How to grow peach trees

Peaches are one of the most delicious, thirst-quenching and beneficial summer fruits, as they are rich in vitamins and mineral salts. Growing a peach tree in the home garden for home consumption allows you to savor the fruit even better, as you can pick it when it is fully ripe, when it becomes even sweeter. Peaches that are normally purchased are harvested some time in advance for storage and transport needs, especially if they are destined for long chains. This can penalize its flavor.

Growing a peach tree is not very easy because it is a delicate species and easily subject to disease, but with the necessary care and attention the harvest will be satisfactory, even choosing ecological solutions for fertilization and avoiding the use of chemicals to defend the tree from adversity

The peach tree (Prunus persica) is a member of the Rosaceae family and the stone fruit subgroup, so named because its fruit is a drupe. The plant is a medium-sized tree, reaching a maximum height of 7-8 meters.

Peaches are conventionally divided into three macro categories:

  • Real peaches, fruit with hairy skin.

  • Nectarines, also called peanuts or nectarines, which have a smooth skin.

  • The percoche, particularly used for processing, although it is also suitable for fresh consumption.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Suitable climate and soil

  • Growing peach trees in pots

  • How to Plant Peach Trees

  • The harvest in detail

  • How to prune the peach tree

  • peach tree diseases

  • Insects in the peach orchard

  • Harvesting, use and varieties of peaches


Adapted climate and terrain

Climate necessary for cultivation. The peach tree prefers temperate climates and particularly fears late spring frosts, because this fruit tree flowers early, like the pear tree and the apricot tree. On the other hand, some varieties of peach trees are able to withstand very low winter temperatures, down to 10-15°C below zero.

ideal ground . The plant, although it shows adaptability, prefers loose soil, not subject to water stagnation, as it is susceptible to root choking. The rootstock used determines the needs of the soil and the adaptability of the tree. In rather calcareous soils, pescophoresis can find ferric chlorosis, which manifests itself in the yellowing of the leaves, due to the difficulty of the plant to absorb iron. Therefore, a preliminary soil analysis is definitely recommended, at least for peach orchards or orchards where many plants are expected to be planted.

Growing peach trees in pots

Growing peaches on balconies and terraces is possible, provided you ensure that the plant has a good amount of soil. Therefore, it is necessary to put it in a large pot, since the development of the root part is similar to that of its aerial part. Over the years, the small tree will have to be replanted in ever larger containers, without waiting for it to reach great heights. The important thing is that the growing medium is loose and that the fertilizers are often renewed, as well as the irrigation water.

How to Plant Peach Trees

To plant a peach tree, one normally starts from a small tree of one or two years old, bought from a nurseryman and already correctly grafted.

Transplant . For transplanting the peach tree, a hole of at least 70 x 70 x 70 cm should be dug. into the ground, where the plant can be inserted keeping it straight. The resulting earth with which the hole will be covered will be mixed with mature manure or fertilizer for the part that will be in the first 20-30 cm, in quantities of about 4-5 kg ​​​​per plant. The collar of the peach tree must be at least 10 centimeters above ground level, the earth must be compressed slightly so that it adheres well to the roots and finally, water abundantly. The best times to plant are in the fall-winter before frost or later, just before spring arrives.

the rhizome . When buying peach trees, it is useful to speak to the nurseryman to find out which rootstocks have been used, as this gives us important indications on the adaptability of the plant to the soil and its further development. For example, a seed-free rootstock induces some vigor to the plant, unlike a dwarf rootstock.

Pollination. The peach tree is a self-fertile species, which does not require the presence of different varieties as pollinators in the orchard. The role of pollinating insects such as bees and bumblebees is essential to ensure fertilization and therefore fruit set. For this reason, it is essential to avoid the use of non-selective insecticides in pest control. However, those who grow bumblebees should be careful because naturally occurring products, such as pyrethrum, can also harm bees.

plant sets . The right distance between peach trees varies with the vigor that can be expected and depends on the variety planted, particularly the rootstock. Generally, the distances to be maintained are 3-4 meters between one plant and another in the row and 6-7 meters between the rows. This is valid in the case of planting an orchard, if it is planned to plant a single peach tree in the garden we maintain an intermediate distance with the surrounding trees (hedges, walls, other trees, etc.).

Culture in detail

Irrigation. During the first 2-3 years of development, irrigation is necessary, since the roots of the plant have not yet penetrated deep into the soil. The best method of irrigation in the orchard is drip irrigation, while the frequency and amount of water to be distributed should always be based on rainfall and the nature of the soil. During particularly dry summers, it is advisable to provide emergency irrigation even for the oldest peach trees, both to obtain a good size of peaches and not to compromise the production of the following year.

Padded . In areas that tend to be dry and without a fixed irrigation system, mulch is very beneficial, especially for newly planted seedlings. Mulch keeps the soil moist longer and prevents volunteer weeds from hiding and drawing water. A circle of straw with a radius of one meter around the plant is an excellent solution, or a plastic-coated black sheet.

Annual peach tree fertilization . Every year, it is important to fertilize the plant after harvesting, to allow the accumulation of substances in the reserve organs and thus ensure a good production of peaches for the following year. In addition to the amount of fertilizer, a good potassium content for the plant can also be ensured with wood ash, borland or potassium sulphate. Phosphorus can be brought by means of rock flours called phosphorites.

How to prune the peach tree

Plant form. The most traditionally used form of cultivation for peach trees is the pot. In this case, the original stem of the plant is cut 60-80 cm from the ground at the time of planting. Then 3 of the developed branches of the upper branches will be chosen, which will be the main ones and which we will try to open with ropes and pegs fixed to the ground. This promotes occasional internal ventilation of the foliage and good exposure to the sun, guaranteeing excellent ripening of the fruits.

Cut . When the plant is at full yield, it is pruned each year after harvest, cutting off branches that show the apical parts of the three main branches, branches that grow too low, and vertical branches. Parts of the plant that are dry or affected by pathology should always be cut. Among the winter pruning operations is the elimination of branches that produced the previous year, with the choice of mixed branches (with woody shoots and flowering shoots) from which new fruits will emerge. All are not preserved: the peach tree tends to alternate productive years and full years, thus balancing its annual productivity.

Pruning is a topic that deserves a wider discussion, that’s why you can find in Orto Da Coltivare an article dedicated to the pruning of peach trees, we suggest you read it for more information.

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