Good enough to eat
YOU don’t have to live in a Mediterranean climate to enjoy juicy, mouthwatering peaches in summer. However, peaches do need a lot of care because of our climate.
They can be grown in warm areas with the protection of a fairly high southfacing wall or fence but the flowers come early and the fruits need a lot of time to ripen.
So it’s probably best to start them off in a greenhouse and keep them there at flowering time to protect them from frost. The trees need deep, well-drained but moisture-retentive slightly acid soil, with plenty of organic matter added. They should be planted in autumn and respond well to fan training. They are selfpollinating, so you can grow single trees but, as they blossom before many insects appear, it’s wise to hand pollinate them as well. The easiest cultivars to grow in pots are compact or ‘patio’ cultivars, standard trees on high stems with a ball-like head. In late winter, peach trees need to be sheltered to keep off the rain and stop peach leaf curl developing.