I’m a 40 year old electrical engineer with wife and 3 kids. Five years ago our family moved from Alberta to the Okanagan valley in B.C. (zone 6a). The 1/2 acre lot we bought already had apple, cherry, nectarine and peach trees, all about 15 years old. We knew nothing about growing fruit.
The nectarine tree died after the 1st year because of severe leaf curl and what looked like many years of peach borers. We’ve since learned how the deal easily with the leaf curl, but the borers are still a struggle for the beloved peach tree. By now the peach tree is 90% girdled, and its demise is near. Panicked that I’ll lose this unknown tree variety forever, I learned how to graft, and I now have a healthy 1-year graft of the unknown variety onto a newly planted 3 year-old O’Henry tree. Perhaps some experts here will help me with identifying the variety in the future. The thing about this tree is that it has a bit of a bipolar personality. It makes some awful sour tasting peaches, some peaches with one side good, other side bad, and also some of the most remarkable fruit I’ve tasted; not only very sweet but also with such full bodied flavor that one needs a vocabulary of a wine connoisseur or espresso snob to describe it. Maybe the inconsistency is because of the almost complete girdling, so I’m excited to see how the fruit on the new grafts will taste on a healthy tree.
Anyway, this peach tree has me obsessed with learning about growing good peaches and I have 4 new trees this year, each with various grafts with the goal of having ripe fruit all summer long.
I’m especially interested in learning about the deficit watering discussed on this forum for sweeter fruit. We have Sandy soil with a typically dry climate during July and August.
Here’s the peaches I have at the moment, with potted trees about to go in the ground, and grafting scions I was able to get at local orchards.
• 1-year Harrow Diamond still in pot, with unknown original peach grafts t-budded this year
• 1-year Frost still in pot, with Redhaven and Redglobe grafts t-budded this year
• 1-year RedGold Nectarine still in pot, with unknown whiteflesh, and Glowingstar grafts t-budded this year
• 1-year Cresthaven still in pot with GloHaven and J.H. Hale grafts t-budded this year
• 3-year O’Henry planted 2 years ago, with Autumn Star, and unknown original peach grafts t-budded last year
I’ve been lurking here for the last couple of months. There are so many nuances to learn, I’m glad to be part of this knowledgeable community.