Everything You Need for a Peachy Summer

Have the peachiest summer ever with this guide to peach trees, peach orchards, and peach trivia!

Tips for Growing Your Own Peach Tree

A few ideal conditions for growing yourself an endless supply of peaches.

  • Zone: Peaches will grow in plant hardiness zones 4-8 will, best in zones 7 and 8.
  • Location: Avoid high altitudes and previously planted orchards.
  • Soil: Ideal conditions are sandy loam over well-drained red clay, 18-24 inches deep, with a pH of 6.5-7 and low salinity.
  • Temperatures: Chilling requirements, or the minimum number of hours below 45 F, range from 1,000 (North) to 600 (Central) to 200 (Gulf Coast).
  • Watering: Drip irrigate to give first-year peach trees a weekly: 7 gallons April-May, 14 gallons in June, 28 gallons July-August, 21 gallons in September. You may not need to water in rainy autumn.
  • Fertilizer: Feed trees 1 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer 6 weeks after planting, more than two months before first frost, scattering 18 inches from the trunk and watering well.

Find a list of varieties, chilling requirements, and ripe dates from Texas A&M University’s horticulture center.

Photo by Natalie Goff

2 Texas Peach Orchard Destinations

Flock to the Fredericksburg or Dallas-Fort Worth area for fresh peaches, produce, and other goodies.

Fredericksburg:

  • Donald Eckhardt Orchards: Get delicious tree-ripe peaches from a roadside stand family-owned and -operated since 1936. 2150 U.S. 87 S., 830.992.0289
  • Engel Farms: Get a taste of history along with your peaches and ice cream. This third-generation farmer’s grandparents were the original owners of the land that’s now Luckenbach. 9885 U.S. 290 E., 830.889.3714
  • Jenschke Orchards: Another third-generation orchard and stand, this one boasts more than 5,000 trees and 26 varieties, including a beloved white peach. 8381 U.S. 290 E., 830.997.8422
  • Studebaker Farms: This family orchard has been in the business of selling Texas’ favorite peaches out of a wood barn for 200 years. 9405 U.S. 290 E., 830.990.1109
  • Vogel Orchard: Stop in for a jar of homemade peach preserves and peach butter. Don’t leave without a peck of sweet stone fruit picked from this original 1953 orchard. 12862 U.S. 290 E., 830.664.2404
  • Burg’s Corner: 20 minutes outside of Fredericksburg, just past Luckenbach, stop by this classic Stonewall farm stand for a fresh peach harvest, ice cream, and preserves. 15194 U.S. 290 E., 830.644.2604

Dallas-Fort Worth

  • B&G’s Garden: Take your pick of fresh produce at Fort Worth’s Cowtown Farmers Market. 3821 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth
  • Ham Orchards: East of Dallas, this orchard has grown from a truck-bed operation to more than 10,000 peach trees, a farmers- market store, a barbecue pavilion, and a pick-your-own blackberry patch. Leave with a cone of their famous homemade peach ice cream, a peach pulled-pork sandwich, and a grocery bag full of baked goods. 11939 County Rd. 309, Terrell, 972.524.2028
  • Hutton Fruit Farms: West of Fort Worth, this orchard and store sells unbeatable peach syrup and honey along with its produce. You can also pick up their peaches at the downtown Weatherford Farmers Market. 210 Greenwood Cut Off Rd., Weatherford, 817.594.1273

Texas Peach Trivia

Everything you ever wanted to know about peaches or didn’t.

  • Peaches have been cultivated since at least 1000 B.C.
  • Peaches originate in China, where they are considered a symbol of luck and protection.
  • True wild peach trees are only found in China. They are smaller, sourer, and fuzzier than the cultivated varieties.
  • The scientific name for peaches (Prunus persica) means Persian plum. Alexander the Great stumbled upon peaches in Persia, where they’d traveled from China along the Silk Road, and brought them back to Greece.
  • A peach once started a single-day war in present- day Delaware (then New Sweden) in 1655, now referred to as the Peach Tree War.
  • The first peaches cultivated in Europe were commonly shared between neighbors. Linguists believe this gifting, along with the happy blush of eating a peach, inspired the expression “peachy” or “peachy keen.” The person gifting a peach might also be called “a real peach.”
  • Peach fuzz protects the fruit from insects, animals, diseases, and even blight.
  • Peach cobbler was invented when settlers of the American West were unable to bake classic Dutch and English peach pies and instead had to “cobble together” meals on the trail.
  • Peaches can be clingstone (which cling to the stone and are popular for canning) or freestone (which peel away easily and are popular for eating).
  • Nectarines are not a different fruit — just fuzz-free peaches!

Need inspiration for your peach haul? Find recipes here!

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