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Growing Peach Trees from Seed Naturally

 
gardener
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Here's an update on my younger peach seedlings. These photos were from last October, near the end of the growing season. The trees are about 7 months old.

Like the seedling in the first picture, the majority of these seedlings seem to be very well adapted and very healthy, vigorous growers. These peach seedlings had already made it through the first test, as they were planted very densely with other peach seedlings, and these were the ones that survived and grew fast enough to out compete their neighbors.

The second picture is of one of the seedlings that is struggling. This is the only one that I noticed that seems to be having more major issues, other weaker seedlings were probably already selected against. Most of the others look very similar to the first picture. It is possible that this weak seedling could be a result of transplant shock, or due to non fertile soil that it was transplanted into. However, I think it's also very possible that it just happened to be a dud genetically for this area. It may have been a vigorous enough grower to keep up with the other seedlings initially, but the disease and pest issues may be catching up to it.

The parents of these seedlings are growing pretty well in my area, so I was glad to see that the majority of the seedlings seem to be inheriting the genes to grow well here also, and hopefully a couple will even greatly surpass their parents. It also seems reasonable that an unlucky few will get the unfortunate bad set of genetics and struggle here as a result.

I may give the struggling seedling another year, just to ensure it wasn't something I did, like transplant shock or unfertile soil. Even if it is a dud, I will turn it into rootstock and graft better adapted varieties onto it that will thrive here.

I'm looking forward to seeing how these seedlings do this coming year with more room for them to grow and hopefully put on a lot of good growth!
20201003_175644.jpg
Thriving peach seedling
Thriving peach seedling
20201003_175145.jpg
Struggling peach seedling
Struggling peach seedling
 
pollinator
Posts: 292
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
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I also observed a huge difference in tree seedlings growing in various spots. Four pear seedlings ranges from 1 ft to 4.5 ft in height. Of the two mulberry cuttings taken from the same tree, one is 3 times bigger than the other. In general, more fertile the soil the plant grows better.
Compared to my one vigorous peach tree in the middle of veggie garden, I also found two mysterious volunteers by the pond dug out of old burn pile. For a long time I thought they were smartweeds since they were so tiny, only 1 ft tall and 1/4" thick. But the leaves did look like peach and they are obviously herbacoeus. I guess high pH and low OM in the soil do them no good. Any way, I piled up some cedar wood chip and compost to amend the soil. See if I am able to identify them when they grow up a bit this year.
 
Steve Thorn
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This little frog was hanging out on this small peach seedling near the end of last year.
Little-frog-on-a-little-peach-seedling.jpg
Little frog on a little peach seedling
Little frog on a little peach seedling
 
May Lotito
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How's everybody's peach trees doing? My tree is full of leaf buds now. The triple buds I saw earlier are all leaf buds too. Oh well, one more year to find out what kind of peach tree I have.
P1120487-(2).JPG
Tree budding in march
Tree budding in march
 
Steve Thorn
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I bet yours will flower next year May!

I spotted the first flower buds starting to swell about two weeks ago! This will be its first year flowering and its third growing season. I'm hoping it'll hold a few peaches, but I'm expecting that most or all of them may drop off this first year. The tree seems to be very healthy and a pretty good size, so maybe it'll hold on to a few!
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Lots of flower buds on the 2 year old peach tree in its 3rd growing season
Lots of flower buds on the 2 year old peach tree in its 3rd growing season
20210307_150446.jpg
Peach flower bud closeup
Peach flower bud closeup
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In the middle is a vegetative bud that will grow leaves and branches, with a fewer bud on each side
In the middle is a vegetative bud that will grow leaves and branches, with a flower bud on each side
 
Steve Thorn
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The first peach flowers started opening about a week ago! Most of them havent quite opened yet.
20210315_081104.jpg
First peach blossoms opening!
First peach blossoms opening, and on the seedling peach to boot!
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Peach flower bids
Peach flower buds
20210315_081359.jpg
More peach buds
More peach buds
 
Steve Thorn
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There are a lot more open flowers today!

This seedling tree seems to bloom over a really long time. It was the first one of all of my peaches to start blooming, and it has a lot of flowers that still haven't started opening. I think that this could be a really valuable trait. By having a long bloom time, it could help reduce frost damage where if some early blooms are damaged it has later blooms that wouldn't be, it provides a longer time frame for pollinators to be active, and also it is available to pollinate and be pollinated by other varieties, increasing genetic diversity in the offspring.
20210321_171128.jpg
My favorite peach bloom today
My favorite peach bloom today
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Peach blooms against the sky
Peach blooms against the sky
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More peach blooms
More peach blooms
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Petals starting to fall off
Petals starting to fall off
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Petals gone and hopefully a peach starting to form
Petals gone and hopefully a peach starting to form
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This looks really cool even without petals
This looks really cool even without petals
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Peach flowers in different stages of opening on the peach seedling
Peach flowers in different stages of opening on the peach seedling
20210321_171222.jpg
This is what the tree looks like right now
This is what the seedling peach tree looks like right now
 
Steve Thorn
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Compared to the peach seedling above, this named variety peach is about to bloom for the first time too, however all of the blooms look like they are in almost the exact same stage.

I'm guessing that this is selected for by commercial growers mainly so that the crop all ripens near the same time, however for the home grower, and even commercially for a smaller and sustainable scale, I think that having the peaches ripen over a longer time frame provides both more resiliency and value than having a huge amount of the fruit ripen at almost the exact same time.
20210321_171523.jpg
A rare triple flower at the top, and all the flowers seem to be in the same stage
A rare triple flower at the top, and all the flowers seem to be in the same stage on this named variety
20210321_171553.jpg
Named peach variety with blooms in almost the same stage
Named peach variety with blooms in almost the same stage
 
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I just stuck a couple of pits in the fridge the other week. We get enough cold for them to stratify outside and I want to make sure they get going this year. Hopefully one of them turns into something worth eating.
 
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Me too!  I am CRAZY about nectarines.    In the fall, I saved a couple of pits from some we bought at the grocery store, cracked them open, and put the seeds into a baggie with damp coco coir, then stuck it in the butter compartment of my fridge and forgot about it.  Lo and behold, both of them sprouted and developed nice root systems.  I left them in the fridge through the winter until I was ready to finally plant them today (March 27th).  It's one of our last chilly days here in the high desert and within a week or so I expect that the sun will be roasting on some days.   I covered the sprouted seeds entirely but shallowly because I honestly wasn't sure which way the trunk was going to come from... I'm assuming the split seed becomes the first leaves?  I figured whatever needed to would push through the last bit of soil.  Anyway, planted them where I want them to grow and mulched them, and I'm hoping to have two little nectarine seedlings soon.

I'm not certain how they'll do here in our crazy climate.  We're Mediterranean but on the cold side @ 6000 ft.  Our summer suns are incredibly harsh at this elevation, so I planted the seeds on the northeast-ish side of our house where they will get some shade, especially from the killer western sun.  I think the shaded location (more so with one than the other) might also help to keep the tree dormant a bit longer in the spring (we have confusing spring weather and many problems with late frosts after early warm weather).  I've heard that planting in a shaded location can help with chill hours as well, though I don't think that will be an issue here.

I have high hopes that they'll taste better than their parent nectarines because they will be grown with love in a healthy permaculture garden as opposed to monoculture, etc.  If not, I suppose I can graft some better-tasting options onto them!
 
Posts: 27
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Update on my nectarine pits.  So the Sunburst (the ones with the full length cold stratification): the two pits still in their shells hadn't germinated, but I planted them anyway. The two pits that I deshelled: one seems to have disappeared, the other looked like it was starting to germinate So it got planted too.  The Honeyblaze (the ones with 42 days cold stratification): the two pits still in their shells hadn't germinated and there was some funky mould on the paper towel and their shells. But hey I planted them anyway.  The two pits that I deshelled had both rotted, I didn't bother planting those! So now we wait...
 
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Hope my apricot seeds can slip in here...  I have three Manchurian Apricot pits I will be trying to grow trees from.  DH was nice and very carefully used his vise to crack the shells so I could get the pits to plant
I put them in a labeled and dated zip lock bag with some moist coco based potting soil used for microgreens.   Now comes the wait...  the instructions say they need to stay 60 to 70 days in the fridge. Of course by that time I could possibly plant them outside if I wanted to risk losing them to the squirrels..  Most likely if they sprout I will keep them under lights until large enough for me to feel they are safe from our local wildlife.
 
May Lotito
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Found ONE flower on my 1 year old peach tree.
P1130015.JPG
[Thumbnail for P1130015.JPG]
P1130007-(2).JPG
[Thumbnail for P1130007-(2).JPG]
 
Alcina Pinata
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Update on the nectarine pits:  

Look what popped up a couple of days ago

This one is a Redix 125 - one of the late varieties I sowed outside (without removing the shell) and left outside all winter. Nothing yet from any of the others...
 
May Lotito
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Update on my single peach flower: I hand pollinated the flower with a q-tip but didn't expect the self pollination to work. Now 3 weeks later, there seems to be little peachs growing! Triples too. I guess I need to thin the smaller ones but now the fruits and stem still look pretty fragile to touch.
P1130541-(2).JPG
[Thumbnail for P1130541-(2).JPG]
 
Alcina Pinata
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May Lotito wrote:Update on my single peach flower: I hand pollinated the flower with a q-tip but didn't expect the self pollination to work. Now 3 weeks later, there seems to be little peachs growing! Triples too. I guess I need to thin the smaller ones but now the fruits and stem still look pretty fragile to touch.


Oh wow that's so exiting!  A single flower and you've managed to get triplets!  I've been doing a spot of horticultural husbandry with my fruit trees this year as I only have a few small trees so it's not that arduous. I now have baby apricots for the first time in about 5 years so I understand your joy!  :)
 
Steve Thorn
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Triplets! So cool!

We had a bad late freeze and most of the peaches fell off my seedling peach. I think I have about 3 or 4 left. Hope they make it!
 
Steve Thorn
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I think I counted 6 peaches left on the seedling peach tree the other day after the really bad late frost we had. Here's a picture of two sister peaches on the tree from a few weeks ago, and they are still doing well!
20210411_173426.jpg
Sister seedling peaches
Sister seedling peaches
 
Dorothy Pohorelow
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I only left my apricot seeds in the fridge for a month before taking them out and letting the bag of damp soil and seeds sit to warm up to room temp slowly.  I have them planted in clear 12 ounce cups with seed starter mix.  I was thrilled to notice today that 2 of my 3 seeds have sprouted :)  The one that caught my eye is breaking the surface of the dirt so I checked the others.  The second one is further behind but has a root and is starting to grow the stem...  The third one is still just sitting there but is not rotting.  

 
Alcina Pinata
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And then there were three!!

So two of the Redix 125's have sprouted - these are the late varieties that were left in their shells and left out all winter.  Then a a few days ago...a Sunburst popped it's head up!  The Sunburst is one of the early varieties that was left in the fridge for a couple of months. This particular one is the one that was de-shelled and I thought it looked like it was starting to sprout when I potted it up.  Nothing else is showing. Yet. But I'm well chuffed I've got an early and a late now

 
May Lotito
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Hi, Alcina. Congratulations on your baby tree, another one! Are you going to put them in ground soon? The first one is growing so big from the photo. Trees have deep root and will be much happier to have room to grow.

I recently pulled up a black walnut seedling, 2.5" above ground and 1 ft beneath it.
P1130564.JPG
[Thumbnail for P1130564.JPG]
 
Alcina Pinata
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Yes the first one shot up, the second one has been much more...stunted...for want of a better word.  The third seems to be following the second.  I suspect the reason is because the first one produced its initial growth in the warm, safe and non-stress environment of the greenhouse. It was there because Spring here has been very cold (and dry) with frosts at night until very recently, which is unusual. I wanted to get the seeds warmer to encourage them to sprout.  It is now a little warmer but wet and very windy!  The tray went outside which is where the second sprouted up. Its initial growth has had to battle strong winds, consequently its little trunk is actually thicker than the bigger first one which has had something of a baptism of fire with the wind! But he's hanging in there! The third, the Sunburst, was very pale when it sprouted (as you can see in the photo) and took what felt like ages to green up.  It's still not that green.  But is proceeding much along the same lines as the second one.

They will all be going into large pots - I have very little space so my fruit trees have to be very close together - too close if they were in the ground. I appreciate this is neither 'true' permaculture, nor growing tree's naturally, but I don't like grafted trees, and the idea of dwarfing stock I find somewhat laughable. It may reduce the tree size a little but they still require substantial pruning if you want to keep them small and all I can think about is my poor tree being choked and starved by its root stock. The tray they are in are long root trainers, so the depth of the tray is a bit more than the height of the first 'tree'.  I'm just waiting until the root ball is firm enough to get out of the tray without losing all the soil, then it will go into a bigger pot.
 
Steve Thorn
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There are a handful of handsome peaches forming on the seedling peach tree.
20210423_093518.jpg
Handsome seedling peach
Handsome seedling peach
20210423_093537.jpg
Twin seedling peaches
Twin seedling peaches
20210423_093503.jpg
Handsome seedling peach
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