Thou shalt not covet. I know this. But lately I’ve been feeling peachy, making it very hard not to envy my neighbor in our community garden who had the good foresight to plant a peach tree last year.
So I’m using my neighbor’s peaches as inspiration to plot my own mini-orchard. If you’re similarly inspired, now is the time to start thinking about what fruit trees you might want to plant this fall, or next spring. Spring (in cooler climates) and fall (in warmer) are the best times to put fruit trees in the ground.
What? You don’t have room for fruit trees? Oh, but you do. Some fruit-loving geniuses have cultivated small-space, high-yielding dwarf and semi-dwarf trees that have helped many a small-space gardener get one step closer to their dream of having an orchard. What you do need is a little help from a local expert (from your local nursery, garden center or farmers’ market) who can tell you what varieties will grow best in your soil and climate.
If you have the good fortune to have a peach tree or two of your own already (or an orchard or farmers’ market nearby) don’t miss an opportunity to show off the fruits of your labor in a simple Tomato-Peach Salad or a luscious Caramel-Peach Upside Down Cake.
For inspiration and instruction on planting fruit trees at home, I recommend The Backyard Orchardist: A Complete Guide to Growing Fruit Trees in the Home Garden. And befriend a local farmer while you’re at it. They are a wealth of knowledge.
Sarah Copeland, Recipe Developer and Good Food Gardens spokesperson