I had already filled up all the spots in the yard, but still wanted to grow some peaches and cherries. What could I do? In order to maintain diplomatic relations with Dr. Wife, I came up with a great solution. I decided to plant in big 30-gallon pots set into the raised bed that surrounds our porch. This would give the trees the drainage they needed, while still allowing their roots to escape into the raised bed when they got larger.
I planted MidPride and Florida King peaches (from Glen Miracle), and the coveted and very difficult to find Minnie Royal and Royal Lee low chill cherries (from Raintree Nursery). The cherries took a really long time to get here, but when they finally arrived they looked pretty good. I had originally wanted a Tropic Snow peach, but the one I got from Glen was killed by the bad freezes. I plan on grafting on more varieties of peaches next year. All of the trees are on dwarfing to semi-dwarfing rootstocks, so they should stay manageable in size, while hopefully producing lots of fruit.
The Minnie Royal and the Royal Lee cherries are relatively new releases from Zaiger Genetics, and are supposed to require only 200-300 chill hours in order to fruit, unlike most cherries which can require approximately 1,000 chill hours. I only know of one person who has successfully grown and eaten a cherry in the Houston area, but these varieties look very promising.
They are almost impossible to find at area nurseries, and they sell out very quickly at area fruit tree sales. RCW nursery had them for $100 each! I only paid $28 each for mine from Raintree, and I was lucky to get them. A few days after I ordered, their website said they were out of stock. Due to the high demand, I would bet these two cherries will be the featured trees at all of the sales next year.