When and how to plant a peach?
Peach is a very thermophilic plant, but recently, more and more summer residents living in the middle lane are trying to grow this fruit tree in their own area, and sometimes very successfully. We will describe in more detail what soil the peach likes, what conditions it needs to ensure that it grows and develops normally.
When is the best time to plant a peach - in autumn or spring?
Fruit trees are known to be planted either in early spring or late autumn. Let us make a reservation right away: there is no consensus on which of these landing methods is optimal. So, supporters of spring planting note that seedlings in this case have enough time to grow stronger, while in autumn young trees, especially trees as tender as peaches, having no time to adapt to a new place, have every chance of freezing when first frosts.Other gardeners insist that it is the autumn planting that allows the tree to adapt normally for the period while it is at rest, due to which such seedlings usually begin to actively and fully grow in spring, form shoots and buds, and from the third year onwards give first crop.
On the contrary, in spring, when the sap flow is activated and the aerial part of the plant begins to grow intensively, immature roots are not able to provide vegetation and, instead of increasing strength and power, give all their strength to the upper parts, as a result of which the tree planted in spring is more likely to freeze when the coming winter.
Did you know? Peaches were included in the diet for American astronauts who went on a lunar expedition.
Another argument in favor of autumn is the fact that in spring, a seedling usually becomes a victim of an attack of various diseases and pests, while before the onset of winter all these parasites hibernate, and the tree gets the opportunity to adapt to a new place without interference. In addition to the above, it can be noted that in the fall the selection of seedlings is usually wider, and they are cheaper, while by spring the best planting material is sold out.It’s quite difficult to determine their quality and viability from spring seedlings stored in their buried state, and just dug up trees retain fresh roots and leaves, the appearance of which makes it easy to understand how healthy the plant is. Accordingly, the choice between spring and autumn peach planting must be made based on the climatic zone in which the tree is to be grown. Autumn is the best choice, but only for those regions where winters are not too harsh.
Important! Peach, with low winter hardiness, is a fairly hardy tree — cooling within –22…–25ºС tolerates normally, and if it freezes, it quickly recovers. For this reason, for those regions where in winter the temperature does not fall below the specified limits, it is better to choose autumn for planting.
The middle strip of the European part of the Russian Federation for peach is considered a risky farming zone, so autumn planting here may not be the best option. But the residents of Moldova, Ukraine, Crimea, as well as the southern regions of Russia (Rostov, Krasnodar, Stavropol, etc.) should focus on this particular period.
In addition to the time of year, it is important to choose the right moment for planting a peach.If you hurry, the tree will take root before the onset of frost and begin to form young shoots, and this is extremely undesirable for the further development of the plant - the first frost will destroy the young shoots, thereby causing a serious blow to the immunity of the peach.But planting too late is also dangerous, because before the onset of cold weather, the seedling needs to fully adapt to the new place and prepare for winter. Ideally, planting should be done 6–10 weeks before the first frost. It is this time that is necessary for the initial strengthening of the root system of the young tree.
Based on this rule, autumn peach planting can be carried out:
- in the southern regions of Ukraine, Crimea, Transcarpathia, Rostov and Krasnodar region - October 15–20;
- in the Volga region, in the northern, north-eastern and north-western regions of Ukraine - not later than September 15;
- in temperate zones - in the spring, before budding.
Did you know? The birthplace of peach is China, but the ancient Romans and Greeks bought these fruits from Persian merchants, and therefore the exotic fruit got its name. In Latin, it originally sounded "malum persicum", that is, literally — "Persian fruit."
Features of planting seedlings
It is important to choose a good time for planting, but to a no lesser extent the successful development of a tree depends on the place where it is planted. Everything must be taken into account here - the level of illumination, the composition of the soil, the depth of groundwater, plants that are predecessors and neighbors. For normal fruiting, peaches need a sum of active temperatures of at least 2500 ° C.Even for the southern regions of Russia, this figure is very high, so the tree needs to be provided with the most warm and well-lit place, otherwise a good harvest can not be expected. In addition, the color and taste of the fruits of the described tree directly depend on the level of illumination: the less the sun, the more faded and unsweetened peaches will be.
Peach can develop well on different types of soil, the main thing for a tree is not so much the composition of the soil as a good drainage. The root system of the plant does not tolerate bogging at all, therefore, if groundwater lies closer than 1–1.5 m from the surface of the earth, the seedling must be planted on a specially prepared embankment with a height of at least 50 cm and a diameter of 2–2.5 m.
An alternative is the organization of a reliable drainage system. Heavy soils are not very suitable for peaches - light loam or sandstone with a minimum fertility layer width of at least 0.5 m is considered ideal. The soil reaction should be close to neutral: the optimum acid-base balance is within 6.7–7.0. Another secret to success is the advance preparation of the pit. This must be done at least a month before landing, and preferably even earlier.
Important! The more time the hole stands before the tree is planted in it, the better it will feel in it. This rule is explained by the fact that a natural biological environment, represented by a complex of soil microorganisms that ensure soil fertility, does not have time to form in a freshly dug depression.
The depth of the pit can be different, depending on the initial type of soil and the size of the root system of the seedling, however, the average is 70 cm. The diameter should be about the same, but if the soil is not very fertile, it is better to make it a little larger (up to 100 cm), to fill an extra volume of nutrient-rich earth.
If the soil is heavy, it is advisable to lay out the drainage layer in the form of pieces of turf turned upside down, or, in extreme cases, gravel, broken brick, or screenings. The land extracted from the pit should be divided into two parts: the lower layer as infertile must be removed, and the upper one used to prepare the nutrient substrate.
To enrich the soil composition with nutrients, it must be mixed with the following components:
- humus, compost or rotted manure (10-50 l);
- potassium sulfate - 100-150 g;
- superphosphate - 300 g.
Instead of the last two substances, complex mineral fertilizers can be used (100–200 g, depending on the initial soil composition), and potassium sulfate is sometimes replaced with wood ash in a volume of 200–300 g, which, in addition to potassium top dressing, also provides soil disinfection. The prepared mixture should be poured to the bottom of the pit and left to stand, meanwhile, in search of a suitable seedling.
Important! Varieties with low frost resistance are more likely to take root in the territory as close as possible to the zone of their cultivation than the more resistant varieties brought from afar.
Realization of the idea to grow a peach on your own plot is impossible without the right choice of variety. This is especially important for residents of the middle zone and other regions with not too warm climate. For them, the first and main criterion that must be taken into account when choosing a seedling is winter hardiness.
|Good options from this point of view are, for example, such varieties of peaches as:|
It is best to buy a seedling in a specialized nursery located as close as possible to the final place of planting. Professional gardeners when growing a seedling initially form it precisely according to the scheme that is best suited for a particular climatic zone. In particular, for a temperate climate, a southern tree is best grown as a stunt, for which it should be given a bushy shape from an early age.
The optimum age for peach seedlings is one or two years. It is also important that the tree is grafted onto a hardy stock - in this case, it will feel much better in cold conditions. Preparing a seedling for planting involves several procedures.
Did you know? For the ability of plants and other living creatures to influence each other through the release of various chemical substances by them, scientists have come up with a special name - allelopathy. The word is composed of two roots of Greek origin: "ἀλλήλων", meaning "reciprocity", and "πάθος", in translation — "suffering".
In particular, the gardener needs:
- shorten the damaged tips of the root processes by 5-15 mm;
- place the tree in the water so that it reaches one third of the seedling's growth, and leave it to be soaked for 2-3 days;
- before planting, dip the root system of the tree into a pulp of clay, manure and water (mixed to the consistency of thick sour cream, approximately in a ratio of 2: 1: 1) for 1-2 hours, after which let the talker dry out a little;
- if leaves are left on a seedling during autumn planting, pruning them, trying not to damage the buds, intensive evaporation of moisture occurs through the leaf plate, which will negatively affect the tree until the root system is strengthened.
The distance between peaches when planting
Since the peach needs very good lighting, it is necessary to plant the tree so that its neighbors do not obscure it. The minimum distance that a seedling should move away from other tall plants is 4 m, however, the distance between two peaches can be reduced to 2.5–3 m.
What can be planted next to a peach?
All plants release certain volatile substances (phytoncides, alkaloids, phenols, etc.) into the environment, and these compounds spread not only in the air, but also in the soil. The effect of such substances on other crops can be neutral, positive or negative. Knowing these rules, you can not only avoid serious mistakes when planning planting, but also significantly help the cultures in your garden.
Important! Apricots always try to deviate as far from the peach as possible, and the peaches themselves also actively deviate from cherries and cherries. Moreover, that side of the tree, which is forced to be closest to the unwanted neighbor, develops more slowly, exposes itself, gets sick, freezes in winter, which sooner or later leads to the death of the whole plant.
Gardeners always try to form plantings so that fruit trees grow in groups of the same species (cherries with cherries, plums with plums, etc.). With regard to peaches, it is always worth doing this, because this capricious tree does not tolerate neighborhood with anyone except representatives of its own species. The only exception, perhaps, is almonds - a close relative of peach, but even in this case it is better not to risk it.Interestingly, the rejection shown by peach in relation to other fruit trees is often mutual. However, since the owners of small garden areas inevitably have to plant fruit trees not far from each other, it is necessary to distinguish the neighborhood, which can be allowed, although undesirable, with initially unacceptable combinations.
- So, the worst peach neighbors are:
- Apple tree;
Peach intolerance extends even to those trees that grew earlier on this place, so experienced gardeners try to plant this fruit plant in areas where there was virgin soil, flowerbed or garden before.
Did you know? The sugar content in ordinary peach does not exceed 11-14 degrees on the Brix scale. Guinness Book of Records Records — 22 ° Bx, but two years ago, the fruits of the Akatsuki Neo variety, which had an almost unbelievable 32 ° Bx sugar level, were grown in the Fokushima affected by the accident.
Peach Orchard Planting Pattern
Peach should be planted together. The procedure is carried out according to this technology:
- At the bottom of the pit, a hill is formed from the prepared soil mixture, into the center of which a wooden stake is driven in as a support for the future seedling.
- A small layer of garden soil is poured over the hill without organic and mineral additives. The same land will be used to fill the pit.
- The seedling is set on a hill near the support, carefully distribute the roots on different sides.
- While one person holds the tree in a strictly upright position, the other begins to sprinkle the pit with soil in layers, periodically tamping the soil so that no voids remain inside. You need to fill up the hole until the root neck is 5-7 cm deep in the ground.
- At the end of the procedure, the earth is again densely compacted, a low earthen rampart is formed around the circumference, and watered abundantly with a little warm water.
- Then the seedling is tied to a support using a string or other soft material that is not able to scratch the tender bark.
- When the water is absorbed, the near-trunk circle is abundantly mulched with peat, sawdust, rotted manure or stump with foliage of infertile trees. Straw is not suitable as mulch, because it attracts mice, hares and other rodents (especially in winter) to the site, which often gnaw on the bark of young trees.
Video: planting peach seedlings
Peach Trees Care
If the peach is planted correctly, caring for the tree will not be so difficult. Before the cold weather starts, the near-stem circle should be sprinkled with a layer of earth 20-30 cm thick and covered with a dense agrotechnical fiber, burlap or other material.Then you need to wrap the tree itself, carefully attaching the cover so that it does not get ripped off by the wind. Further, as the seedling develops, it is important to engage in the formation of its crown, not allowing the tree to grow too high. Peach very gratefully reacts to pruning, forming in this case larger fruits. Experts recommend the procedure to be carried out in spring, when the air warms up to stable + 6 ° C and dry weather sets in.It is best to shape the crown in the shape of a bowl. To do this, from 35 to 45 cm from the vaccination site leave from three to five branches directed in opposite directions, located in relation to each other at a height of 8-15 cm. The main shoot is shortened at a height of no more than 85 see. In subsequent years, they continue to form a crown, shortening skeletal branches by 50-60 cm, and cutting off all the others to 2-3 kidneys.
You can water the peach a little less often than other fruit trees, because it tolerates drought very well, what compares favorably with cherries and plums. In order to keep moisture in the soil longer and weeds not to interfere with the tree, it’s useful to mulch the trunk around the entire season using freshly cut grass or turf.
Important! With a critical lack of moisture, peach fruits crack, with excessive watering they rot.
In the first years after planting, you need to feed the seedling two to four times a season, in the spring focusing on nitrogen fertilizers (ammonium nitrate, urea, manure diluted in water), and closer to the fall on potash and phosphorus (potassium salt, potassium sulfate, superphosphate, etc.). Before top dressing, the tree must be watered abundantly.In order for peach not to be bothered by pests and fungal infections, in early spring it should be treated with systemic insectofungicides, for example, copper sulfate, Bordeaux mixture, urea or Brunka.
Summing up, we can say that the doubts that many gardeners have about the prospect of growing a peach on their plot are largely groundless. This tree is really quite thermophilic and moody, and also gets along very badly with most other garden crops.
However, subject to some tricks and the right choice of planting material, creating your own peach orchard even in such a disadvantageous region as the middle strip of Russia is quite realistic.