HOW TO GROW PEACH AT HOME ( Peach cultivation guide)
Growing peach at home can be challenging, but if you really know what to do and how to do it, it becomes very easy to grow, care and harvest your home grown peach tree or trees. In fact, peach tree is one of the easiest trees to grow, if you know how to take proper care of it.
Peach is a tree that grows out good numbers of edible and tasty fruits when matured, that’s why it is loved by many!.
It is a deciduous tree which is native or is said to have originated from China, in the Northwest region of China
Peach is a very popular tree which produces tasty fruits which is on high demand. It is now grown almost in every part of the world, with China being the highest producer, producing more than 60% of the world peach fruits.
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Peach and nectarine belongs to the same species, but they are regarded as different fruits anyway!.
Peach tree could grow up to about 23 feet in height and width, but when pruned could grow up to 10 to 13 feet, also in height and width.
It produce flowers before the leaves, this happens around spring and the leaves are normally pink in color and paired by 2.3 to 3 cm diameter, with 5 petals. The leaves are lanceolate, and pinnately veined.
Peach grow fruits that contain yellowish or whitish flesh which has a very delicate aroma, and also it has skin that is either velvety or smooth, depending on the cultivars.
The flesh of the fruit is very fragile and could be easily bruised, depending on the cultivars, but is a bit firm in some commercial varieties, especially when green.
Peach seed is single, large in size, red-brown in color and oval shaped, and is about 1.3-2 cm long, and surrounded by a wood-like husk.
Peach seed is very similar to that of cherries, plums, and apricots.
It is a temperate plant and so does tolerate both cold and warm weather conditions, but does not tolerate any of these in excess.
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Enough said, lest go into the main tutorial on “tips to grow peach at home”.
TYPES OF PEACH TO GROW AT HOME
There are many types and Varieties of peach, in fact in USA alone, there are about 300 Varieties and in the whole world, it is up to 2,000, and so in this article, we will discuss the few that are very great to be grown at home.
Also the type of peach you grow at home should be determined by the taste and size of the fruits and also the trees.
Here are some of them:
Arctic Supreme Peaches: This type of peach are very flavorful and are taken to be a type if clingstone peach.
They are read and creamy in color and has whitish flesh.
August Pride Peaches: This type of peach has yellow flesh which is very delicious and also a red skin.
They are very large and round.
Babcock Peaches: This peach is very tasty and have whitish flesh, although it looks small.
Early Amber Peaches: They have yellow skin and dark red. They also have firm flesh.
El Dorado: They are medium in size and the tree is a dwarf type of peach.
It is very tasty and yellow in color.
Forty Niner: They have yellow skin blushed with red and they are also large in size with great texture.
Baby Crawford Peaches: Baby Crawford has yellow flesh and orange color and also very tasty and flavorful.
Cardinal Peaches: Cardinal peach is yellow and bright red colored.
They normally reach their fruit maturity stage at mainly early mid summer.
Cresthaven Peaches: This is a very juicy peach which is medium in size and has yellow flesh.
This type of peach can stay for a very long time.
Frost: They are medium in size with yellow flesh and a skin that’s blushed with red.
This type of peach is very sour in taste and normally bloom in mid season.
Honey Babe: Honey Babe as it name implies is a very sweet peach which is yellow in color, but small in size, both fruits and tree and normally reach it’s harvest stage during the mid season.
Madison: This peach has orange-byellow flesh and red near it’s center. This peach is mainly found in Virginia has great flavor.
it normally reach harvest stage at late season and very perfect for freezing.
Halloween: This peach got it’s name “Halloween” because it normally do ripe during this time.
It is very large with yellow skin and red.
Melba: Melba peach have large fruits which has yellow skin and white flesh and tastes like honey.
Polly Peach:. Pilly peach are medium sized peach that is white and juicy when eaten, they are sweet.
Yellow Flesh Peach: This type of peach is dark and has red color at the center. It has a sour taste and flavor, but very smooth.
It is mostly found in North America and Europe.
Nectarines: This type of peach has many flavors and many varieties.
It is usually dark in color than most peaches and in most cases, people do argue if nectarine is truely a peach or not.
Peento Peach: This peach has numerous colors and different numbers if flesh. They are mainly Known as Chinese peach, and is now grown in USA.
It is tasty and juicy too.
Semi-Freestone Peach: This peach is very tasty, flavorful and juicy.
PREPARATIONS FOR GROWING PEACH AT HOME
Peach is not a kind of plant that could be grown at home ‘just like that without Preparations’.
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As I mentioned above, this is a tall tree that could reach up to 25 to 30 feet in height and also large in width, so before thinking of growing this plant, some preparations should be made which are as follows:
Siting of Land to grow Peach at home
Selecting a good location at home, where the plant, or peach plants will be grown is one of the most important preparations to make before peach cultivation.
The location or siting is very important because you are growing it at home, and you don’t want this large tree to become a threat to your house in the future, so locate the place or garden where the tree is to be grown a little bit far from your house.
Apart from the potential threat of growing peach at home, another reason why location is very good is because peach require a good fertile and drained soil with a pH of 5.8 to 6.8, so make sure to check the soil before growing this tree in such place, also it is not very selective when it comes to soil type, as it could grow normal on any type of soil, but for the fact that the soil is fertile.
Again peach tree does not tolerate acidic soil, so know this before planting them.
When selecting the location to grow peach at home, it’s best to choose a flat land and avoid sloppy land.
Also try as much as possible to site or grow your peach plants at the location that have good amount of sunlight per day.
The land shouldn’t be waterlgged, I mean, peach does detest waterlogged land and so locate your peach garden where the land is dry and the soil could drain itself very fast when it rains.
Preparation of land for growing peach at home
When you must have made your choice on the location of this tree or trees at home, be it in the garden or anywhere more comfortable, that’s not garden, then prepare the place and get it ready for peach cultivation.
To prepare it, clear the grasses or bush if there is any and prune some trees around that environment, make holes of about half a foot or a little bit more, depending on the size of the peach trees you are about to plant.
To be able to prepare the land and make the holes, you need tools such as cutlass, spade, wheelbarrow and rake.
When you are through with the preparations, then it’s time to order your trees and plant them.
PLANTING OF PEACH AT HOME
When the home Garden or any location at home, where you want to grow the peach is ready, the next thing is to get the trees and plant them.
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To get the trees, You can order them online and have them delivered to you in a healthy Condition or get them at your local stores, which any you choose.
When they arrive, take them to where you have prepared to grow them, put them in those holes you made and cover with sand, leaving only few inches of the stem and the leaves up on the surface.
Then apply about a glass of water immediately.
Peach is a tall and large tree, so if you are to grow more than one, it is very necessary to grow them at about 15 to 20 feet apart from one another, so that they do very fine and grow to their full potential.
Note – It is very important to note that peach trees are not planted when the sun is hot or weather is hot, this should be done when the weather is normal or cool, such as early in the morning or late in the evening, to avoid stressing the plants.
When the trees arrive, plant them immediately because the more they stay, the more they dry and may start wilting.
And when planting, don’t allow the roots to curl or bend, make sure the holes you made is enough to contain the roots without stuffing or bending them.
The best period to grow this plant is during June to August. Although you can plant your peach trees at any season or period you want , for the fact you have a good irrigation system.
CARE OF PEACH TREES
Peach is a kind of plant that does not require much care, due to the fact that it has little or less amount of Diseases and pests, this does not necessarily mean that peach plants does not have problems or need some good amount of care.
Some ways to take care of peach plants, especially when grown at home are:
Exposure to Sunlight: One of the most sustaining factors needed by this plant is sunlight, although it is a moderate temperature plant, but it need alot of sunlight in order to grow to it’s full potential.
As I explained earlier in this article, try to grow your peach at a location at home that receives the most amount of sunlight per day, as this will keep your plants healthy.
On an average, peach requires about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.
Although this sometimes depends on the variety/cultivars, if you are living at the cooler regions of the world, it is important to grow the cultivars that is cold tolerant in order not to have problems growing them.
Irrigation: irrigation/water is a very important factor in any plant and peach is not different!.
As I mentioned above, peach plant do detest waterlogged soil and also too much water.
When watering, try to measure the amount of water you apply which is heavily determined by the type of soil, weather condition and also the region or country involved.
This is due to the fact that, peach plants grown in the warmer or should I say hot regions of the world need to be watered more frequently and enough than those in the temperate or cooler regions.
For those in the moderate temperate regions, at least 1 glass of water is okay per plant for at least 2 days when they are still small and they can take care of themselves when they are fully matured.
For those in the hotter regions, honestly your peach plants need frequent watering and if you can afford drip irrigation, that’s the best.
For those in cooler regions, apply lesser amount of water, in order not to get the soil damped.
In my observation, I honestly think that Drip irrigation is the best way to water this plant, despite your location.
Don’t water them during the raining season, as there is no need to do that, the rain will absolutely take care of them in terms of watering.
Also if you live in rainforest region, there is every chance that heavy rainfall might get your peach garden waterlogged, so try as much as possible to control it by planting on a highly self draining soil and also build a water drainage system in you garden and channel the gutter elsewhere.
This will help subsidize the amount of water being stored in the soil and also help he soil to drain very fast.
Weeding: Another great way to take care of peach plants is by weeding.
We all know that weed is a very disturbing factor in any plant, although there are so many plants that do resist the negativities of weed which peach is one of them, but this happens when it is matured, not when it is still at infant stage.
So this made it necessary to remove the weeds around this plants when they are still tender.
Weed do attack peach plants in 3 ways, they either outgrown the plants and block them from accessing the sunlight which they need, harbor pests and Diseases that could harm the plants and also compete with the plants in terms of sucking the soil nutrients and soil water which the plants do require to grow, thereby leading malnutrition of the plants.
So you see, weed need to be taken care of urgently when the plants are still small!.
In order to control the menace of weeds, they need to be controlled either with the chemical method which involves spraying chemicals such as herbicides on them or controlling them manually with weeding hoe, and wheelbarrow to dispose them off once they have been uprooted!.
Pruning: Pruning is also important for peach, in the sense that it keeps the trees in shape and also prevent them from. over growing.
Many people does not like large and tall trees in their home gardens, or closer to their living homes, so this bring about The need for pruning.
Another reason why pruning is very important is when the tree is infected by diseases or ravaged by pests, and that part might be pruned off to avoid the contamination of the whole tree.
To prune, use tools such as Sharp Cutlass or Big pruner to prune this tree.
When to start pruning – In the first year, Immediately the tree develop 3 wide angled branches, spaced equally apart, then prune off any other branches so that the 3 branches on the tree will definitely become the main branches.
In the second year, mainly in the summer, prune off the branches in the middle of the tree to become short and cut off any shoots developing below the three main branches.
After the third year, prune any shoot or shoots in the center of the tree to keep it in geat shape.
Mulch: Mulch is the act of covering plants and soil in order to protect them.
This is very important when growing peach at home. It helps to prevent the menace of pests such as domestic animals and wild animals.
Also the main reason why mulch is important for peach plants is, it protects the roots of the trees from excess sunlight or heat, thereby keeping the plants cool.
Mulch is used to protect the soil also from heavy rain and sustain the soil nutrients from being washed away by heavy rain.
Mulch is very necessary for young peach trees only and is not needed by matured peach trees.
To mulch, cover the bottom of the young peach trees with straw, open containers or even nylon etc.
Note – Avoid covering the whole plant in the name of Mulch, it will only cause them to lose access to sunlight which might kill them.
Application of Fertilizer: Frequent application of Fertilizer on peach trees is very necessary because it helps the trees on the long run.
Peach is a plant that take longtime to mature, They won’t do very great if they seem to be lacking some nutrients, as the soil nutrients will deplete on the long run, even if the soil is very fertile, so they need to be supported with Fertilizers from time to time.
In the first year of planting the trees or tree, you need to support them with a fertilizer. Balanced fertilizer is my recommendation here, a balanced fertilizer such as 10.10.10 is great for them.
At this stage, they need to be applied with this fertilizer at least within 6 weeks period from the day you plant them or a little bit more further if the soil is very fertile.
In the second year, apply another round of fertilizer, this time, ¾ Nitrogen Fertilizer is what the plants need in their second year of existence.
In the third year, apply at least about 1 pound of nitrogen Fertilizer on them.
To apply Fertilizer, make round holes around the trees, being at least 5 to 8binches far from the trees, then pour in your Fertilizers and cover the holes with sand.
If you are using organic manure, then in the second year and above, try to apply a type of organic manure that contains good amount of nitrogen.
Note – Avoid applying Fertilizer within the first 2 months of the fall and also don’t Fertilizer them when they mature and start growing fruits.
Fertilizer at these periods is not healthy for this plant as it might harm them.
PESTS AND DISEASES CONTROL
Peach is not a troublesome tree that has many problems, that’s why it is very easy to grow and take complete care of it easily, but this does not mean it it completely free from pests and Diseases.
There are some good amount of pests and diseases that do attack this plant at different stages of it’s life, some of them are:
Bacterium: This disease mainly affect peach trees in low temperature weather condition and high moisture.
Young peach trees and the trees grown on waterlogged land are the most affected.
To control and prevent this disease, grow peach on high draining soil and also plant the type of peach that is very suitable for your environment.
Again prune off the infected parts and consult your local government agricultural department for advise.
Crown gall Agrobacterium: This disease is notice when white, fleshy swellings that grow rapidly become tan to brown.
This disease do appear the the wounded side of the tree and it is caused by bacterium.
It is caused mainly by waterlogging, alkaline soil and also nematodes.
In order to Control this disease, avoid growing peach on waterlogged land and avoid wounding the trees.
Chemical could be used to control it also.
Canker on peach trunk: This disease brings about the discoloration of the tree tissues underneath and also bark peel
Fruittree Leafroller: This pest roll leaves of peach trees and tie them with silk web there by damaging the leaves which does affect the plant as a whole.
In order to control this pest, look out for them any make sure you weed the tree environment as weeds do harbor this pest.
Also use chemical to control them.
Some other pests and diseases are:
Brown rot on fruits:
Leaf curl on peach:
fruit moth strike:
HARVEST AND STORAGE OF PEACH
Harvest period is the most exciting period of growing any plant and fortunately, peach is among them.
Peach starts to mature and grow fruits at about 3 years, although it depends on the cultivars anyway!.
It does grow fruits at least on an average of once in a year, again it depends on the cultivars.
When they ripe, they will change from Green to yellow, I mean completely Yellow, then it’s time to harvest them.
Although many people prefer to harvest them before they ripe and keep them in a place where they will ripe.
In which ever method you like, to harvest peach fruits, you need a garden ladder to climb on, reach the fruits and pluck them.
Note – don’t let the ripe fruits to fall or cut because they will start getting spoiled from there, unless you eat them immediately.
After harvesting, the next thing is Storage.
To store peach fruits, if they are ripe, store them in the refrigerator. Clean any water on them, put them in a dry container or bag, then put in the refrigerator.
Ripe Peach fruit might stay up to a week in the refrigerator.
Another method of Storing peach fruits is to harvest them when they are not yet ripe, keep them in the house where they could take at least 5 days or a weed to ripe, then they could be later stored in the refrigerator.
ADVANTAGES OF GROWING PEACH AT HOME
Growing peach at home has many advantages which some of them are:
Peach trees help to provide the home with good shelter and a recreational place.
It also help to give the home an exceptional kind of beauty, when properly pruned.
It also provide the home with delicious fruits, and also makes it very easy to get those fruits because it is located at the home.
Growing peach at home keeps you in good contact with the trees as you will tend to take more care of them than when grown out side the home.
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