Happy Valentines Day!! I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when the peaches were just beginning to ripen. This is an O'Henry peach which produces yellow freestone delicious fruit which ripens in early to mid February. We planted many fruit trees in 2009 and most are just starting to be productive bearers. This was the first fruit we've picked off the O'Henry. It's a variety which seems to suffer badly from peach leaf curl (a springtime fungus). We had some fruit form last year but it was damaged by the peach leaf curl and dropped off. This year a combination of spraying with Liquid Copper, physically removing leaves that still curled and a dry spring was most beneficial for fruit set. We can't control the weather and, because copper sprays kill beneficial insects like ladybirds and bees, spraying is limited to before bud burst and after all flowering; however, physical removal of remaining leaves affected seems to be very important. I did the same on curl leaf affected nectarines as well and all produced fruit with healthy non curled leaves replacing the affected ones.
All the peaches (and nectarines) have now been picked (and most have been eaten, sad to say!). We had 3.4kg of O'Henry peaches as well as 6kg of nectarines (5kg from a Goldmine and a kilo from 2 younger dwarf nectarines). We also picked over 4kg of plums and 2.5kg of Stella cherries. And we have apples and pears still to ripen/pick (first time fruiting for the latter). Then I hope we'll have winter citrus. Home grown fruit is SO much more delicious than supermarket varieties and these days there are so many dwarf or even sub dwarf fruit trees which can be grown in pots and which fit into small gardens or balconies quite easily. Most of them espalier against a wall or trellis if there's very limited space.