6 Tips from Olle Garden Bed: for Growing Peach Trees in Your Backyard

Planting a peach tree in your backyard is like having your own personal fruit stand. There's nothing quite like it! Read here are some things that you should know when It comes to Olle Garden Beds!

Few things are more satisfying than picking fruit from your own thriving tree that you planted and nurtured. Peach trees are among the fastest-growing fruit trees and are often successful in backyard gardens.

They also look impressive for most of the year. They bloom with beautiful pink flowers in spring, feature lush foliage and juicy fruit in summer, and showcase bright yellow-orange leaves in autumn, making them an ideal addition to most gardens.

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If you're considering planting peach trees in your backyard, here are important tips to learn for a bountiful harvest.

1.Choose the right variety

You can plant several peach varieties at home, depending on the type of fruit you prefer and the climate of your area. Peach trees can grow between USDA hardiness zones 4 and 10, but they thrive best in zones 6 to 8.

"Redhaven" produces medium-sized red fruits with firm skin, while "Reliance" is a cold-hardy variety that can grow in the cold climates of zone 4. It produces medium-sized peaches with soft and juicy flesh.

Another winter-hardy variety is "Harmony," which is resistant to bacterial leaf spot and stores well. You can plant "Contender" for high-quality, large, and round peaches, although it's not as hardy as "Reliance."

2.Choose the right site

Peach trees thrive in full sunlight throughout the day. The warmth from the sun helps the tree ripen the fruits and dry off morning dew. Avoid planting trees in low-lying areas that are prone to cold air and frost, which can damage the flowers. Additionally, the chosen location should have good air circulation.

Plant the trees in well-drained, slightly fertile soil with a pH between 6 and 6.5. These fruit trees dislike heavy, wet, and compacted soil, which can lead to root rot.

3.Planting correctly

The right time to plant peach saplings or young trees is during their dormancy, either in late spring or early winter, depending on your region. If you live in a colder area, wait until the soil thaws and is no longer wet after the winter freeze.

If planting multiple trees, space standard-sized trees about 15 to 20 feet apart, and dwarf trees about 10 to 12 feet apart.

For bare-root trees, it's best to plant them on the same day to minimize stress. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for about 30 minutes to replenish moisture and prepare for planting.

For container-bound trees, water them generously before removing them from the container.

Dig a hole at the selected spot that is a few inches wider and deeper than the roots. Place the tree in the hole, gently spreading the roots outward.

4.Grafting trees

Grafting is the process of propagating desired tree species (known as scionwood) onto compatible rootstock. This is done because many varieties cannot be reliably reproduced from seeds. By grafting an existing tree onto the rootstock of another tree, you can ensure getting the desired fruit.

When planting grafted trees, keep the graft union (the point of connection) about 2 to 3 inches above the ground. Otherwise, the grafted tree may grow its own roots and become a standard-sized tree. Also, pay attention to the curve of the graft, keeping the inner curve away from the sun.

5.Avoid overwatering

Peach trees require about 3 feet of water per year to grow and maintain consistent soil moisture. Typically, rainfall is sufficient to meet the watering needs. If your area is experiencing prolonged drought, water the trees every one to two weeks.

Overwatering can lead to diseases and cause root rot and decay near the base of the tree. Overwatering during the maturation period can also result in fruit cracking.

Use drip irrigation to water the trees and place it outside the drip line (outer edge of the tree canopy). Watering too close to the trunk increases the risk of splashing and root rot.

6.Feed the tree

Feed the newly planted tree after about six weeks. Apply a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 around the tree, in a circle, keeping it about 18 inches away from the trunk. This promotes spreading of the roots.

In the second year, fertilize twice in spring and early summer with 1/2 pound of nitrogen fertilizer. Once the tree is mature, feed it with 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer each spring. Avoid fertilizing two months after the first frost date and when the fruit is ripening.

7.Prune correctly

Peach trees benefit from regular pruning to maintain their shape and health, and to promote growth and productivity. The best time to prune the trees is in spring or early summer. In the first year, prune after the buds start swelling and prune established trees after summer fruiting.

Start by selecting three evenly spaced branches and remove other branches to create a bowl-shaped tree. This tree bears flowers and fruit on one-year-old wood, so remove about half of the old branches during pruning.

Once the fruit appears, thin them to one per cluster when they reach about marble size. Keep a distance of about 5 to 6 inches between fruits to achieve the ideal size at maturity. Thinning ensures better fruit quality as the tree directs all its energy to ripening the remaining peaches.

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Enjoy your peaches

Peaches are delicious and juicy fruits that are the stars of many desserts, and the tree is a perfect complement to the landscape. They taste best when freshly picked from the branches, although they bruise easily, so handle them with care. Once you have a basket full of peaches, make jams, pies, cobblers, and more to make your summer vibrant!

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