Good enough to eat

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

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.

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