by Jennifer Poindexter
Have you ever eaten a peach and wondered how to turn the seed into a tree at no cost to you?
It could be possible depending upon the type of peach you’re eating as some have specific pollination needs you may not be able to meet with a single tree.
However, if you’re interested in trying to grow a peach tree from a seed, I’m here to help. I’ll walk you through everything you must know in the planting, growing, and care process.
I’ll even walk you through a few tips on harvesting. Here’s everything you should know when attempting to grow a peach tree from seed.
Growing Conditions for a Peach Tree
Peach trees have specific growing conditions which must be met to start things off on the right foot. The first thing you must do is find a location which receives full sunlight.
This should equate to your plant receiving a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. The next important aspect of a growing space for peaches is that the tree should be planted in soil that’s well-draining and loamy.
These plants don’t like sitting in consistent moisture. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that water can reach the roots but then quickly flow away from the plant.
If your soil doesn’t drain adequately, you can also grow peach trees in a raised bed or container. The main thing is that you provide a growing space with the qualities mentioned here.
By providing the right amount of light and adequate soil, your peach tree should be able to prosper in such a growing space.
How to Grow a Peach Tree from Seed
Growing a peach tree from seed can be as simple as tossing a seed in the ground and letting it grow. There are other methods which tend to encourage a higher germination rate.
One method is to practice cold stratification. This is where you emulate the winter temperatures to encourage the seed to germinate at the appropriate time.
If you choose this method you’ll begin by cracking the peach pit open with a nutcracker. Once it’s cracked, you can remove the seed and place it in a freezer bag.
The bag should be filled with quality soil. Spritz the soil with water from a spray bottle to add necessary moisture.
Seal the freezer bag and place it inside your refrigerator. Wait anywhere from two to twelve weeks to see if the seed will germinate.
When you see roots approximately a half inch long, remove the bag from the fridge for planting.
Another method for planting is to skip the cold stratification process. You can simply plant the entire pit in the ground in the fall and allow nature to handle the germination process which should occur in the spring.
Either way, when it’s time to plant, you’ll follow the same steps. Ensure you pick a spot with full sun and well-draining soil.
If you choose to plant the peach tree in a container, be sure it drains adequately. Place the pit a couple of inches in the dirt and cover.
For a seedling, place the roots a few inches beneath the soil. Cover the roots with soil and press firmly around the base to ensure no air reaches the roots.
It’s important that the soil remains consistently damp until germination occurs for the pit. You should do the same for a seedling to give it time to become well established.
However, it’s equally as important, if you’re transplanting a seedling, to not plant it outdoors until the last frost is over.
If your seedling is growing well indoors after the cold stratification process, you can always transplant it into a container but grow it indoors until all threat of frost is over.
Now that you know how to grow a peach tree from seed, using a few different methods, let’s discuss how you care for the tree once it’s established outdoors.
How to Care for a Peach Tree
When caring for a peach tree, you must pay attention to a few things. The first is how much moisture the tree is receiving.
It’s best to practice the deep watering method. In most cases, the tree should receive all the water it needs from nature.
However, if you’re in a time of drought, water the tree for longer periods of time fewer days of the week. This will encourage the tree to develop deep roots and avoid overwatering as well.
If you’re unsure when to apply more water or if you need to water your tree at all, test the soil with your index finger.
Stick your finger into the dirt. If it comes out dry to the second knuckle, the tree needs water. If it doesn’t, it has what it needs.
It’s also wise to mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture. Be sure to apply the mulch correctly and avoid volcano mulching, as this does more harm than good for your plant.
The next step is to fertilize your peach tree in the early part of spring each year. This is the time when the tree is waking up from dormancy and starting to bloom. It needs adequate nutrition to produce fruit.
The final steps in caring for a peach tree include pruning and removing fruit. The first step is to prune the tree in the early part of summer or later spring.
This will help the tree keep its shape and also increase production. However, one month after the tree blooms, you’ll want to remove some of the fruit.
Look for smaller fruit and pluck it. Keep the larger fruit but be sure there’s approximately a half foot to a foot of space between each remaining fruit.
This provides more nutrients for the larger fruits and provides more growing space. By providing water, nutrients, and adequate grow space, you should be able to produce a quality harvest right in your own yard.
Pests and Diseases Which Impact Peach Trees
A part of caring for fruit trees is staying alert to pests and diseases to know when they’ve found your tree. It’s equally as important to stay ahead of such issues.
The most common diseases to impact peach trees are brown rot and leaf curl. These are both fungal based diseases and can be treated with a fungicide.
It’s wise to apply a fungicide, as directed, to deter these issues instead of battling them once they’ve formed.
I’ve raised peach trees for years and when they suffer from brown rot, it will destroy your entire harvest and can prove difficult to treat once it starts.
There are certain pests which will impact peach trees as well such as peach tree borers, scales, and Japanese beetles. Each of these pests can usually be treated with an insecticide.
Again, it’s best to treat for insects to deter them instead of battling them once they’ve set up shop in your peach trees.
Stay ahead of pests and diseases, and stay alert to any which may still find your peaches, to protect your trees.
How to Harvest from a Peach Tree
Harvesting peaches is a simple process. You should always wait until the fruit has reached its full color. If there are any signs of green, it’s not ready.
This typically occurs between June and August, depending upon the variety of peach tree you’re growing. Always taste a piece of larger fruit prior to harvesting to avoid harvesting too soon.
Once the fruit looks and tastes ripe, you can pick the fruit. Be sure to keep your harvest out of direct sunlight, store it in a cool location, and utilize it within a week to avoid rot.
Peaches are also great for drying, canning, and freezing for long-term use.
Hopefully, this information has helped you figure out how you can grow peach trees in your yard without breaking the bank.
By providing adequate care, planting at the appropriate time and in the right location, and by staying aware of pests and diseases, you’re giving your plant every opportunity to prosper in your care.