How to Grow ~ PEACHES

Peach trees are not hard to grow but it does seem like it takes forever before they produce fruit.

If you are reading this, it’s probably because you were looking for information on growing peaches.  You have probably read several articles ( I usually read at least ten) on how to successfully grow them, planting techniques, and basically how to keep them from dying.

We have apples, plums, and peach trees.  The small tree in the foreground is a red delicious apple tree that I purchased from Lowe’s last year and I have managed to keep it alive for the past year.  There are also two small peach trees and two apple trees in the photo above.  The peaches on these trees are tiny and I have no idea if they will mature into an edible fruit.

On the other hand, below is a huge peach tree was full of peaches this year.  The most amazing thing about this peach tree is that it was not a purchased tree but grown from a peach from the grocery store.

My mother can grow almost anything and when she bit into one of the best peaches she had ever eaten, she saved the seed and planted it.  Just goes to show you that it doesn’t take a lot of money to have a fruit orchard, just a lot of patience.



While researching, you have probably noticed that peaches are recommended for zone 5,6,7,and 8.  I live in zone 8a so I ‘m at the far edge of the zone for growing peaches.  A lot of growing peaches is pure luck.  It can’t get too hot or too cold.  It has to been in full sun, well drained soil, soil needs to be a certain pH,  etc.  I don’t worry about all of that.  If you have a peach seed, put it in the soil and see what happens.  If you want a peach tree, go to the store and purchase the healthiest tree you can find,  prepare the soil, water it, and cross you fingers.

I am no expert, so I checked out several sites and came up with some basic information.  There is a lot of information (years of it) so break it down and use the initial planting information.




  • Peach trees can grow in USDA Zones 5 to 8, but do especially well in Zones 6 and 7.
  • Choose a site with well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Be sure to avoid low areas because frost can more easily settle there and destroy your peaches. (some sites say sandy soil and some say well drained clay loam) 
  • Plant the trees in spring. It is best to plant the trees the day you get them (if possible). Pick a tree that is about 1 year old.
  • For container-grown trees, remove the plant from its pot and remove any circling roots by laying the root ball on its side and using shears to cut through the roots.
  • For grafted trees, position the inside of the curve of the graft union away from the sun when planting.
  • Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them.
  • If you are planting standard-size trees, space them 15 to 20 feet apart. Space dwarf trees 10 to 12 feet apart. However, most types of peach trees are self-fertile, so planting one tree at a time is fine.
  • Putting a 2-inch-deep ring of mulch around your tree will help the soil stay moist during periods of drought and keep your peach tree’s trunk safe from lawn mower or string trimmer damage. Yearly applications of a dry organic fertilizer for fruit trees will help keep your peach tree healthy; follow directions on the package.


  • About 6 weeks after planting, fertilize the young trees with 1 pound of a nitrogen fertilizer.
  • During the second year, add ¾ pound of nitrogen fertilizer once in the spring and once in the early summer.
  • After the third year, add about 1 pound of actual nitrogen per year to the mature trees in the spring.
  • To help make the tree hardier, do not fertilize it within 2 months of the first fall frost date or when the fruits are maturing.


  • Be sure to prune the tree annually to encourage production. Pruning is usually done mid to late April. Pinching the trees in the summer is also helpful.
  • In the summer of the first year, cut the vigorous shoots that form on the top of the tree by two or three buds. After about a month, check the tree. As soon as you have three wide-angled branches, spaced equally apart, cut back any other branches so that these three are the main branches.
  • Prune the tree to an open center shape.  In the early summer of the second year, cut back the branches in the middle of the tree to short stubs and prune any shoots developing below the three main branches. After the third year, remove any shoots in the center of the tree to keep its shape.
  • Thin the fruits so that they are 6 to 8 inches apart on the branch after the tree blooms (about 4 to 6 weeks). This ensures that the fruits will be larger.Aim to establish an open canopy so sunlight can reach all of the fruit; too much shade can reduce the number of flowers produced, and that means fewer fruits—which leads to fewer servings of peach cobbler. All pruning starts by taking out dead, broken, or dying branches first, and then removing branches that cross. Just doing that will reduce congestion and open up the tree.
  • To help increase resistance to fruit diseases, be sure to prune the trees, thin the fruit, and pick the fruit when it is ripe.

Preventing Disease

  • Peach leaf curl is the nemesis of many a home gardener, although other fungal problems may exist, such as brown rot. Although many cultivars are resistant to peach leaf curl, your tree may still get this foliar disease, especially when it’s young. Often, as trees mature, they grow out of the disease. But the best offense is a good defense, so take steps now to minimize the problem.
  • Use a lime-sulfur spray, which is approved for organic growers. The timing of the spray is important—it needs to be applied at specific intervals in the tree’s budding out, so read the label on the product carefully.

Sources: Better Homes & Gardens and Farmers Almanac

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