Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Peaches

For the best fruit production, the peach 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. Choose a site with well-drained, moderately fertile soil. Peach trees won’t do well in areas where soil is compacted or remains consistently wet.

Soil pH should be on the slightly-acidic side, between 6 and 6.5.Be sure to avoid planting in low areas, as cold air and frost can more easily settle there and affect the quality of your peaches.

A spacing of 5m by 6m is ideal from one tree to the other. Ensure the planting holes are large enough to accommodate the root system. Intercrops such as beans and peas can be grown in between the peach trees during the initial stages.

For dwarf or semi-dwarf grafted trees, the graft union must be 2 to 3 inches above the soil surface. If it’s any lower, the grafted tree (called the scion) may start to put out its own roots and grow into a standard-size tree.
Grass and other competing vegetation reduces growth of peach trees and reduces fruit size.

We recommend applying some type of mulch, such as hay or straw early in the season. This should be renewed each year.
Supplemental water may be required during the dry periods like we
are experiencing this year. Adequate water is critical during the two weeks prior to harvest, since this is the time that peaches increase in size most rapidly.

Apply fertilizer in a circle around the tree, but keep it at least 18 inches away from the trunk. This encourages the roots to spread outward, rather than in themselves.

Peaches start fruiting in the third or fourth year. Thinning is necessary to control the number of fruits and for the production of quality peach fruits. One would rather have 200 quality well sized fruits than having 400 poorly developed fruits. Fruit don’t ripen uniformly on the tree so it is necessary to hand-pick fruits selectively. Fruits can be stored for 1-7 weeks under refrigeration and at a constant temperature.

Peaches generally ripen over a 7 to 10-day period. During this period fruit increase in size rapidly, soften, and the ground color changes to yellow orange. Flavor does not improve after peaches are harvested. Therefore, it is best to wait
until fruits soften to the touch before harvesting.