Q:

How do you care for peach trees?

A:

Quick Answer

Peach trees grow best in sandy and well-drained ground that gets unobstructed sunlight. Buy trees that are at least a year old. If planting more than one tree, plant them about 15 to 20 feet apart.

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Full Answer

Never plant peach trees in low-lying areas, as these patches attract frost during winter. Plant the trees in spring, preferably the same day as they're bought. Six weeks after planting, fertilize the young tree with a fertilizer containing nitrogen. Planting grass or clover in the area surrounding the tree provides additional nitrogen. In the second year, fertilize the tree with 3/4 pound of nitrogen-based fertilizer, once in the spring and then again in early summer. From the third year onward, healthy trees require just 1 pound of fertilizer per year.

To care for peach trees in the winter, remove mulch from around the tree to prevent rodent infestations, and set up mouse guards. Paint the trunk white to prevent sunburn. To prune peach trees, remove dead or unhealthy branches and any that hang low or grow straight upwards. For a 5- or 6-year-old tree, cut all the wood produced in the previous two years. This prevents the tree from growing to an unmanageable height.

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