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It's National Peach Month

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Feeling Peachy Keen?

Although peaches are native to China, they have become one of the most popular fruits in the world for fruit growers to plant. In fact, California produces more than 50% of the peaches in the United States (and grows 175 different varieties). Not only are juicy peaches a must-have in the summertime to stay cool; but they are a fantastic fruit to use in cooking and baking (Peach Cobbler = YUM) creating over 100 different recipes. 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Autumn_red_peach.jpg/256px-Autumn_red_peach.jpgIn honor of National #Peach Month this August, we are sharing fun and interesting facts about peaches:

1) Peaches are a good source of Vitamins A, B, and C.

2) A medium-sized peach only contains 37 calories.

3) A peach pit contains hydrocyanic acid, which is a poisonous substance. (Avoid choking; and do not swallow the pit).

4) The term "you're a real peach" originated from the tradition of giving a peach to someone you liked.

5) Peaches are helpful with digestion as they can help cleanse the bladder and kidneys.

6) Peaches are an ideal snack - making you feel fuller and are great for losing weight.

7) Peaches help reduce anxiety and are known in Hungary as the "Fruit of Calmness."

8) The peach tree is often considered to be the tree of life.

9) The term "peachy keen" means cool, good, wonderful, or awesome. Sometimes, the word is laced with sarcasm.

10) The first peach orchard began in Florida in the year 1565.

11) There are over 700 varieties of peaches.

12) Peaches are in the Rosaceae (Rose) Family along with almonds.

13) Nectarines are peaches without the fuzz.

14) Peaches get their flavor from their variety, not their color.

15) The life of a peach tree is approximately 15 years.

How to Grow Peaches

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Peach trees can grow in USDA Zones 5 to 8; but are perfect-tasting in Zones 6 and 7. As with any fruit garden, growing peaches requires the proper care in order to yield a full harvest of peaches.

Peach Tree Planting

1) Choose a site where you can plant peaches in full sunlight and avoid low areas where frost may occur.

2) You will either have container peach trees or grafted trees. For container trees, remove the plant from the pot and shear any roots. For grafted trees, position the curves away from the sun when planting.

3) Dig a hole and set the tree on top of a small mound of soil. Spread roots away from the trunk without bending them.

4) Space larger fruit trees 15-20 feet apart. (Smaller trees can plant 10-12 feet apart.)

 

 

Caring for Peach Trees

There are some fruit management tricks to grow your peach trees. After six weeks, apply one pound of nitrogen fertilizer to the trees and after the second year, add 3/4 pounds of the fertilizer once in the spring and once in early summer. Note: Do not fertilize the trees within two months of the first fall frost. Be sure to prune the trees regularly to avoid pest damage and disease including Brown Rot, Leaf Curl and common Mosaic Viruses.

Installing a deer fence around fruit trees will help control deer damage and will stop other garden pests including squirrels from indulging on the fruits. For bird control, fruit gardeners can drape bird nets over trees and apply repellents around the farm.