a peach tree. We also want to plant a redbud tree in the front yard and take advantage of the Casey Tree’s rebate program, but that is another story. (BTW, how amazing is it that our city and local non-profits keep practically paying us to plant things in our garden?)
However, have you ever looked at how many different kinds of peach trees there are? So many. And, all, basically the same. Luckily for me, reading about fruit trees is way more exciting than reading about crib mattresses. So, here are the criteria that I’m looking for:
- Self-pollinating: We only want to plant one tree because we live on a pretty small city lot. So, if this thing is going to go, it is going to have to pollinate all on its own.
- Dwarf: See above re: small city lot.
- Freestone: for easier manipulation down the line (read, I will get more peach jam if the peaches are easier to process!)
- Yellow: I always like the flavor of the yellow peaches better than the white variety.
That’s really all I’m going on. The Virginia Extension recommends the following trees:
|Garnet Beauty||July 17||Yellow flesh peaches small to medium – Cling Stone|
|Laural||July 25||Medium, well colored freestone, recommended for trial|
|Redhaven||Aug. 1||Medium size, very cold hardy, semi-cling stone|
|Rich Lady||Aug. 1||Large, firm, well colored yellow fruit, recommended for trial|
|Topaz||Aug. 7||Large, attractive freestone|
|Contender||Aug. 10||Large, attractive freestone|
|Earnie’s Choice||Aug. 12||Large, firm attractive, freestone|
|Loring||Aug. 18||Very large, firm freestone|
|Harcrest||Aug. 29||Medium to large, very attractive freestone|
|Fayette||Sept. 6||Very large, firm, well colored, freestone|
|Encore||Sept. 12||Large, firm, attractive freestone|
But, they are focused on commercial production over home growth (not that their information isn’t useful.) The Farmer’s Almanac also recommends Contender, as a favorite for zone 7. Also from the Almanac: although peaches are native to the Chinese countryside, the peach was brought to the western world from Iran.
Anyhow, I suspect that we’ve got some more research time ahead of us. Or at least one more visit to the greenhouse to stare wistfully at all of their trees.
In the meantime, we need to continue caring for the fruit tree that we already have. Our Meyer lemon tree got a dose of fertilizer back in February and the blooms look absolutely amazing. We already have two little fruits growing away and a bunch of beautiful and beautifully smelling flowers blooming. I can’t believe what the addition of that little bit of fertilizer did for the tree.
Seeing as all those flowers need to be pollinated, I spent some time this morning violating all those pistils and stamens with a Q-tip. Hopefully they will forgive me and bear lots of tasty fruit as a result. In the meantime, we (meaning Bolt, since even on a good day I can’t lift that ginormous pot) are watching the weather to see when we can move the lemon to its seasonal home in our backyard. Sometime after the middle of this month we should be frost free and ready to go. And then me and my Q-tip will play second fiddle to the bees.