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Thanks GABBY... not scared, just realistic.
Besides, I'm starting with a totally clean slate: Our new house has no veggie garden, no fruits--except for some wild raspberry canes, no edibles of any kind. (Can you imagine such a thing?? Talk about horrors! )
So I'm just going to keep reminding myself I don't have to plant every single thing I want in one year.
I didn't mean to scare you off peaches. Although we had a fungal disease and peach leaf curl, the pests and diseases mainly attacked one tree. We had two different varieties and I'm sorry but I don't remember what they were. I also noticed that they were worse the older they got - we had them 15 years. Finally the one that kept getting attacked died and the other didn't have a pollinator - instead of planting another peach tree - we moved LOL!
I'm not discouraged myself - I'm thinking about planting a couple of those flat peaches which are so expensive at the farmers market (they're delicious!). I keep thinking that we are going to move to Georgia, so I hesitate on planting any fruit trees since they take 2 - 3 years to fruit. We have been in this house 3 years since I started thinking about moving, so maybe I should just go ahead and plant more trees. I did plant 2 apple trees. I can't get one to fruit because it doesn't have a pollinator. It's a real late fruiting tree and the other just flowers sooner (the 2nd tree has 3 varieties so they pollinate each other.
I hate when you read a catalog and they don't suggest a pollinator variety. In my case, the apple I bought to go with the first tree didn't make it through the winter (2x).
I can grow great roses, blueberries and tomatoes etc but fruit trees and squash are the bane of my gardening world. The desire for squash that doesn't get destroyed by borers almost makes me want to spray chemicals (horrors!). Instead I keep trying and rely on the farmers market LOL
Edited by: GABBY308 at: 1/24/2013 (13:44)
This is very helpful already--thanks CBRINKLEY401!
I'm mostly thinking (or is it fantasizing?) about peaches, but I realize that Zone 5 might be pushing it. I'm not so set on a peach tree that I'm willing to create a ton of work for myself trying to outsmart pests, weather, or any of Mother Nature's other minions.
In other words, I'd rather concentrate on fruits that will be happier here--and give me higher yields as a result. :)
Edited by: ANCHEN2 at: 1/23/2013 (14:38)
Thanks--what kinds of pests do you typically see on your peaches (other than squirrels and neighbors).
I'm also curious about figs. Wouldn't a fig tree be cool?!
Edited by: ANCHEN2 at: 1/23/2013 (14:40)
I'm zone 5a and we had peaches for years. We never really got very many because the squirrels waited until they were just ripe for picking and then attacked them. We lived in the city and I thought the neighbors were stealing them while we were at work because a bushel would disappear in one day. My DH saw a squirrel running along the fence with a big juicy peach so he blamed the squirrels - I still blame the neighbors LOL! Not good for organic gardening because they did get a lot of diseases and pests.
I digress. You have to plant the right variety. Most catalogs will tell you which are better for Northern climates. I also look at where the company is located or buy from the local nursery (not a big store like Home Depot) which will always have the trees suitable to plant here.
I'm curious as to whether anyone in zone 5 has grown figs? I read it's possible and bought a turkey fig but it didn't last through the winter. I'm not sure if it was the cold or the rabbits eating the bark (more than likely a comination of the two).
I live in the suburbs west of Chicago, also zone 5 and pretty much the same climate. To my knowledge, most fruit trees, including apples, cherries, peaches, pears, plums, and apricots grow just fine here. My aunt had a peach tree and it did fine, and we've grown cherries, pears, and apples.
It takes longer for a full size tree to start producing fruit than semi-dwarf or dwarf fruit trees, and it takes another couple years before they produce well. For zone 5, you do need to plant in the spring instead of fall.
You can often get a bushel of fruit per dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit tree about 5 years from planting. It can take 8 years before standard size trees start producing, and a couple after that before they are in full production, but they should produce twice the amount (or more) than a dwarf tree does.
Spacing also depends on whether you grow standard, semi-dwarf, or dwarf trees. Most fruit trees will need yearly pruning initially in order to shape it and get it producing properly, but once they are mature, all you need to concentrate on is removing dead or damaged branches, branches rubbing against each other, plus ones growing toward the center of the tree instead of outward, to help air circulation.
If you can give more details as to what you are wanting to plant, we can be more specific. Hope this helps.
If it's to be, it's up to ME.
Organic Gardeners team leader
I'm zone 5/6 (mostly 5) and it took YEARS (about 10) for my peaches to start producing. Then, pests are REALLY a problem. Last year was the best year yet and it's almost 13 years old.
All the others you mentioned work fine here (but again, we get warmer -- twenty years ago and the 20 years before that was a totally different story!).
I've recently moved from Minneapolis, MN (USDA Zone 4) to the Madison, WI area (Zone 5). As the seed catalogs start to pour in (yay!!) I'm seeing a bunch of fruit trees that claim to be hardy to Zone 5. Apples, sour cherries and pears, of course, but also plums, apricots and peaches. PEACHES! Makes my little northern heart go pitty pat!
Has anyone tried to grow any of these hardy stone fruits? How's that going for ya?
Any advice/info greatly appreciated!