Sunday, July 27, 2014

In Hope of Peaches

Gratuitous Flower Photo

Summer has hit and summer means peaches. Right now I've been buying them at the store. The New Jersey peaches have been really good. I suspect the farmers market will have them this week too and I'll start buying them there. But of course I want my own peaches. I lost one of my two peach trees last winter. I haven't a clue what killed it. I replaced it with an Elberta Queen. It will be years before I see peaches from that one.

But my other peach tree is just loaded down with peaches. And I thinned about 3/4 of them off of the tree. I've noticed that the squirrels were thinning more of them out. Many a day. So I had to protect it. On Friday I put the netting over. I had a choice of 14'x14' or 28'x28'. The 14' one is too small, but the 28' one is way too big. So there is a lot of extra fabric around the base of the tree.

As soon as I left the area I noticed a squirrel immediately come back for another peach. He first touched the bird netting. Then he decided he could jump over it. So he leapt for the trunk and didn't make it because the netting is in front of it. He fell into a pile of netting. He extracted himself. Then he looked at the peaches again. And did another leap. Once again he got caught in the netting. At this point I was scared he was going to get caught in there and not be able to get out. But again he extracted himself.

I thought for sure after the last struggle to get free, he would give up. But this time he leapt and got really caught in the fabric. After five minutes he was still in there. Now I'm not a fan of squirrels by any means. To me they are rats with fluffy tails, but the last thing I want is for the squirrel to die a slow death in my netting. So I went out and had to help him out. He was not pleased by this. Nor was I for that matter. But at least it scared the heck out of him and he left the area for good. I haven't seen any squirrels going for the peaches anymore. I hope it stays that way.

Last year this was the day that I picked my first peach. I won't be doing that this year. They need a little longer. Also I've noticed that the peaches are much, much smaller this year than last year. I wish I knew why. I'm a real neophyte with fruit trees. It can't be water. We have had about 5" of rain in the last month. That ought to be enough. Surely peaches don't mind the heat we have been getting as Georgia comes to mind when you think of peaches and they are certainly hotter than me. Maybe I just need to thin them better. I did leave them a bit closer this year than last.

I also got around to protecting the apples on the trees in the back yard. There are two apples on one tree and seven on the other. So not many. I didn't think they were worth netting the whole tree. So I'm trying to net the individual apples. I'm thinking it probably won't work, but it doesn't hurt to try.


  1. I think I would have been afraid that the squirrel would bite me, so brave of you to help it out! Lovely looking peach tree. I have 3 plum trees that I just planted last year that have been ravaged by aphids, so not a fruit in sight.

  2. My sister ( in central CT) has a terrible squirrel problem and tried fox urine crystals around her tree with great results last year. Previously they would strip the tree.

    In Maine ( coastal) I have 4 peach trees that bear heavily; incredible taste. We are having some brown rot issues that I may need to deal with organically next year as I lost a lot of plums to it. Always something...

  3. Just at the local farm stand and they have peaches. Some things like that I leave to the pros. My experience with peaches growing up at home in MO is they are very fragile and temporary things. They are susceptible to a lot of things but I remember in particular battling peach tree borers. Gross.

  4. Both our peach and nectarine got peach leaf curl so no fruit this year!

  5. I grow peaches in Poland, they're not probably as sweet as yours - but they're home-grown, and that counts :)

  6. I'm really fortunate to be able to get really fabulous local peaches so I'm not tempted to grow my own. Dang those squirrels, rats with furry tails indeed.

  7. That tree certainly is laden with peaches - so lucky. I only have two fruit trees - a cherry & plum - and neither bore fruit this year. I'm thinking it was the hard winter that must have damaged the spurs in some way. At least the trees survived, which was my main concern.

  8. Hope the squirrel don't come back again, I've been eating a lot of peaches and apricots recently, all from farmers market.