We ate our first fresh peaches of the season yesterday. Red Haven ripens early in January. The taste of sun-warmed fruit is better than any bought peach. The tree looks colourful with the large red-blushed fruit. Red Haven has been a good choice for growing in our area. Fungal disease has been minimal – the humidity is usually low. I choose not to use spray and rely on natural solutions such as selecting the right tree for our conditions.
The biggest problem I had before planting my fruit trees was the need to clear through a thick scoria base. Gypsum, or dolomite, applied to the hard-pan clay base helps to improve drainage. I made a raised planting area using a mix of vermicast and compost.
My fruit trees are underplanted with a ley that includes herbs such as borage, calendula, chives, comfrey, curry plant, daffodils and santolina as a living mulch once the foliage dies down. The peach tree is planted in an open and windy spot in the garden as I think the air flow helps to keep the tree healthy.
Unfortunately the birds and possums also think the peaches are worth eating.