Gardening is Just Peachy in Colorado

Happy Colorado Day to my hardy gardening friends who start planning their gardens in January, plant in May and keep their fingers crossed all summer hoping there’s something delicious to harvest at the end of the season.

Harvesting fruit from trees along Colorado’s Front Range is hit or miss.

We’re often hit with a late spring freeze that guarantees we’ll miss our fresh peaches, apricots and other stone fruits.

If the flowers do survive and set fruit, there’s the ever present threat of a hailstorm wiping out the crop in minutes flat.

But this year was a good one for Colorado peaches, at least the ones grown in a Pueblo backyard on a little Prunus persica ‘Saturn’ flat top peach tree.

John and I purchased and planted the tree as a 2009 Mother’s Day present for his mom, Shirley. It’s been so much fun watching that little tree grow over the last year and then surprise us all with a bountiful crop of rosy-red, juicy peaches.

Here’s Peachy’s story:

We bought the little peach tree, a descendant of the peento from China, at Perennial Favorites nursery and greenhouse in Rye. The tree had survived a mountain hailstorm and Shirley fell in love with it at first sight. We loaded it up in her van, drove it home and planted it in one afternoon.

We were all pleasantly surprised when Peachy bloomed early this year. Because a late freeze is always possible, we were prepared to lose this first crop of peaches.

The peach blossoms survived, thanks to Shirley covering the tree several times to protect it from freezing temperatures. Dozens of little fuzzy peaches covered the tree in early May. There were so many, she ended up picking at least 4 dozen so the tree’s branches wouldn’t break under the weight of them as they grew.

Then this week, Shirley said she just knew the peaches were ready to pick. These little peaches are sweet to look at and to eat. They are clingfree with the cutest peach pit we’ve ever seen.

I have it on good authority that flat-top peaches at the grocery store are selling two for $1 and they’re not nearly as ripe and wonderful.


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i have a couple peach trees that are about 4-5 ft tall and want to know the best time to put them in the ground here in lakewood co

I’d recommend getting in touch with the CSU Extension in your county for the best advice on planting peach trees–if you haven’t already planted. The master gardeners there might also have some other good planting information. You could also Google fruit tree planting + CSU to pull up some relevant fact sheets.

Enjoy the spring,

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