Monday, March 14, 2016

Genetic Dwarf Peaches. Progress Report. 3.14.16

Genetic Dwarf Peach "Garden Gold"  3.14.16

Genetic Dwarf Peach "Honeybabe".  3.14.16
 All of the genetic dwarf peaches are blooming.  The almost insurmountable challenge with these, is peach leaf curl disease.

There are several ways to address leaf curl.  Among those, sprays, cover the trees for the winter to prevent fungal growth in the buds, or be more creative and intense, growing in containers.  To grow in containers, one can buy  a bare root tree and plant in container, or try growing seedlings from genetic dwarf varieties.

During fall, 2014, I dug up the smallest of my genetic dwarf peach trees, and planted in container.  That required significant loss of very large roots.  Even so, in 2015, that tree was the best of any of my peaches, and the fruit was the most delicious peach crop I've had in years.

Here is a summary of my varieties:

Garden Gold.  White flesh.  Approx 14 years old.  Always blooms well, gets a bad dose of PLC - peach leaf curl disease - loses most of the peaches, recovers, gets a few peaches for fall.

Honeybabe.  Golden flesh.  I like the flavor better than Garden Gold.  However, Honeybabe has worse leaf curl.  This year it looks even worse than usual.  I don't know if it will survive.
Genetic Dwarf Peach "Eldorado".  3.14.16

Seedling from Genetic Dwarf Peach.  4th year.  3.16.14
Eldorado.  As described, excellent small peaches.  PLC was as bad as the other varieties, even though I had it planted under semi-shelter.  Containerized and not exposed to rain during wingter 2014-2015, there was almost no PLC at all, that cleared up quickly, and it made a great crop.

Empress.  I bought this as a bare root tree, winter 2015-2016.  It is planted in container.  No way to know how it will do.

Seedlings.  I have several seedling trees.  Initially, this was unplanned.  The parent varieties are either Garden Gold or Honeybabe.  This winter, the first is starting to bloom, at 4 years old.  I kept it in a shed for much of the winter, then on a deck not exposed to rain.  No way to know yet if it will bear fruit, or what the fruit will be like.

If I was to start over, I would grow these peaches, only in containers.  I would save seeds from the first year or two fruit, to experiment with.  

Container growth requires a lot of attention.  They dry out quickly, so need water on a daily or twice daily basis.  Wrapping the container with foil can reduce soil temp, but they still need daily watering.  Container trees need pruning to keep branches close to the core, to reduce top heaviness and risk of falling over, and broken branches.  Genetic dwarf trees over-set badly - something like 90% of fruit should be removed at pea-size stage.  Fortunately, the trees are small so that does not require ladders.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Daniel, I'm fascinated with your seedlings here. Do you know if the peach tree grows true to the parent, and also as a dwarf?