When I was younger there was something about the fuzz on a peach that bothered me, but I loved the way they tasted so I’d always get my mom to peel them. As I got older I overcame my fuzz issues and have grown to love peaches, nectarines as well. For those that don’t know a nectarine technically is a peach without the fuzz. It was a naturally occurring mutation that growers wound up cultivating into a regular crop. Guess there were others out there who didn’t appreciate the peach fuzz.
There are number of varieties of peach that do well in Florida, some specifically bred by UF for our climate. You can find them here. I was to the point of ordering a couple trees when I thought it had to be possible to grow them from seed. At some point last summer we were eating a lot of peaches and nectarines. So, after saving up a bunch of pits, I cracked them open and stuck them in a pot of dirt. No luck. Like any seasoned researcher with internet access, I went straight to google and found loads of information on the subject.
The method I settled on was pretty neat, so here goes.
- Clean your pits thoroughly, remove all of the flesh, I had about a dozen mixed between peach and nectarine
- Let them rest in a container of water for 24 hours
- Take a bunch of sphagnum moss, wet it and squeeze out the water so it is not sopping wet
- Place the pits in among the moss and then into a couple of zip lock bags
- Stick the bags in your refrigerator and forget about them for 2 months. That will provide sufficient time for the seeds inside to germinate.
- Take your pits out of the bag and keep them each wrapped up in a bit of moss, then stick them down in some loosely packed soil (I used Miracle Grow gardening soil).
- Make sure the soil is thoroughly soaked and then continue to keep it moist over the next several weeks. It might take more then a month so be patient
Out of the dozen or so pits I planted 4 sprouted plants. Here are two of them. Pretty amazing to see the pit split in half then the green plant shooting up out of the dirt.
Now I’m not sure if these are peaches or nectarines, and I can’t remember if they were a Florida variety, so they may not do well here. In any case, I’ve got plants. We’ll see how these do in the container and if they wind up flowering at some point. I’ll post pictures of my ongoing progress.