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Lawn & Garden

Growing Peach Trees


Having lived in the peach state now for 40 years and having worked at Home Depot for half of those, I have had one home owner after another have the same problem trying to get their peach tree to produce.


“If this is the peach state, then why is it so dang hard to get good edible peaches off my tree?”

For the same reason that a runner can only run so far with 1 quart of water. Peach trees require thinning out to open up sun to the tree and reduce the amount of peaches in exchange for good quality edible fruit. Given the opportunity, a peach tree will try to produce 1000 peaches just to run out of energy and nutrients far short of the finish line. Thinning out the tree will reduce the amount of leaves and fruit and redirect the energy and nutrients to producing edible peaches.


Peach trees are self-pollinating trees, therefore only 1 tree is necessary to produce fruit. Peaches grow well in zones 5 thru 8 and come in standard and dwarf varieties and are found at The Home Depot each spring. Standard trees should be spaced about 20 foot apart and dwarf trees should be spaced about 12 foot apart.


Growing site and planting

Plant your tree in the full sun, preferably in a highland, as lowlands are more susceptible to frost damage. A younger, less root-bound tree is more ideal, as roots should be spread out and any roots circling the pot, spread outward or cut off. Peach trees prefer a well-drained, slightly acidic pH soil. Peach trees are profuse growers that require little supplemental fertilizer, thriving in moderately fertile soil.

The first few years will be spent shaping the tree, getting some size on it and thinning it out to prepare for a prosperous harvest. Peach trees are fast growers and need to be thinned out to form an open center.

Recommended Varieties:

Elberta Peaches are the most commonly grown peach because of its incredible taste, large fruit and incredible disease resistance. Elberta is hardy in zones 5 to 8 and grows 15 ft tall.

Dwarf Elberta is a great option where there is limited space. This dwarf tree grows to 8 ft tall and still produces the same great peaches that the taller tree produces.

J.H. Hale Peaches are an Heirloom variety that is hardy in zones 5 to 8. J.H. Hale makes a good second variety peach tree as it is one of the only peaches that needs a cross pollinator.


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.

Find your closest local store

Other Related Articles:

Which fruit trees are self pollinating and which require a cross pollinator?

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How to grow and care for apple trees

How-to grow and care for pear trees

Growing Banana Trees

How-to grow and care for fruit bearing cherry trees

How-to grow and care for plum trees
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Posted 2016-05-05T17:39:55+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL