Photo by skyseeker.
- You can grow a peach tree from seed if you’re patient enough to wait 3 to 4 years for the fruits. You’ll need to stake the small tree for the first year.
- If you don’t want to grow from seed you can buy a small tree from a nursery
- Choose a sort that matches your local climate
- Plant the tree where it will receive full sun, for instance at a south facing wall. If you live in a place where the blossoms will be exposed to freezing temperatures, plant the tree in a colder place i.e. east facing wall.
- It’s a good idea to use wires on the wall to support the peach tree
- Shield the tree with clear plastic from mid-winter until late spring to avoid peach leaf curl
- A peach tree needs a soil pH level of 6.5
- Dig a hole 90 cm (3 ‘) wide and 60 cm (2 ‘) deep and mix in lots of compost. Let the soil rest for a few months before planting.
- The soil must be well-drained. Mix in some concrete sand if the soil is too clayey.
- Keep weeds away from the base of the tree so that the nutrients are not stolen from the peach
- Spread out compost annually as surface mulch
- Regular spraying with water will keep Red Spider Mites away
- Earwig traps can be made from rolled-up corrugated cardboard. Empty the traps daily
- A peach tree will blossom in early spring
- The blossoms must be protected from frost
- The blooms are self-fertile. You can speed up pollination using a small brush or a piece of cotton wool.
- The more fruit you have on your tree the smaller each one will turn out to be in the end. Correct thinning takes years of practice to get the fruit size just right. Thin four weeks after blooming stops, leaving only 1 peach every 15 cm (6 “) on a branch.
- Remove any peaches that have been damaged by pests
- If birds are a problem keep them out using a pests net
- Pruning results in a higher yield
- No pruning from October to January
- Prune when the freezing temperatures are gone but before new growth on the tree
- Prune annually
- Peaches are produced on 1 year old wood
- Remove dead and unhealthy branches and limbs
- Prune bushy areas to increase sunlight and air and keep the centre of the tree open
- Grow the peach tree in a large Y-shape
- Remove vertical growing branches, since they rarely produces fruit
- Give the peach tree extra water 2 to 3 weeks before harvesting
- Harvest your peaches before they are completely ripe
- You should be able to harvest peaches from your peach tree for 25 to 40 years
Photo by Savannah Grandfather.