I must say, it’s tempting. Oh, so tempting.
We had just come to the realization that the numerous “weeds” we’d begun pulling at the base of our established peach tree are not some strange, thin-leafed unwelcome usurper. They are, in fact, seedling peach trees.
Not just a few. Well over a dozen. Apparently, conditions were cold enough and wet enough this winter for germinating peach seeds. Who knew?
All those pits from over-ripened or too-pock-marked-to-bother-with peaches that fell to the ground and rotted after last year’s less-than-stellar harvest have resurrected themselves, promising juicy, sweet, heavenly globes of goodness, if we’ll just take the time and devote the space to shepherding them to maturity. It’s tempting. Oh, so tempting.
The backyard, we’ve learned the hard, expensive way, is not fruit tree friendly. The three black walnuts that frame the southwest corner of our property are quick to poison most competition. Just about anywhere we thought a fruit tree would be safe, it wasn’t.
Only the tart cherry trees, which are tolerant of juglone — the anti-social chemical black walnuts exude from their roots, leaves and nuts — have thrived. Repeatedly, apple, pear and sweet cherry have succumbed.
Why add peaches to the list of the dead?
Despite a half acre (minus the footprint of the house) of eligible property, we just don’t have room for a peach orchard.
But it’s tempting. Oh, so tempting.
Like all my seedlings, I am loathe to cull these 6-inch-tall peach-trees-in-the-making. Clearly, they’re happy and healthy. No need for cold, moist stratification treatments. Mother Nature did all the work for us.
Plus, these cute, little trees embody so much promise. With a little love and tenderness on our part, we could soon be harvesting bushels of fuzzy, golden orbs dripping with sunshine, sharing the bounty with friends and family — fresh, frozen and preserved as peach butter or jam. Or baked into luscious pies and cobblers.
With delights like that dangling on the horizon, who wouldn’t want to grow a peach orchard?
It’s oh, so tempting!