How to grow a peach tree
Apart from producing an abundance of sweet, golden, juicy fruit the peach tree offers a stunning display of spring blossoms.
There are two basic types of peach trees to choose from: the level-1 which grows about 5 to 6 meters tall spreading to 5 meters wide and the dwarfs which grows between 1.5 to 3 meters tall with a spread of about 2.5 meters. The dwarf type can also be grown successfully in a large container or can be trained to wires growing against a garden wall.
Both types provide an attractive display of delicate pink or white blooms in spring followed by succulent furry-skinned fruit in summer.
The fruit are categorized as either freestone or clingstone. The flesh of clingstone peaches stick firmly to the pit. making them ideal when sliced peaches are called for, The flesh of freestone peaches comes easily away from the pit when cut making them easier to eat fresh and for preserving peach halves.
Preparing the hole
While you’re preparing the ground, soak the roots of your bareroot tree in a tub of water for several hours then when the hole is ready, plant. Dig the hole in a sunny position where the peach tree gets at least six hours of sun a day and make sure the location is sheltered away from chilling winds. The hole should be twice as wide and one-and-a-half times as deep as the root ball. Ensure the soil is well-drained and enriched with plenty of well-rotted organic matter.
Preparing the tree for planting
With the secateurs prune off any broken, twisted or dead roots. Form a mound of composted soil in the center of the hole. Position the tree on top of the mound spreading the roots down and around it evenly.
Adjusting the tree
Adjust the level of the peach tree so that the bud union, which is where the stem joins the rootstock, sit 2 centimeters above ground level. Now fill in the hole with the organic soil mix. Firm down and water deeply.
Thinning the peaches
When the fruit is about 2 centimeters in diameter, thin them out allowing about 15 centimeters between each fruit on a branch. This will provide you with larger fruit.
Preventing fruit rot
Spray the peach tree with copper and white oil in early spring of the next year, just before the buds open. This will help prevent brown rot of the fruit.