By Cindy Naas
Kathie, good for you for adding a fruit tree to your garden!
A well-maintained peach tree should give you one of the best highlights of your gardening year.
Nothing is better than a warm juicy peach fresh from the tree.
Fruit trees can produce crops of fruit as early as one year after planting, but this should be discouraged. It is best to pinch off the blossoms or snip off the tiny fruits before they begin to develop.
The tree should instead be allowed to put all its energy into developing a healthy root system for the first year or even two. Allowing the tree to set and bear fruit in its first year probably caused the small size of these peaches.However, there are some other factors which might account for the small size of your peaches.
Here are a few things to remember about peach trees:
1. Peaches need full sun and good air circulation – never plant a peach tree too close to other tall plants, as various fungal diseases can grow on a tree if the air around it becomes too humid.
2. Peaches need a very well-drained soil – never plant peaches in heavy clay without amending the soil. Allowing roots to sit in standing water or boggy soil will kill the roots causing the overall vigour of the plant to be diminished, and can even cause small fruits or early fruit drop. When planting a peach tree, remember to dig a much larger hole than the root ball, add in lots of compost and composted manure, and even a bit of sand if your soil is too heavy.
3. Peaches like slightly alkaline soil – test your soil, but aim for a pH of 6.5. Many soils are more acidic than this, so before planting work in some lime when you dig in amendments.
4. Feed peach trees twice a year – I use an organic fertilizer on my entire flower and veggie garden, and mix it in a higher concentration for any new trees on my property. I use Planet Food by Simplexity, but there are many good organic fertilizers available. Fertilize peaches in the spring and then again in early autumn.
5. Make sure the tree is kept watered until well established, which means watering it at least weekly for its first summer.
Thanks for joining us here at Urban Garden Casual. Good luck with your tree!