There is something so satisfying about picking out fruit from your own tree and making peach preserve or peach cobbler from fresh peaches.
If you’re thinking about growing a peachtree, here are some helpful tips:
- Location: the tree should be planted in an area that receives full sun all day long. Morning sun is especially crucial because it helps to dry morning dew off the fruit. Stay away from low areas, as cold air and frost can more easily settle there and affect the quality of the peaches.
- Soil: the soil should be moderately fertile and well-drained, but not compacted or consistently wet. The soil pH should be on the slightly-acidic side, between 6 and 6.5. Adding mulch such as leaf mold or compost will help suppress weeds.
- Planting: Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them. Space standard-size trees 15 to 20 feet apart and dwarf trees 10 to 12 feet apart.
- Fertilizing: Do not fertilize at the time of planting. Wait after 6 weeks to fertilize young trees. Apply fertilizer in a circle around the tree, but at least 18 inches away from the trunk to help the roots spread outward. Only fertilize between spring and mid-summer.
- Pruning: About 4 to 6 weeks after the tree blooms, thin the fruit so that they are 6 to 8 inches apart on the branch to ensure the tree focuses its energy on the remaining fruit. Otherwise, the tree peach tree will weaken, may become diseased, and bear less fruit year after year. Pruning should be done annually to encourage production, usually between mid to late April.
- Harvesting: Peaches have to be harvested at the right time when they are fully ripe from late June through July and August. When peaches are fully ripe, the ground color of the fruit changes from green to completely yellow with no green left on the fruit.