Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Beets and peaches
As I lingered over catalogs of plants cozied up in my chair with jammies, cold medicine (as you can hear from my voice!) and a cup of coffee I rediscovered a beet and a peach that I think are worth trying.
‘Forono’ is an intrigue. It is a smooth, oblong variety of beet that is described as sugar sweet and easy to slice.
‘Forono’ resists bolting and won’t go corky or soft if harvest is delayed. It’s even more important to have fluffy soil for this guy to grow freely. A chore I continually work on in my raised bed by adding compost.
Another beet that Gurney says is the richest, sweetest beet they’ve ever tasted. It’s called ‘Harrier hybrid’. They also say you don’t need butter! WHAT?
As for a peach, well, a contender for northern gardens, is aptly named ‘Contender’. Bred in North Carolina, of all places, it was introduced in 1988. The tree can grow up to 25 feet in full sun with a width of 8 to 20 feet.
It starts delivering a large crop of peaches at 3 or 4 years old with peak production at 12. ‘Contender’ is a self-pollinating tree that produces large flavorful fruit with pink cheeks that ripen in late August. It has been grown reliably in zone 4 to about 6. Any warmer climates ‘Contender’ doesn’t produce flowers or fruit as well.
A peach tree flat NOT wonderful for climate zones 4 and colder is called ‘Flat Wonderful’ and is just that for zones 5 and warmer.
It really is adorably flat but also reportedly very flavorful and doesn’t get mushy! ‘Flat Wonderful’ doubles as an ornamental. The picture below is from growingfruit.org.
Gorgeous showy blooms in the spring are followed by brilliant, glossy red leaves in early summer, making it a wonderful landscape specimen. Ripens in late July.