Stone Fruit

Get The Most Out of Your Stone Fruit from Backyard Eats

Harvesting Stone Fruit

When It’s Ready
  • Observe the fruit’s color and texture: Stone fruits, such as peaches, plums, and cherries, should have vibrant colors and a slightly soft texture when they are ripe.
  • Gently press the fruit: If it yields slightly to pressure but still holds its shape, it is ready for harvest.
  • Harvest when the fruit easily detaches: The fruit should come off the tree or stem with a gentle twist or tug.
  • Late summer, typically from August to September
When It’s Too Late
  • Overripe stone fruits become overly soft, mushy, and may develop bruises or signs of decay.
  • Regularly check your trees or plants to ensure you harvest them at the optimal ripeness.
How To
  • Hold the fruit gently and twist or give it a slight tug to detach it from the tree or stem.
  • Place harvested fruits carefully in a container, being mindful not to bruise or damage them.
  • Avoid stacking or piling the fruits too high to prevent crushing.

Growing Stone Fruit

Growing stone fruit, such as peaches and plums, in your garden can be a rewarding experience. Start by choosing a sunny location with well-drained soil. Plant the stone fruit tree in late winter or early spring, making sure to dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots. Water the tree thoroughly after planting and mulch around the base to conserve moisture. Prune the tree during the dormant season to shape it and remove any damaged or crossing branches. Provide regular watering, especially during dry periods, and feed the tree with a balanced fertilizer in early spring and late summer. As the tree matures, thin the fruit to improve size and prevent overcrowding. With care and patience, your stone fruit tree will thrive and provide you with delicious, sweet fruits to enjoy during the harvest season.

Varieties of Stone Fruit:

Cherries | Peaches


Storing Stone Fruit

Fresh Storage:

For peaches or plums: store fruit at room temperature until ripe, then keep them in the refrigerator for up to five days

For cherries: refrigerate unwashed cherries in a breathable container or perforated plastic bag for up to five days

Long-Term Storage: Pit the fruits, slice them, and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-safe container for up to six months.

Cooking With Stone Fruit

  1. Peach Cobbler: Slice fresh peaches and toss them with sugar, cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Top the peaches with a sweet biscuit or crumble topping and bake until golden and bubbly. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  2. Plum Jam: Cook sliced plums with sugar and lemon juice until they break down and thicken into a luscious jam. Enjoy the homemade jam on toast, scones, or as a filling for pastries and cookies.
  3. Cherry Clafoutis: Arrange fresh cherries in a baking dish and pour a custard-like batter over them. Bake until the clafoutis is set and golden. Serve warm as a delightful dessert or breakfast treat.
  4. Grilled Nectarines: Cut nectarines in half and remove the pits. Grill them until they develop grill marks and become slightly tender. Serve the grilled nectarines with a dollop of yogurt or a scoop of ice cream for a simple yet flavorful dessert.
  5. Apricot Glazed Chicken: Mix apricot preserves with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of vinegar. Brush the glaze over chicken pieces and bake or grill until the chicken is cooked through. The sweet and tangy glaze adds a delicious twist to the chicken.
  6. Stone Fruit Salad: Combine sliced stone fruits like peaches, plums, and cherries with mixed greens, crumbled cheese (such as goat cheese or feta), toasted nuts, and a light vinaigrette dressing. The combination of sweet and juicy stone fruits with savory elements creates a refreshing and vibrant salad.

Try These Stone Fruit Recipes:

Want To Learn More?

At Backyard Eats, we’re passionate about helping our clients discover and share the magic of homegrown good. Our Harvest Guides will teach you everything you need to know to harvest, store, and cook with fresh produce right from your own backyard! Our Harvest Toolkit Directory includes a list of all our step-by-step guides. Click below to give them a try!