We have been eating peaches from our garden for the last two weeks.
The peaches above are from our Redhaven tree.
In our back yard vegetable garden, we have five peach trees that were planted in 2009. They are Springold, Sentinel, Ranger, Red Haven, Jefferson.
The Sentinel and Redhaven have been producing ripe fruit over the last two weeks, and they look like they will continue to ripen additional fruit over the next week or two. I have decided to harvest based on feel, harvesting fruit that is soft to the touch with a red blush.
I would have liked to allow them to ripen longer on the trees, but we have a pack of squirrel banditos that have been eating about 20 peaches a day. This has been very discouraging watching our a beautiful, bountiful harvest die a death of squirrel attritition. I have ended up harvesting a lot of fruit early just to ensure that we get our fair share. In the process, I am certain that I am sacrificing additional sweetness. Nevertheless, I am still enjoing them greatly.
The Jefferson fruit continues to ripen, and I have yet to taste any of its fruit. I am fairly certain, however, that the squirrels will get to that crop before I do given that they do not appear to have the same patience as me and have not waited for the fruit to ripen before digging in.
Here is the ripening time information that I found on Springold, Sentinel, Ranger, Red Haven, Jefferson:
|Variety||Fruit size||Stone*||Ripe date||Planting zone|
|Springold||small||cling||mid-May||1, 2, 3, 4|
|Sentinel||large||semi-cling||early June||1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|Ranger||large||free||mid to late June||1, 2, 3|
2, 3, 4, 5
|Jefferson||large||free||mid to late July||1, 2, 3, 4|
My initial reaction to this is that Redhaven was about two to three weeks earlier this year. Although the squirrels got to all of these, my Springold and Ranger were still ripening as of June 30th -- later than suggested by this chart. Sentinel ripened in late June, early August this year versus the early June suggested by the chart. Some of the variation may result from the fact that ripening times may vary from year to year based upon the last frost date, and also from the fact that this chart may have been prepared for the Houston or Austin areas which have an earlier last-frost date.
We also have Saturn and Reliance trees that are two year old trees. They set a amount of fruit earlier in the year. Unfortunately, those two trees are in our front yard and also particularly vulnerable to squirrels. The squirrels got to all of them.