Brr! It sure has been cold outside lately. This past week we received 2 inches of snow and .30″ of rain back to back. Despite the crazy weather, spring cleanups are in full swing and now is a great time to be planting fruit trees, especially peaches. Just this week I got a call from a customer about planting peaches in their yard. Absolutely!
Peach trees in the home landscape can be a great source of food and beauty. Peach trees have scaly bark that stands out in the winter months, beautiful pink blooms in mid-spring, and of course, peaches! What tree is more suited to the home landscape than one which is both beautiful and productive? They even have purplish fall color.
While there are some ornamental peach varieties out there, such as ‘Bonfire’ and ‘Peppermint Twist’, the best peach trees for your yard are the reliable fruiting trees. And while peaches are self-fertile (meaning they produce male and female flowers on the same plant), you will get better production if your plant more than 1 variety. Plant in groups of 3 for the best look for your space and the best production.
Many have been concerned by the recent drops in temperatures, but our experts reveal that the flowering buds of the peach are not far along enough to be damaged by the cold. Peach trees should not be planted in low spots or on the lower side of a hill, but near the top of hills to avoid frost pockets. Pruning on peaches is done in January and February in the Central Great Plains. We prune to open the center of the tree, to allow light to penetrate to the inner branches.
When planting peach trees, select small trees that can be pruned easily and shape young. Trees can be planted either bare-root or container grown. If container grown, be sure to get them in grow-bags or you may have issues with girdling roots. If you are not sure about planting depth, call or have Grimm’s Gardens plant your trees for you!
Peach trees should be mulched or planted in a meadow-type setting with various wildflowers. This will improve the health of the trees by keeping down compaction of the root zone by mowers. Water your new trees every other day for 2 weeks, then switch to weekly watering for 4 weeks. After this, water when the area is dry, usually every other week during drought periods.
You will likely not have fruit set in the first 3 to 5 years after planting, as the tree develops its root system. I recommend removing any fruit in the first 2 years after planting for this reason. Fruit ripens in July-August, depending on the weather and the cultivar.
For more information, and to get your peach trees now, come out to Grimm’s Gardens!