Which peach would you suggest for Salt Lake and where should I buy it? Mail order or locally? I'd prefer a semi-dwarf. Thanks.
Are you prepared for a lot of mess? I don't know what kind of peach tree we had, but I know that we'd lose a lot of peaches that would drop before ripening, and they'd get slimy in a hurry. Maybe it wouldn't be as bad with a semi dwarf variety. I think I'd probably buy it locally because you're more likely to get a tree better adapted to our conditions, especially if you go to a nursery rather than a big box store.
One key to getting good production is to water it deeply about once a month or so. If you rely on the water from the sprinkler system, it will have shallow roots and not get enough water to thrive. I used to turn the hose on just to a trickle and let it sit at the drip line for several hours, then move it to a different spot along the drip line. I'd usually do 4 places around the tree, then the next month do another 4, between the spots I did the first month.
I have a nectarine tree, since I don't like dealing with the fuzz on the peaches. Mine's a Merricrest Nectarine, and I love it! I never lose blossoms in late spring frosts, and I've had tons of fruit the past three years, and the tree has only been in the ground five years. It was kind of big when I got it, though.
I have a lot of neighbors with peaches, but I've never asked what variety. The peaches seem very successful here in NE Utah County.
By the way, if you haven't grown peaches before, learn about their special pruning needs (same for nectarines). They only flower on wood that grew last year, so you have to prune heavily each spring (late winter, actually). You also want them to grow with an open center shape. I'll put a link below to a USU publication on fruit tree pruning -- some of the photos are not great, but they are helpful.
Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning the orchard - USU