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Peach Trees

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 2 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Peach Trees Growing Peach Trees

The peach tree originates in China and is now widely grown throughout the Mediterranean. The trees require a sunny sheltered site and are therefore not suited to every garden. Having said that, they can be grown in the UK, providing they are offered protection from frost and grown in a sheltered area such as a south-facing wall.

Peaches prefer a well-drained, well-dug soil, chock-full of rich, organic matter. They take up to three years to produce fruit, but can produce up to 20kg of fruit from one tree.

Nectarine Trees
Nectarines are cousins of the peach, and don’t have the distinctive furry skin like the peach. Nectarines are less winter hardy than peaches and so are not recommended for growing in the UK. They are also prone to a wide range of pests and diseases, so are more trouble than they’re worth.

Growing Your Own Peaches
Growing your own peaches will be very rewarding as they are not commonly grown in the UK and will taste far superior to peaches available in the shops. Commercially grown peaches are harvested before they are fully ripe, so they don’t develop the flavours or nutrients that are present in the home-grown peach.

Peaches flower very early in spring, so will need to be protected from frost. For this reason it is essential that you grow your peach tree against a south-facing wall, as the risk of frost will be less severe here. You can buy peaches to be trained in a fan shape against a wall. They can grow to 5m wide and 2.5m tall so you will need to give them plenty of room.

Give your peach tree a feed once a year and top-dress the sol with rich, organic matter such as well-rotted manure or compost. This will ensure it has plenty of nutrients available to grow well and resist attack from pests and diseases.

Harvesting Your Peaches
A sunny position is also essential for the ripening of the fruit. Each peach needs to have good access to the sun’s rays, so remove any leaves that block light from reaching the fruits. Harvest the fruits when they are slightly soft and eat them on the same day.

Pests and Diseases
Peach trees are fairly untroubled by pests, although you may need to watch out for any large aphid infestations. Aphids are not a problem if they exist in small numbers – and they provide food for ladybirds, lacewings and hoverfly larvae. If they accumulate around the growing points of the tree, however, you may need to give them a blast with your hose to send them on their way.

The most common ailment suffered by peaches is ‘peach leaf curl’. This is a fungal infection, which attacks young leaves and causes them to curl up and fall from the tree. It can also cause the flowers and fruit to drop from the tree, ruining your crop. Remove infected leaves and burn them to prevent the fungus from spreading. New leaves that form won’t be attacked by the fungus, and will provide your stressed tree with much-needed energy, so only remove leaves, which are visibly infected. You may also want to spray the tree in January with liquid derris or a solution of water infused with chopped up garlic, which will kill the fungal spores before they have a chance to infect the leaves.

If you have the right conditions for growing peach trees, they are well worth having in your garden. They make attractive espalier trees and yield delicious, fresh, juicy fruit that is simply not available in the shops.

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[Add a Comment]
Eileen - Your Question:
My peach tree ( around 6 yrs old) has large peaches on it for the first time ever. They are turning red but are still hard. I have my doubts whether there is enough time left for them to ripen. Should I harvest any or leave them ?

Our Response:
The taste test is always the best barometer - they are best picked when ready to eat (when the flesh near the stalk feels soft). If not, you can store them in a paper bag indoors to ripen or on a window in the sun - but it's the latter option if you 'have' to harvest now.
FruitExpert - 3-Sep-18 @ 11:06 AM
My peach tree ( around 6 yrs old) has large peaches on it for the first time ever. They are turning red but are still hard. I have my doubts whether there is enough time left for them to ripen. Should I harvest any or leave them ?
Eileen - 2-Sep-18 @ 9:07 AM
I have a peach seedling , 21 inches tall, which I found growing in my garden. I potted it up and it has stood outside all winter ( it is now end of January ) and it is still in full leaf looking as green as it did in summer.I live in the Midlands. I would appreciate your comments . Thank you.
the man - 26-Jan-18 @ 8:53 PM
@Shauna - if it is - it is a difficult fungus to eradicate. Copper-based fungicides such as the traditional Bordeaux mixture will help if sprayed in September, January and February. Make sure you also get rid of all affected leaves. Do some research - it's a *@^
Kate - 19-Jun-17 @ 3:56 PM
Hi, I have recently bought a property that had a fine peach fanning peach tree growing inside a greenhouse.A couple of weeks ago, something appeared to be forming a fine web like structure around leaves at the end of branches.The leaves then turned brown, died and fell off.There are no insects visibly apparent.I purchased a 'bug gun', but despite using this, the issue is progressing and I am concerned that the tree is slowly been killed.It does not look like peach leaf curl.Please can you help? Kind regards Shuana
Shuana - 18-Jun-17 @ 6:17 PM
I have a patio crimson bonfire peach tree and there are several new shoots coming from the base of it at ground level and was wondering if I should remove them as the leaves look different. Any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you.
NuShooz - 29-Apr-17 @ 1:49 PM
Foggy - Your Question:
I recently planted a peach tree in my south facing greenhouse to grow as an espalier on the brick wall. It is in the ground not a pot and has grown quite well all summer although I have had problems with red spider mites which I think I have under control. I was just wondering, how much if any should I be watering the tree over the winter? I am in Perth Scotland.

Our Response:
Most of all, you will need to protect from frost. Pot-grown trees can be grown outside until the end of December, but if you have an unheated greenhouse or conservatory, then bring them in as peach trees naturally like warmer conditions. It's better for your plant if you give it an occasional good blast of water, than regular sparse applications, as in the natural habitat peach trees are more accustomed to infrequent but heavy rainfall. Therefore, allow the soil to dry out then water thoroughly. A self-watering probe may help, if you're unsure about how much water it needs. Mulch the surface of the soil in spring.
FruitExpert - 25-Oct-16 @ 11:08 AM
I recently planted a peach tree in my south facing greenhouse to grow as an espalier on the brick wall. It is in the ground not a pot and has grown quite well all summer although I have had problems with red spider mites which I think I have under control. I was just wondering, how much if any should I be watering the tree over the winter? I am in Perth Scotland.
Foggy - 24-Oct-16 @ 7:13 AM
Its the 27th of december and the peach tree in my garden is in full green leaf! I am in cheltenham in a small town garden which dose not get much sun and almost none in the winter.What is going on? Phil ps the temp has hardly been lower than 10 day or night for months.
phil - 27-Dec-15 @ 12:15 PM
@Tony - it might be leaf curl, which is a fungus generally caused by wet weather and affects trees that have less sun or are planted in the shade. You can treat this with a copper spray. However, I would do an online search first and see if it is what your tree is suffering from. I hope this helps.
FruitExpert - 21-May-15 @ 11:49 AM
@Milocas - Leaf drop is the most common citrus leaf problems for citrus trees due to fluctuation in temperatures , this can be from moving them from indoors to outdoors of a change from cool to hot outside. Orange trees like a constant temperature of around 65 degrees. They also like a lot of water, so make sure the roots are getting enough. Another reason might be scale insects. Have a close look at your leaves as you can remove these either by picking them off, or using a spray recommended from your garden centre. I hope this helps.
FruitExpert - 21-May-15 @ 11:21 AM
I planted a peach tree around two years ago on the north side of my garden, it backs up to the west wall. I bought this from a garden centre (not sure which, might have been B&Q).Not sure of its age. Trunk is around three to four inches in diameter. The first year, it suffered the leaves turning red and looking as if they were bubbling.I am not sure if it flowered or not. This year, same 'bubbling problem' and I taken a lot of leaves off, but the problem is going on. I tried spraying with an insect spray, but it did not do anything. However, it has flowered and some buds have appeared that appear to be catkins on a willow tree.Is this the sign that it will fruit or will they die?
Tony - 17-May-15 @ 6:14 PM
Hi, I have read your information regarding orange trees losing a few leaves but it does not really answer my problem! I have an orange tree outside in a reasonable shedded place where it gets shade in the morning and sun from about 4p.m. This is in our house in Portugal. Last year, for the first time we had about 20 oranges which were lovely. However, since about three weeks ago, the leaves started to drop and now only the new leaves and some flowers and buds are left. As you suggest, I do keep the soil moist and I put some fertiliser every two months or so. What I am doing wrong? Thanks for your heal
Milocas - 17-May-15 @ 5:32 PM
I have a dwarf peach tree which has produced very good fruit, but last year and again this I have some peaches that have a clear, hard resin on a few of them.What causes this?Thank you for your help.
Jeannie - 14-May-12 @ 1:39 AM
We purchased 2 peach trees in containers at the start of the season, they have grown to a height of around 2.5mtrs but have not produced fruit, can you advise us what is the best thing to do over the winter to protect them.
daniels - 3-Sep-11 @ 1:08 PM
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