Peaches, as a whole, grow well in Texas. The varieties that grow particularly well in the state are divided by the amount of cold chilling required for fruit to set the following year. Cold chilling is defined as the number of days colder than 45 degrees F during the winter. Without adequate chilling, some varieties of peaches won't produce peaches. South Texas has the fewest number of chilling days per season, while north Texas has the most. Plant peaches in fertile, well draining soil in a location where they will get full sun. Peaches need adequate water, so irrigate peach trees growing in the drier parts of Texas.
Low Chill Areas
Southern Texas is very warm, comprising United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones 10 to 11. However, even in these zones, some varieties of low chill peaches may grow.
Florida Grande and Florida Prince are two varieties of low chill peaches that only require 100 days of chilling to set fruit. A number of other varieties only require 150 days, including Tropic Beauty, Floridaglo and Tropic Snow. Other low chill varieties may work, depending on how far you are from the Gulf of Mexico. Those varieties require between 175 and 350 hours of chilling per growing season.
Central Texas cools off quickly the further you move from the Gulf of Mexico. Texas supports many types of mid-chill peaches. Mid-chill peaches require chill times ranging from 450 hours to around 800 hours per growing season. Common varieties of mid-chill peaches include Tex Royal, which requires 600 hours of chill time, and Texstar, which needs 650 hours.
Rio Grande requires 450 hours of chilling and, on the long end of the scale, Fireprince requires 800 hours. Flavorcrest, Junegold and Juneprince peaches are among the other mid-chill peaches that grow well in Texas.
High-chill peach varieties require between 750 and 1,000 hours of chilling per growing season. Although some types at the lower end of this range are considered mid-chill varieties, some high-chill varieties requiring between 750 and 800 hours include Loring, Denman, Redskin and Dixieland. At the upper end of the chill requirements for peach varieties grown in Texas, the Ranger variety requires 950 hours of chilling and Surecrop needs 1,000 hours.
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