What Is A Contestant Peach?
Contender peach is a type of fruit that grows from the same tree as other types of peaches such as red haired cherries or russet colored plums. However, contestant peach fruits are smaller than regular peaches and have a very distinct flavor. They are often used in desserts and confections because they resemble traditional plum but with a softer texture.
The name “contestant” comes from the fact that contestants compete in contests such as cooking shows. Contestant peach trees are usually planted in warmer climates where it is warm enough for them to grow and thrive. They are typically grown for their large size and sweet flavor.
How To Grow Contestant Peach Trees?
There are several ways to grow contestant peach trees. You can plant them in pots and let them go to seed, or you can transplant them into your garden. Both methods will result in a new tree growing from the rootstock of the original one.
Planting Contestant Peach Trees:
You may want to consider planting some contestant peach trees in your backyard if you live somewhere with mild winters like California or Florida.
Choose your location. The ideal place to plant a contestant peach tree is in an area that gets full sun for most of the day, and has well draining soil. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep.
Remove the tree from its pot and place it into the hole. Fill in with dirt and pack it down lightly. Water the tree thoroughly.
Guard your new tree against rabbits, deer, and other pests that may try to eat it or dig around it by placing a wire fence around the tree. It is also a good idea to water it consistently until it starts growing.
Transplanting Contestant Trees
You can also move an existing contestant peach tree to a new location by digging it up and transplanting it elsewhere. You can also re-plant it in a pot.
Prepare the area where you want to plant the tree by digging a hole and adding some fertilizer or compost to the hole. Ensure that the hole is twice as wide as the root ball, and just as deep.
Carefully remove the tree from the pot by untying or cutting the strings that hold it. Try not to damage the roots. It is okay if some of the soil sticks to the roots.
Gently place the tree into the hole and fill in the hole with dirt. Pat the dirt lightly to secure it in place and add more dirt until the hole is halfway over the root ball. Make sure that the tree is straight and at the same height as it was previously.
Water the tree thoroughly after moving it. Keep watering it for the next two weeks to a month, depending on how dry the soil is.
Caring For A Contestant Tree
Contestant trees need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, so make sure to plant them in an area that gets a lot of sun.
Water the tree on a regular basis to prevent it from drying out, especially if you live in a dry climate.
Fertilize the tree every couple of months during the growing season using a general purpose fertilizer according to the directions on the package.
Contestant trees need to be pruned every year to ensure that they grow correctly and produce good fruit.
Common diseases that affect contestant trees include powdery mildew (caused by a fungal infection) and scab (caused by a virus). Use a fungicide according to the directions on the package to treat these diseases.
Powdery mildew can also be prevented by providing the plant with good air circulation.
Questions: If You Plant A Tree Now, Will It Still Be There In Twelve Years?
Planting trees is a serious business and should not be taken lightly. That being said, if you’re a kid who planted a contestant tree in your backyard, it’s very unlikely that it will still be there in twelve years. A backyard just isn’t a good place to plant trees.
If you want to learn more about planting trees, the Arbor Day Foundation website has information on how to go about doing so.
Contestant Trees In History
The history of the contestant peach is unknown. It is likely a natural hybrid that occurred somewhere in the South, possibly in Texas. It was first brought to public attention around 1920 by a farmer named L.O. Smith from the town of Van, Texas.
He named it the “Van” and entered it in a Chambers County fair where it won first prize. This variety spread throughout Texas and eventually became popular in other parts of the South. It is now one of the more popular commercial varieties due to its taste and long shelf life.
Don’t Plant This Tree!
The ‘Kiowa’ peach is a variety you definitely want to avoid planting. Originally from Oklahoma, it was released in 2006 as a disease-resistant variety with good taste. However, it does not produce pollen, so it cannot pollinate other varieties. It also doesn’t produce fruit every year. It grows well in Arkansas and Texas.
Arbor Day Foundation: Plant A Tree
Trees For Houston: Peach (Prunus Persica)
Trees For Houston: Apple (Malus Domestica)
The Upstart Farmer: The Right Tree for the Right Place
Farmer’s Desk Reference: Chapter 6: Trees and Shrubs
Gardening Guide by Gregory Robson, published in 1910
So, there’s the history of the contestant peach tree in a nutshell. I hope you’ve learned something. I’ll see you next time.
Sources & references used in this article:
Thinning time during stage I and fruit spacing influences fruit size of ‘Contender’peach by SMC Njoroge, GL Reighard – Scientia Horticulturae, 2008 – Elsevier
Tree growth, fruit size, and yield response of mature peach to weed-free intervals by AW MacRae, WE Mitchem, DW Monks, ML Parker… – Weed technology, 2007 – BioOne
Comparison of the effects of metamitron on chlorophyll fluorescence and fruit set in apple and peach by SJ McArtney, JD Obermiller, C Arellano – HortScience, 2012 – journals.ashs.org
Antioxidant effect of peach skin extracts from 13 varieties of South Carolina grown peaches by Y Zhang – 2014 – tigerprints.clemson.edu
Micronised and non‐micronised sulphur applications control peach scab equally well with negligible differences in fruit quality by G Schnabel, DR Layne, IJ Holb – Annals of applied biology, 2007 – Wiley Online Library
Gene expression of DAM5 and DAM6 is suppressed by chilling temperatures and inversely correlated with bud break rate by S Jiménez, GL Reighard, DG Bielenberg – Plant molecular biology, 2010 – Springer