Until quite recently, the idea of successfully growing peaches here in north central Florida was little more than a dream. New varieties have made that a reality. The photo of the peach shown above was taken today (May 10, 2016). If I’ve ever had a sweeter peach, I sure don’t remember when. It was like taking a bite into peach-flavored sugar – and I mean that in the best way possible. I planted these trees in December, 2014 (17 months ago).
Peaches developed for low chill requirements have all the flavor and texture of the best standard peaches, but they tend to be smaller – especially if they are not thinned to one fruit for each six to ten inches of branch. I have planted two different varieties – Florida Prince and Tropic Beauty. Florida Prince is now fully ripened, and the Tropic Beauty fruit is still green, which means the season is spread out more. A big advantage that the early ripening Florida Prince has is that the fruit ripens before insects become a real problem here – something that I was concerned about when I first planted them.
Peach trees are every bit as beautiful as most ornamental trees, so consider adding some peach trees to your orchard. I’ll be writing posts on how to lay out a fruit tree orchard, how to plant the trees, and more on some of the other varieties of fruit trees that we have planted on our one acre homestead.
What kind of fruit trees are you growing? Please reply and let us know.
It’s been quite a while since I have added a new post here. It’s been far too long, so here’s a quick overview of what we have been doing for the past few months. I’ll be posting details of these projects and more.
Tree Clearing – We had over twenty old water oak trees and a few palm trees removed from the property. Water oaks are like weeds – they grow quickly, drop branches, make a mess, then rot and die. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life watching old trees rot and die.
Tree Planting – With the water oaks removed, I now have open sunny areas to plant fruit trees. There are now rows of pears, apples, peaches, persimmons, figs, and pomegranates. I’ve planted plenty of trees in the past, but most of them were planted the wrong way. I learned how to correctly plant a tree to assure that it doesn’t have problems several years later.
Honey Bees – With the prospect of having fruit trees that will need pollinating, and a vegetable garden that needs pollinating, I’m now a beekeeper with five hives. I’ve joined the local beekeeping group (there were about 40 members present at the last meeting). My wife and I attended the two-day Bee College, put on by the University of Florida.
Ducks and Chickens – After many years of keeping chickens, I have switched over to ducks. I had planned to keep both, but the ducks have worked out so well, it just made more sense to only have the ducks. We’ll have some posts about the pros and cons of ducks and chickens. It’s probably not the best choice for everyone, but it might be for you.