What apple, peach, and plum trees would you recommend for Hardin County? I would like two of each. Last year we dug six holes for the trees, but never bought any as it was late in the season. I would like one yellow apple and one red apple that will be able to be used for cooking and keeping through the winter. Will Georgia peach do well here?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Mary in Kentucky: Growing fruit in the home garden is a great way to provide your family with fresh produce, not to mention the money you will save in the long run. As with any new addition to the garden, it is essential for the long-term health of the plant to make sure you can provide optimal growing conditions for these fruit trees. They will require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight, excellent drainage, and nutrient-rich soil. If you have not had your soil tested yet, it would be a good idea to do so before planting. You can contact your County Extension service for more information on soil testing. Although some fruit trees are self pollinating, for optimal production it is a good idea to plant two that flower at the same time. Choosing disease-resistant varieties is essential in terms of health for any fruit tree. Liberty and Jonafree are both disease-resistant red apples that produce in the fall. Golden Delicious would be a good yellow apple that is also a fall producer. These are just a couple to mention but there are a number of disease-resistant apple varieties that do well here in Kentucky. The following link is a publication provided by the University of Kentucky in collaboration with the Extension service for home gardeners: http://www.ca.uky.edu/anr/PDF/Growing%20Fruit%20at%20Home%20in%20Kentucky.PDF This publication is full of reliable information on growing fruit in the home garden for Kentucky gardeners. As for peaches and plums, these are certainly more tricky for Kentucky gardeners. They are not happy growing in our clay soils so it is necessary to amend the soil before planting. These stone fruits are also more susceptible to insect and disease problems. It is possible to grow them, but it may require a spray routine and more maintenance on your part. The fruit publication has varieties recommended for Kentucky growers. Enjoy!