A few words about peaches
Peaches in Alabama are beginning to be harvested and they are an annual treat and because of the different varieties they can be enjoyed all summer long.
Peaches are the leading commercial fruit grown in Alabama and on a good year 5000 tons, worth 6 million can be harvested. Alabama ranks 17th nationally in peach production. Peaches can be grown in USDA zones 5 to 8 but do best in zones 6 & 7 and Cherokee County falls in zone 7. Some varieties are more cold tolerant and can be grown further north.
Trees can be planted in spring in well drained fertile soil in full sun. It is suggested that grafted trees be planted with the graft facing away from the sun. Make sure to dig the hole wider and deeper than the roots, spreading the roots away from the trunk. Trees need to be planted 15 to 20 feet apart and dwarf peach trees 10 to 12 feet apart. Fertilize six weeks after planting in spring and again in early summer. The trees need pruned annually in early fall.
Some of the pest and diseases that you have to watch for are tree bores, aphids, Japanese beetles, leaf hoppers, brown rot, powdery mildew, leaf curl, and mosaic viruses. Harvest when fully ripe caring for varieties that bruise easily. Peaches can be refrigerated for several days and can be canned or frozen for storage. Some early season varieties are Springprince, Rubyprince, Flordaking, and Juneprince. Mid-season varieties include Harvester, Fireprince, Redhaven, and Loring. Late season varieties include O’Henry, and Flameprice. The crop this year has been hindered because of last year’s drought.
Peach cobbler is a favorite use of peaches in this area. YUM