Hello! A dear free in Virginia Beach area wants to grow a peach tree. She says her soil is acidic, ranges from 4.8-5.0 (my blueberries are threatening to go live with her!) so she’s thinking a container option. Any recommendations from folks in that area? I can’t imagine a container peach being very productive
I live West of your friend in the Virginia Piedmont region. I am not real familiar with the soil in the Virginia Beach area but the PH level does not sound right. I would think it would be higher. Did your friend use an inexpensive ph tester, they are notorious for being inaccurate. You can send a soil sample to Va Tech and they will give you a break down of your soil, including PH level. I personally have not done this. Cotton and peanuts are grown in the Va Beach area and both thrive in higher ph soil.
I am unsure if nematodes are an issue on the Va coast (they are in the coastal areas south of Va), if so you want peach trees on Guardian rootstock which protect against nematodes. Nemaguard rootstock is not recommended by some people for Va and NC due to a lack of cold hardiness.
Your friend is in Zone 8a, which should support high chill peaches. I would think that 500 to 1100 chill hour peaches would be ok. Unsure if frost is an issue in Va Beach (I would think so), if so you want late blooming and frost resistant varieties.
Peaceful Heritage Permaculture Nursery sells peaches on Guardian rootstock:
Contender, Jefferson, Redhaven have a reputation for being frost hardy. Personally I have grown Contender and Redhaven and have gotten peaches from the trees (I have a problem with frost). I also grow Elberta - it is a very vigorous tree and I have gotten peaches from it also but it is not consider frost hardy and is not considered the best variety. Redskin is considered a “consistent cropper” but I have no experience yet as my tree was planted last year.
I would stay away from Belle of Georgia, for me it is not frost hardy.
I would recommend planting the trees in 4 ft x 4 ft x 1 ft raised containers.
Best of luck for your friend.
Hollybrook Orchards is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. They are a commercial grower and they sell peach trees. If you e-mail them and give them your town/city they will send you a list of local retailers who sell there product,
Contender, Indian Blood, Madison have a reputation for being frost hardy. I have no idea what rootstock they use.