Harvesting the juicy peach every summer from your own yard is very fun. However, to be able to do it, first you need to have a peach tree. Some people may think that growing this tree at home is something quite impossible. It is not so if you know how to grow a peach tree and live in the right zone. And if you are successful in doing it, you will be able to harvest the fruits for years.
- 1 Get to Know More About a Peach Tree
- 2 Types of Peach Trees
- 3 Tips of Growing a Peach Tree
- 4 How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed
- 5 How to Grow a Peach Tree from a Bare Root Tree
- 6 How to Grow a Peach Tree in a Container
- 7 Caring and Harvesting
Get to Know More About a Peach Tree
Prunus persica or what is widely known as peach is a tree which originally comes from China and Persia or Iran. These days, this fruit tree is cultivated in various countries that have similar climate to its origin. In the U.S. peach trees grow in zones 5 to 8.
This deciduous tree can grow pretty tall, between 7 and 8 m tall. When this tree is flowering, it looks beautiful with its pink flowers. After flowering, this tree will produce the fruits. They have yellow and red skin and are velvety at the outside.
If you are planning to grow this fruit tree, you must not only understand the process of how to grow a peach tree. But, you also need to understand the life cycle of a peach tree. Therefore, you know what to expect from this tree.
At this stage, the pit or peach seed sprout some roots. This pit requires a chilling period for the embryo to mature so that it will germinate successfully in the spring.
Once the pit germinates, it will grow into a seedling and then a young plant. At this stage, the plant is trying to establish itself. As a result, you will see it getting taller and bigger but no flowers.
This tree takes about 3 or 4 years to mature. Therefore, you will likely see this tree start flowering at that age. These flowers usually bloom in the spring. A peach flower has male and female reproductive organ. Its color and scent will attract insect to pollinate it.
As a result, the fertilized flower will start developing a seed. When the pit is fully developed, the flower then develops a thick fruit flesh to cover them. After that, the fruit is ripe and you can pick it in the summer. This tree usually produces fruits for 10 to 20 years.
Types of Peach Trees
There are several types of peach trees that you can plant. A different tree will likely require different approach in how to grow a peach tree compared to the others. Based on the fruit, it is divided into freestone peach trees and clingstone peach trees. You can also choose an early season, mid-season or late season trees.
Based on the size of the tree, it is differentiated into three different types, i.e. standard, dwarf, and semi dwarf peach trees. In consequence, you can choose one that is suitable to your yard size. If, for example you choose the dwarf one, then you will perform a particular process of how to grow a peach tree. Therefore, it is important for you to read the tag of the bare root peach tree you buy.
For better experience in harvesting your peaches, you can choose one of these varieties.
This mid-season peach tree produces medium-size sweet yellow peaches with freestone. It is cold hardy and good for areas with very cold winters and springs.
2. Florida prince
This peach tree variety is perfect for you who live in warmer areas since it is a very early season tree. Florida prince produces medium-size fruits with yellow flesh and semi-clingstone pit.
3. Red haven
It is one of the favorite peach varieties. This early bearing tree produces medium size fruits with yellow flesh. These semi-freestone peaches are sweet and perfect for canning.
4. Golden glory
This variety is considered as dwarf peach, about 2 m high. It is perfect for you who live in USDA zone 6. This late season tree produces very large fruits. The skin of the freestone fruits is golden with red streaks and the flesh is yellow.
Tips of Growing a Peach Tree
Growing this fruit tree has its own challenges. Therefore, it is a good idea for you to find out the tips of how to grow a peach tree. If you follow these tips, you will be able to deal with these challenges and gain a nice harvest each year.
1. Meet the basic requirements to grow a peach tree
To have a nice harvest of peach fruits, you need to meet the basic requirement of how to grow a peach tree. This tree needs to grow in well drained fertile soil. For best result, the soil must be a mix of sandy and loamy soil and slightly acidic. A peach tree loves to grow in an area with full sun.
2. Choose a variety that is suitable for your zone
Choosing a peach variety that is suitable for your zone is very crucial. A peach tree is not very hardy. The tree will suffer from bud damage if it is exposed to prolonged cold weather of -15oC. On the other hand, it requires about 250 to 600 chilling hours of about 7oC to produce fruit.
In addition, the peach fruit requires a warm summer to mature. The temperature of this summer must be about 20oC to 30oC. That is why you need to make sure that you choose the right variety.
3. Prevent fungi and insect problems
Fungi and insects may attack this fruit tree. In consequence, you need to perform a prevention step during the process of how to grow a peach tree. Fungi can cause leaf curl and deformity. In late fall, you need to apply fungicide in order to prevent it. Another way to prevent it is cleaning fallen leaves and fruits around the tree.
Meanwhile, there are several insects that will cause problems to a peach tree. Some of them are aphids, tent caterpillars, lygus bugs, and stink bugs. To deal with these insects, you need to apply pesticide on the tree.
4. Protect the tree in winter
Protecting a peach tree from extreme cold in the winter will increase your chance of harvesting peach fruits. One of the easiest thing to protect it is mulching the soil around the trunk in late fall. For a dwarf tree, you can add a protection in the form of blanket at night. But, you must remember to remove it during the day.
How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed
After eating a peach fruit and you have the remaining pit, you may wonder “how to grow a peach tree from seed?” Growing this fruit tree from the seed or pit is possible. But, you will likely have different variety from the fruit you ate if you grow do it. Moreover, you must be a bit patient in waiting for the tree to produce fruit.
These are the steps of how to grow a peach tree from the seed:
1. Cleaning and cold treatment
Clean the pits from the fruit flesh using a brush and water. When they are clean, place a paper towel on your kitchen table and let the pits dry. After that, put the seeds in a ziplock bag and store it in the fridge in late fall for 4 months. The temperature of the fridge must be between 1oC and 10oC. As an alternative, you can plant them 3 inches deep in your garden in the fall.
After the cold treatment is done, you can germinate the pits in the spring. In this stage of how to grow a peach tree, you need a 30 cm deep pot and seed starting mix. The pit must be planted 2 cm deep in the seed starting mix. Keep the soil moist and place the pot in a warm indoor area. Your pits will sprout their root in about 1 to 1.5 month.
But, if you perform the cold treatment naturally, you can skip this process of how to grow a peach tree from seeds. The pit will likely germinate at the area where you plant them. However, you need to make sure that the planting site stays moist.
When the seedlings are big enough, you can start the transplanting process. First, you need to harden them by putting them outside for a few days. On the first day, put them outside for two hours. On the next days, you need to add an extra hour.
After the seedlings have adapted to the outdoor condition, you can transplant the seedlings to their permanent place. In doing this process, make sure that the soil meets the basic requirement of this tree. In addition, you need to plant them deep enough in order to accommodate the tap root.
How to Grow a Peach Tree from a Bare Root Tree
If you are not patient enough in waiting for the peach tree to produce fruits, you can opt for a bare root tree. With this young tree, you will only need to wait for about two years. A bare root tree is best planted in late winter or early spring when the plant is still dormant.
So, how to grow a peach tree from a bare root tree? This is the answer.
- Dig a hole to plant the bare root tree. Make sure that is deeper and wider than the tap root.
- Create a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole.
- Place the base of the tree on the mound and spread the root around it.
- Fill in the hole with soil and water the soil.
How to Grow a Peach Tree in a Container
For you who want a more compact peach tree, you can grow a dwarf one in a container. This tree is usually available as a bare root tree or grafted tree in your local nursery. In order to plant it, you can follow these steps of how to grow a peach tree in a container.
There are several things you need to prepare to grow a peach tree in a container. Of course, you will need a pot. Its size is about 19 L and must have a drainage hole. Moreover, you need a tray for the container, potting mix, and pebbles.
In the next phase of how to grow a peach tree, you need to place the pot on the tray. After that, fill in the pot with a layer of pebbles at the base and half full of soil. Next, plant the peach tree and use the remaining soil to fill in the container up to 5 cm from the top of the pot. If you plant a grafted tree, make sure that the graft union is 7.5 cm away from the surface of the soil.
At this early stage of planting, water the tree deeply or until the water comes out of the drainage hole. If you see the soil starts drying, you need to water this newly planted peach tree.
Caring and Harvesting
Whatever the methods of how to grow a peach tree you choose, you need to take care of the tree properly.
Your peach tree needs to be watered regularly. However, you must not let the soil soggy for a prolonged period. In the first year, you need to make sure that the soil around the trunk stays moist. In addition, you need to water potted peach trees more often than those planted in the garden.
Pruning is an essential step in how to grow a peach tree. This process will prevent the tree from growing too tall so that you can harvest the fruits easier. Most experts think that the best time to prune this tree is in the spring, around April.
A young peach tree must be fertilized in the spring and early summer. In fertilizing it, you need nitrogen rich fertilizer. A mature peach tree needs to be fertilized once a year. But, it requires more amount of nitrogen fertilizer. The best time to do it is between the spring and the middle of summer.
To harvest sweet and juicy peaches, you need to make sure that the fruits are fully ripe. A fully ripe peach has yellow skin without green streaks on it. In addition, it is best to harvest the fruits that are at the outside or top first.
Now that you know how to grow a peach tree, you don’t need to worry about being failed in growing this fruit tree. And to increase your chance of success, you can start browsing for the best peach tree cultivar for your region now. Therefore, when the bare root ready, you can purchase it right away.