Peaches are a delicious and easy fruit to grow in your backyard orchard. They don’t need a lot of care, but here are some basic peach fruit tree tips so that you can have healthy and productive trees.
Tips for Growing Happy Peach Trees
- Plant your peach tree in full sunshine! They will be happiest with at least 6-8 hours per day of sun.
- Peaches are pretty adaptable when it comes to soil. If yours is not ideal, add nutrients and fertilizer.
- If you supplement with fertilizer, apply in early spring.
- Mulch with wood chips or straw to keep in water and discourage weeds.
- Peaches are self pollinating! This means you only need one tree to grow fruit.
- If you see aphids, caterpillars, or other insects, spray with an insecticide (or pick them off by hand if possible)
- Thin immature fruit 20-40 days after your tree blooms. Space fruit about 6 inches apart. If there is a cluster, leave the center fruit. (This will help your tree bear a good crop every year instead of a heavy crop one year and a light crop the next.)
- Peach trees have to have a certain number of hours below 45 degrees each year. Low chill peaches need 200-500 hours.
- Don’t overwater! Your tree only needs one inch of water every 10 days or so.
- Peaches won’t ripen once picked, so wait until they have a little give, no green, and a slightly peachy smell to them before picking.
Peach Fruit Tree Tips For Pests and Diseases
There are quite a few pests than can affect peach trees. If you want, it is possible to spray each year to prevent infestations. If you do choose to spray research which specific problems occur in your area and only treat for those specific insects.
Generally, planting disease resistant varieties of peaches is your best option for preventing disease. However, there are some diseases that you may notice affecting older trees.
Bacterial leaf spot is primarily an issue on older trees. It looks like purplish brown spots that turn into holes. Trim off any affected areas and you can try to spray with copper bactericide. Plant resistant varieties when possible.
Peach rust is a fungus that causes yellow and reddish brown lesions on the leaves. Don’t splash water on the leaves when watering your tree. Also, keep it pruned to encourage airflow between leaves. You can treat by spraying with a fungicide.
Crown gall are lumps that grow on your peach tree where bacteria has entered through wounds to the bark. Clean your equipment before pruning and be careful when weed whacking or mowing around the tree.
Bacterial canker are gummy lesions that appear on older trees. It’s caused by a bacteria that infects the tree after damage from injury or freezing. Your best options for this are prevention. Plant resistant varieties and keep pruning tools clean.
In general, peach trees are a pretty low key fruit to grow! Prune periodically, keep your tools clean, and it will most likely be a happy producer for years to come!
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