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How to care for peach trees?

Jackie Asked

Can you tell me how to take care of my peach trees? When to spray and with what? Fertilize?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Jackie: Homegrown fruit is such a treat and in Kentucky we have a lot of options in terms of fruit tree selections. Peaches are not native and have their share of insect and disease issues which is why location, cultivar selection and spraying routine are all important factors in growing healthy, productive peach trees. Some cultivars are more disease resistant than others. All trees are more susceptible to insect and diseases when grown in less than ideal conditions. Peaches should be grown at a higher elevation than the surrounding land since growing them in a low spot will not allow for good drainage or air circulation. Drainage is essential for these stone fruits that will not tolerate wet soil. Peach trees should be grown in full sun (6 hours per day) and nutrient rich, well-drained soil. The soil pH should range between 6.0-6.5. If you have not had your soil tested recently, this can be done at your County Cooperative Extension Service. The TrimbleCounty offices are located at 43 High Country Lane in Bedford. The phone number is (502) 255-7188. Peach trees grown in Kentucky should be fertilized in February at a rate of 1/6 lb. of ammonium nitrate per age of tree. As far as a spraying routine for the home gardener, the following link has the latest spraying recommendations by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Organic options can be found here as well.

https://plantpathology.ca.uky.edu/files/ppfs-gen-08.pdf
For more information on growing peach trees in Kentucky visit:
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/ho/ho57/ho57.pdf.
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/ANR/PDF/Growing%20Fruit%20at%20Home%20in%20Kentucky.PDF
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id21/id21.pdf

All of these publications are reliable sources of information provided by our Extension Service in collaboration with land grant universities in Kentucky.
Good sanitation practices are just as important as your spray routine. Keep the space around the trees clear of plant debris and weeds. I hope this is helpful.

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