26. February 2019

My 4 favorite peach varieties

Growing your own peaches is such a luxury. I grow several different varieties here at home, these are my four favorite peach varieties!

En vacker persika växer på ett träd med smala gröna blad. Peach varieties, a beautiful peach on the tree.

Walking past a little tree in my Swedish kitchen garden and inhaling the smell of ripe peaches, that's the dream! This is the variety Frost in my polytunnel, it's one of my favorite peach varieties.

 

My winter sowings and indoor projects are moving along as planned and there's not much more I can do in my snow-covered kitchen garden. So I wanted to take the time to write about something I know a lot of you are interested in – exotic fruit trees. I keep most of my exotic fruit trees in my large polytunnel. I started collecting these trees after an inspiring visit to the beautiful garden Mandelmanns here in Sweden a few years ago. Now I'm just waiting for my fruit to start growing!

I have a few different varieties of kiwi, persimmon, grapes, blueberries, blackberries, apricots, nectarines, peaches and figs. But I especially wanted to tell you a bit more about the peaches I grow here at home. Later this week, I will write an article about the fig tree in my polytunnel too.

 

En bild från trädgården i solnedgång med ett grönt träd i förgrunden - ett persikoträd. Peach varieties, my garden in the sunset.

The tree to the left is the variety Riga. Many visitors in the kitchen garden ask me about the little peach lookalike by the house, this is my apricot tree. I also decided to plant a peach tree of the variety Ice Peach by the house wall.

 

My 4 peach varieties

The first peach variety I planted in the garden is called Riga. I planted it in 2016 outside in the large kitchen garden as a part of a larger hedge. The varieties Frost, Ice Peach and Red Heaven grow in my polytunnel. I found another single, small Ice Peach tree in a garden center a while back and decided to buy it as an experiment. Even though I was guessing that the variety wasn't very hardy, I still decided to plant it outdoors, close to a south-facing wall to see how it would survive the winter. All in all, I have five peach trees. The kids and I sometimes try to guess how many fruits we can count on getting in one year. Lovely day dreaming!

 

Närbild på en persika med rött och lite ludet skal. Peach varieties, a close-up of a peach.

This beautiful Riga peach is almost ripe.

 

Riga

It grows outdoors, without any protection against the wind or cold. I decided to not prune it at all. The fruits are small and the skin is a beautiful red/yellow color. The fruit is sweet. Riga ripens in August here in zone 3.

 

Vackra frukter med skal i rött och gult på ett rött keramikfat, fotograferat i tunnelväxthuset. Peach varieties, beautiful fruits in red and yellow.

A plate full of lovey Frost peaches I harvested in July in my polytunnel.

 

Frost

It grows in my polytunnel and I planted it in the fall of 2017. This variety produces a big harvest of small and juicy fruits. All of the fruits ripen within a few summer weeks in July/August, so there's a lot to eat in a short period of time. These peaches are very sweet. Almost too sweet!

 

Ett litet träd fullt med små vita frukter. Peach varieties, a tree with white fruits.

So many fruits on this little Ice Peach tree, even after I thinned it out earlier in the season.

 

Ice Peach

This tree produces white peaches! The skin is light yellow/green and the meat is a similar color. It tastes absolutely wonderful, quite differently from the other two varieties. The Ice peach has an almost exotic flavor, but it also tastes fresher than Frost and Riga. It's simply outstanding! The ripe peaches are very juicy but you can harvest them when they are crispy too. This is my children's favorite peach variety!

Read more about Ice peach here: Growing Ice Peach

 

 

Red Heaven

This is one of the more common peach varieties you often see in the supermarket. The fruits are large and the skin is deep red with golden yellow shades. I love the way they taste. A bit more fruity than Ice Peach. I haven't been able to eat more than a few homegrown fruits so far, so I can't really say that much about the taste compared to other peach varieties. I do however think that this might just be my favorite peach, taste wise.

I don't know if the fruits would have time to ripen on a regular summer (that isn't as unnaturally hot and long as the one we had last year), but I think it might be worth the try even here in zone 3. Even a few little fruits would be worth it. They are delicious!

 

En ensam frukt med rött skal fotograferat på en vindpinad grå bräda. Peach varieties, a lone fruit with red skin.

We only got two Red Heaven peaches in 2018, but they were absolutely delicious. I can't wait until the next peach season!

 

Making marmalade

We got a decent harvest from the trees in our polytunnel, except for Red Heaven which only produced two little fruits. The spring of 2018 was late and cold, and the flowers froze. I pollinated the trees in my polytunnel as well as I could and I actually got a really nice harvest from them.

We ate most of them fresh. Giving my children homegrown peaches is such a luxury!

All of the Frost peaches ripened at around the same time, so I decided to make marmalade from the newly fallen and slightly bruised peaches. I simply cut the fruits into smaller pieces, boiled them with sugar and added a splash of lemon. I can't put the taste into words! It makes me long for larger harvests so I can make jam, more marmalade and yummy baked goods from my favorite peach varieties. Absolutely lovely!

 

En hand håller en liten blå skål med gul sylt. Peach varieties, a hand holding a little blue bowl filled with jam.

My Frost marmalade was a huge success, my kids love it! The peaches are so sweet that I only needed to add a little sugar too. Perfect!

 

Bild inifrån tunnelväxthuset med vackra träd längs kanterna och ljus träflis på marken.

I grow the trees in my polytunnel along the sides of my polytunnel. It's a challenge to prune them all, but I hope I can manage it.

 

Read more about my polytunnels here

 

The more I grow, I get increasingly aware of how the taste varies between varieties. This goes for vegetables as well as fruits and berries. Growing four different types of peaches and discovering how different they truly can be is so much fun!

I'm hoping for a nice and warm spring so that the peach trees growing outside get a chance to bloom. My guess is that every tree will produce around twelve fruits each, which should add up to at least sixty fruits all in all. We look forward to it!
/Sara Bäckmo

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