There is nothing better than biting into a fresh, juicy peach. It is the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Luckily, growing them in our valley is easy! That’s why I put together this post on How to Care for a Peach Tree.
It is no secret that our valley is the perfect place to grow peaches. Our warm climate and sunny days produce some of the biggest and juiciest peaches in the world. If you are thinking about planting a peach tree, or if you have recently planted one, then you may be wondering exactly what to do now. Peaches are not as hard to grow as a lot of items you may have in your garden. But the first few years are important to your peach trees overall health and will need a bit of your time.
How to Care for a Peach Tree
The first thing you will need to decide is what type of peach you will want. You can choose between a Freestone peach, or a Clingstone. Those terms really are exactly as they sound. The Freestone peaches come off the pit easier and the Clingstone seems to stick to the pit more. Your choice will depend on exactly what you are planning on using the peaches for. The next thing you will need to decide is where to plant your peach tree. Peaches need a lot of sunlight to grow. Planting your peach tree somewhere where it will have full sun is ideal. As the peach tree grows, you can expect it to get to about 23 feet tall, unless you do some serious pruning, which is exactly what you should do for the benefit of your peach crop. Another factor into where you should plant your tree is the soil. Clay soil holds the water and water logged soil will produce little to no fruit and the fruit that does produce will be much smaller. You can fix this by making sure your soil is not claylike and has good drainage. If your soil is more clay then I recommend you add some peat & sand to help maintain the soil health. Peach trees like their soil a little on the sandy side so go for it! You are looking or soil around the 6.5 pH range.
Each Spring you will want to start fertilizer. Your tree will need to be fertilized every month of the growing season. Rabbit or sheep peat are both great choices for this. Douse the fertilizer with water and try to keep the soil evenly moist. You will want the nutrients to reach the roots and this will help with that.
Another thing you will want to do each spring is prune your tree. For tips on the best way to prune your tree I recommend watching this video. https://youtu.be/VxCI685X5eE
Once your peach tree is planted it will be important to keep the soil around it weed free and fertilized. Watering once a week will help to keep the soil moist but not saturated in water. Once fruit begins to set and gets to about 1″ in diameter you will want to think out your crop to allow for your peaches to grow to their fullest. Leave about 6″ of space between your fruit so that they can fully grow.
Some common hazards you may come across when it comes to your peach tree is the Peachtree borer or fungus. For signs of the borer, you will want to watch for an entry hole with sap leaking out. This is where you will find a grub burrowed into your tree. To take care of the problem you will need to stick a wire down the entry hole and stick the grub with the wire. For signs of fungus you will need to watch for leaf curl. Using copper based fungicide in late fall will help stop the fungus from growing.
When it’s time to harvest it s a great idea to let your fruit ripen on the tree. This will allow for the most flavor and the juiciest peaches. You will know when they are ripe because the fruit will be soft to the touch.
A well cared for peach tree can live for 15 – 20 years. That is 15-20-20 Aprils filled with beautiful popping blossoms and 15-20 years of beautiful, tasty fruit.
Like this post on How to Care for a Peach Tree? Don’t forget to also check out our post on Spring Composting!