VARIETIES OF PEACH TREE

Elberta:
An old favourite - Elberta is one of the most insect and disease resistant varieties of peach trees . The fruits ripen to a golden yellow colour with a red blush on those peaches which are exposed to the sun.

Garden Lady:
A delicious variety of peach that fruits in mid-season that has yellow flesh.

Bonanza:
A compact, very slow growing peach tree that requires no pruning

Hale Haven:
A variety of peach tree which produces a firm, juicy and very sweet fruit with an orange flesh with blushes. The trees require a minimum of 6-8 hours sunlight a day and Hale Haven Trees are not drought tolerant.

Frost:
A heavy fruitng freestone peach with a light red blush over a greenish yellow. A delicious delicious peach which is excellent for canning and eating fresh.

a young bunch of grapes in a greenhouse

WHEN TO PRUNE A PEACH TREE?

The usual practice is to carry out peach tree pruning on two occasions.

Growths that have fruited are pruned in autumn, cut back to young shoots near the base, and in January or early February the final thinning and pruning are made and the peach trees cleaned.

GROWING GUIDES

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HOW TO GROW PEACHES - prunus persica

Peaches can be grown in the UKThe Peach tree is a form of Prunus Persica and belongs to the family Rosaceae.

Peaches were first grown as a cultivated fruit in China, and introduced to Great Britain probably about the middle of the sixteenth century.

The ease with which crops of delicious peaches can be grown by gardeners with space available against a sunny wall, or in a greenhouse, makes it a popular choice for planting in these positions, in large and small gardens alike.

In a few warm, southern districts Peach trees will thrive and produce crops of good quality fruit without protection in the open garden - but in most parts of Britain they must be given the protection of a sheltering wall or fence, to obtain satisfactory growth and properly ripened fruits.

GROWING PEACHES IN THE GREENHOUSE

The finest and most luscious peaches areobtained from trees grown in the greenhouse.

In an unheated greenhouse peaches will ripen to perfection, and when artificial heating is available in the glass house the peach trees may be forced for early ripening fruits.

FRUIT TREES FOR A SUNNY WALL

photo of a branch with peaches and leavesThe usual and best method of growing Peaches in the garden is to train them as fan-shaped trees against a high wall.

A wall facing south or south-west and exposed to full sunshine for the greater part of the day, is to be preferred, but in warm and sheltered gardens the peach trees will succeed when trained against a wall facing east or west.

TRAINING PEACH TREES

The great majority of garden Peach trees are trained as short-stem fan trees, but having a high wall to cover, a standard fan tree, with a clean stem of from 4 - 6 feet before branching, may be planted between each pair of low stem fan trees.

Standard grown peach trees are intended to utilise the wall space until the fan trees mature and require all the room.

WHAT IS THE BEST SOIL FOR GROWING PEACH TREES?

Any well-drained, loamy soil will suit the Peach tree.

Heavy clay soil is totally unsuitable, as is very light, sandy ground, and when the garden consists of these extreme types a special border should be prepared for the trees.

When the existing soil is good loam and well drained, it will be sufficient preparation to trench the ground deeply, at the same time working in a little rotted manure and a liberal quantity of crushed mortar rubble, plasterer’s rubble, or slaked lime.

HOW TO PREPARE THE BORDER FOR GROWING PEACHES

When the soil is unsuitable, and where the ground has not been previously well cultivated, the site of the border should be dug out to a depth of 2 ft and 3 to 4 ft. wide.

Tile drains should he laid at the bottom of the excavation to carry off surplus water if the ground shows the slightest sign of heaviness or waterlogging.

Over the drains should come a 6 in. layer of coarse rubble, and on top of this a layer of grass turves laid grass side down. On this the prepared compost is filled in.

The prepared border must be allowed to settle for some days before planting the tree.

PLANTING A PEACH TREE

The best time to plant a Peach tree is in early Autumn.

The Peach starts early into growth in spring, and late planting will delay root-action and check growth in the first year.

When planting, a wide shallow hole should be taken out and the roots spread out to their fullest extent, all broken and bruised roots being pruned off before the tree is planted.

Deep planting a peach tree is a serious mistake, and in heavy ground might ruin the tree - it is sufficient to place two or three inches of good soil over the topmost roots.

As each tier of roots of the peach tree is covered with soil it should be rammed tightly round and among them. The tree stem must not be pressed close against the wall at planting.

Well formed peach trees will need no pruning at planting, except to cut off any shoots accidentally broken in transit or during planting.

PRUNING PEACH TREES

Pruning is best left until the buds are beginning to grow in early spring, and the method of pruning then adopted will depend upon the age and form of tree.

Usually at the first pruning it is sufficient to cut back to two or three buds all crowded and obviously misplaced young side growths, and to shorten each young leading or extension shoot at the end of a main branch by about one-third its length—or if weak by one-half.

TRAINING YOUNG PEACH TREES

When training the young fan-shaped tree it is important to prevent the centre, upright brancbes growing rankly and so taking the lead that they rob and weaken the side branches.

Upright or nearly upright branches always grow more vigorously than those bent down near the horizontal, and for this reason the middle of the young tree should not be filled with a main centre branch.

The lower side branches of the fan should be established first, and the centre of the tree kept fairly open until both sides are well furnished with strong branches.

As far as possible, all the branches should be of equal strength and evenly spaced out, the centre being gradually filled up as the tree becomes of mature age.

HOW PEACH TREES ARE PRUNED

When pruning and training a fan shaped Peach tree it must be remembered that fruit is borne on the shoots of the previous year’s growth.

All wood that is more than one or two years old is only framework, to produce the young fruiting shoots all over the tree.

Each winter the leading shoot at the end of each main branch should be shortened by about one- third or half its length, according to vigour; extra “ leader” shoots being trained in to increase the number of branches, and to fill up gaps in the framework of the tree, as required.

Growths that have fruited are cut back each season, to young shoots near their base, and new succession shoots are trained in all over the tree and secured to the wires, wherever there is room.



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How to grow peach trees in your garden - expert tips on planting, training and cultivation