When you think of Summer, does the thought of ripe, fuzzy peaches come to mind? Can you picture yourself biting into it, the juice dripping down your chin? If this image is something you’d like to make reality, it’s reasonable that you can learn to grow peaches right in your own backyard. Within two years, you could be harvesting your own juicy peaches for use in cobblers, juices, jellies and more. If you live in zones 5-9, growing peaches is easy with these tips–and we have a great recipe for the next time that April 13th rolls around as National Peach Cobbler Day… [image via flickr]
Choose the Right Spot
Peach trees love full sun. Choose a spot that receives at least 6 hours of full sun each day and has good air flow. Since grass and weeds are greedy for nutrients and moisture, it’s best to lay a two-foot wide ring of mulch around the trunk of your peach tree. This will deter grass growth and help keep the soil moist.
If you live in a cool-summer area, plant your peach tree on a south-facing wall. This will help reflect the heat from the sun onto the tree, keeping it plenty warm. The warmer the weather is, the better your peach tree will grow.
Planting the Tree
Most peach trees are a combination of two types of trees grafted together. This makes them hardier and more disease resistant. When planting your tree, be sure this grafted spot (it looks like an old scar) is about an inch above soil level. Be sure the ground underneath is solid so the tree can’t sink over time and cover the graft. If you’re afraid this could happen, make sure the graft is at least 2-3 inches above the soil line when planting. Your peach tree is pretty self-sufficient but will require a yearly application of dry organic fertilizer for fruit trees to keep it healthy and strong.
And once you have your first harvest of ripe peaches, try this peach cobbler recipe via Paula Deen…
- 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- Ground cinnamon, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
- Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
- To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- This recipe is easy to make and yields 8-10 servings.