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Growing Peach Trees with Natural Plant Nursery

 
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I wanted to make this thread to help me keep track of and document my peach trees.

Hopefully it can be helpful to others also!
 
Steve Thorn
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My Hale Haven peach is starting to bloom!

I love peach blossoms!
First-peach-blossoms-of-the-year-.jpg
First peach blossoms of the year!
First peach blossoms of the year!
 
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Hi Steve, i've got no idea what peach trees i have, the previous owner put them there, but they are delish and abundant.
Last year was ridiculous, had to remove loads of small fruit, i kept like a third of the fruit and still it looked like in the picture.
I had to support it with sticks, because branches where snapping.
Just in from pruning them now, just before they flower.
peaches.jpg
[Thumbnail for peaches.jpg]
 
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As I type I can see the peach blossom starting to show pink in the bud in my back garden.  But the tree always gets peach leaf curl and I have never had fruit.
 
Steve Thorn
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Hi Steve, i've got no idea what peach trees i have, the previous owner put them there, but they are delish and abundant.
Last year was ridiculous, had to remove loads of small fruit, i kept like a third of the fruit and still it looked like in the picture.
I had to support it with sticks, because branches where snapping.
Just in from pruning them now, just before they flower.



That's awesome Hugo! Great picture too!

The plum curculio have done a lot of thinning for me, so I haven't had to do any yet.

Thanks for sharing, really enjoyed it!

 
Steve Thorn
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Hester Winterbourne wrote:As I type I can see the peach blossom starting to show pink in the bud in my back garden.



Neat!


But the tree always gets peach leaf curl and I have never had fruit.



That's so sad! Mine has been plagued with plum curculio before, and I know it's so disappointing to lose potential fruit.

I'd be interested to see some photos if you wanted to post them here later in the year. Maybe someone else could offer a helpful tip so you can see the fruit (pun intended) of your labor.

Anyone know any good ways to discourage plum curculio?
 
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Anyone know any good ways to discourage plum curculio?



I was able to limit their destruction by gently 'knocking' the tree daily from just before fruit set and a little beyond.

The method I was told was to lay a sheet or some sort of ground cloth down and then knock (rather than shake) the tree....then gather up those critters and squish them.  In the end I did not always lay down a cloth so did not find them but I think this was almost as effective.  They climb the trunk to lay eggs in the newly set fruit, so it must have slowed them down enough.

We have always grown everything organically...peaches and squash have been the biggest challenges.  I only grow squash every few years now but keep planting more of my blood peach variety from seed.  The oldest here at our new place bloomed last year and bore some fruit.  You've reminded me that I should spend some time tending those trees.  The peach tree borer is also a problem  here and If I keep a large amount of wood ash at the base of the tree I can prevent them....otherwise it's cleaning out the tunnels to kill the borer and if not the borer damage will kill the tree over a few years.   That large amount of ash does not seem to bother the tree at all.

In my most industrious period, and when the peaches bore the best, I also carefully scraped the bark over the winter.  This helps in inspecting the tree overall and cleans up any other bug eggs that might be lurking.  I used a dull edged metal scraper and used it gently...don't want to damage the bark.

Here is a bit (about knocking for curculio) from this site https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A4160.pdf that explains in depth the curculio's life cycle, etc.

. To perform this technique, a white sheet is placed under the tree and each branch is tapped with a stick. If done around petal fall when the adult beetles are active, this will dislodge them, causing them to fall onto the sheet. Early in the morning is the best time of day to beat branches because temperatures are cooler and the beetles are more likely to fall off rather than fly away. This works best for small trees where it is possible to hit each branch. Beetles that fall off the tree should then be killed. This practice would need to be repeated almost every day for about 4 weeks beginning at bloom to have any level of control.

 
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Hester Winterbourne wrote:As I type I can see the peach blossom starting to show pink in the bud in my back garden.  But the tree always gets peach leaf curl and I have never had fruit.



If you can, build a widely diverse compost heap for the purpose of being able to make compost tea from.
Use about a kilo of compost per 90 liters of water and either stir into a vortex or use an air pump with bubble stone to get air into the tea as you brew it. (brew for at lest 24 hours but no more than 72 hours)
Let the solids settle and fill a sprayer with the liquid then spray your trees with the tea, if you can do this once a month for a full growing season you should be able to prevent the leaf curl from happening.
If you want to not have to wait for solids to settle, use some old T-shirt material to make a "tea bag" to hold the compost, once you have made and used your tea, the "left overs" can be used on the soil around the trees.

I have found that the wood ash brought up by Judith works several ways for peach and pear trees, all are good for the trees and bad for the bugs.

Redhawk
 
Steve Thorn
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Judith Browning wrote:

Anyone know any good ways to discourage plum curculio?



I was able to limit their destruction by gently 'knocking' the tree daily from just before fruit set and a little beyond.

The method I was told was to lay a sheet or some sort of ground cloth down and then knock (rather than shake) the tree....then gather up those critters and squish them.  In the end I did not always lay down a cloth so did not find them but I think this was almost as effective.  They climb the trunk to lay eggs in the newly set fruit, so it must have slowed them down enough.

We have always grown everything organically...peaches and squash have been the biggest challenges.  I only grow squash every few years now but keep planting more of my blood peach variety from seed.  The oldest here at our new place bloomed last year and bore some fruit.  You've reminded me that I should spend some time tending those trees.  The peach tree borer is also a problem  here and If I keep a large amount of wood ash at the base of the tree I can prevent them....otherwise it's cleaning out the tunnels to kill the borer and if not the borer damage will kill the tree over a few years.   That large amount of ash does not seem to bother the tree at all.

In my most industrious period, and when the peaches bore the best, I also carefully scraped the bark over the winter.  This helps in inspecting the tree overall and cleans up any other bug eggs that might be lurking.  I used a dull edged metal scraper and used it gently...don't want to damage the bark.

Here is a bit (about knocking for curculio) from this site https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A4160.pdf that explains in depth the curculio's life cycle, etc.

. To perform this technique, a white sheet is placed under the tree and each branch is tapped with a stick. If done around petal fall when the adult beetles are active, this will dislodge them, causing them to fall onto the sheet. Early in the morning is the best time of day to beat branches because temperatures are cooler and the beetles are more likely to fall off rather than fly away. This works best for small trees where it is possible to hit each branch. Beetles that fall off the tree should then be killed. This practice would need to be repeated almost every day for about 4 weeks beginning at bloom to have any level of control.



Great information Judith, thanks for the tip!
 
Steve Thorn
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:

Hester Winterbourne wrote:As I type I can see the peach blossom starting to show pink in the bud in my back garden.  But the tree always gets peach leaf curl and I have never had fruit.



If you can, build a widely diverse compost heap for the purpose of being able to make compost tea from.
Use about a kilo of compost per 90 liters of water and either stir into a vortex or use an air pump with bubble stone to get air into the tea as you brew it. (brew for at lest 24 hours but no more than 72 hours)
Let the solids settle and fill a sprayer with the liquid then spray your trees with the tea, if you can do this once a month for a full growing season you should be able to prevent the leaf curl from happening.
If you want to not have to wait for solids to settle, use some old T-shirt material to make a "tea bag" to hold the compost, once you have made and used your tea, the "left overs" can be used on the soil around the trees.

I have found that the wood ash brought up by Judith works several ways for peach and pear trees, all are good for the trees and bad for the bugs.

Redhawk



Neat info!
 
Steve Thorn
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The Elberta peaches are blooming!

They seem darker pink and more colorful than the Hale Haven peach blossoms.
Wide-open-blossom-.jpg
Wide open blossom!
Wide open blossom!
Branch-full-of-blossoms-.jpg
Branch full of blossoms!
Branch full of blossoms!
 
Steve Thorn
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The peaches are growing fast this year!

I'd love to see photos of your peach trees!
Baby-peach-.jpg
Baby peach!
Baby peach!
 
Steve Thorn
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This peach tree is in its first growing season and hasn't been pruned besides when the nursery I got it from originally pruned and shipped it.

It has a lot of branches growing out from it, and the growth is full, thick, and very healthy.

I haven't had any disease issues so far associated with the dense canopy. In fact, it has been growing more vigorously and is more healthy than my older peach trees that I had pruned in the past.

I was also excited to find this spider egg sac, which I haven't found in any of my pruned trees. I've noticed spiders and other beneficial bugs hiding in the thicker foliage. It appears that the extra cover helps protect them from predators and also makes it easier for them to catch or ambush prey.
Spider-egg-sac-in-unpruned-peach-tree.jpg
Spider egg sac in unpruned peach tree
Spider egg sac in unpruned peach tree
 
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