PEACHES, APRICOTS & NECTARINES
These are the fruit to grow to impress the neighbours! Not easy but perfectly possible if nature works with you. For outside they have got to be grown, Fan trained, against a sunny warm wall that is also protected from wind. Soil must be good and some protection from rain is useful to help combat peach leaf curl in spring and early summer which can ruin the foliage of nectarines and peaches.
Although the trees are perfectly hardy, by far the biggest problem is the extreme earliness of the blossom, sometimes late February here for the Apricot, and frost will often ruin all the flower. Even if the weather is mild the pollinating insects may not be around to do their job and hand pollinating at midday with a small brush or simply tapping the tree may be needed. Of course, most of these problems disappear if you have room to grow one inside but the wall must be at least 8 feet high, preferably higher.
Choice of Rootstocks
Rootstocks are St. Julian A or Torinel (for apricots) a semi-vigorous rootstock. All are self fertile.
VARIETIES GROWN IN THE TRIALS GARDEN (OR NURSERY)
Peach - Hales Early
A hardy and early variety, attractive red skin and delicious flavour. A freestone type. USA. Growing successfully on our outdoor south wall
Peach - Rochester
Large, yellow fleshed type with soft and juicy texture. Later flowering than most which helps avoid the late frosts
Apricot - Golden Glow
Found on the side of the Malvern hills, presumably from a chance stone, this variety is proving very hardy, even cropping and performing well as a free standing tree (frosts at flowering time permitting)