Before you plant your peach tree, you should perform some soil care. Rake and hoe the soil until it is smooth on the surface and free from clumps and rocks. Make sure you prepare the soil as deep as you will be planting the tree. Make sure your soil pH is 6.5 and if not, adjust it accordingly.
Peach tree care requires that you soak the roots of the tree for six to twelve hours before you plan on planting it. Dig your hole in the ground large enough for the roots of the tree to spread comfortably within it. This is vital for the care of peach trees. Soak the area completely after planting, and make sure to keep the area around the tree weed free.
After planting, you should prune the tree back to 26 to 30 inches, cutting off any side branches. This will insure you have a better crop. If you have more fruit than you imagined show up after blossoming, you can thin the crop to ensure those left on the tree will produce larger and better tasting fruit.
Cold weather is needed for the dormant buds to activate. It’s the change in temperature – from cold to warm – that triggers the emergence of buds on your peach tree. Thinning can begin when color shows on the buds and the first flowers open.
Large scale growers sometimes use mechanical means to reduce the number of buds on their trees, but many still rely on hand thinning. A peach tree produces thousands of blossoms and usually sets far more fruit than could possibly reach maturity. Reducing the number of blossoms and therefore the number of possible fruit allows the survivors to grow fuller and healthier.
A power washer is a great tool for eliminating buds and blossoms if you know how. To thin peaches or, more correctly, future peaches, requires a strong stream of water and a steady hand. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless. Nature will eliminate many of these blossoms anyway. You’ll have to eliminate many more before the tree is properly thinned. Peach blossoms are beautiful and therefore difficult to sacrifice, but the results will be worth it.
If you don’t own a power washer, don’t despair. You can get the same results by bashing the branches with a leaf rake. It may sound odd, but it’s an effective method of peach tree thinning. Remember to remove the whole bud and not just the flower petals. Contact us today!