Plant peaches in full sun in very well-drained soil. Semi-dwarf trees should be planted 12 feet apart, and allow 15 feet between rows. Plant with the top of the root mass just at soil level with enough soil mounded to cover the roots leaving 1 inch between the graft and the soil level.
Peach trees benefit from complete fertilizer. Feed them in fall or winter. Do not overfeed with nitrogen. Fertilizers with half as much nitrogen as phosphorus work well; Fertilizer spikes are an easy and efficient way to fertilize.
Young peach trees should be pruned hard their first year to encourage bud development. As they age, prune to develop a good strong scaffold and an open, spreading habit. Remove center sprouts and older fruiting wood on older trees. For finer details consult a good pruning book.
Disease & Pest Control
Peaches and nectarines are subject to the fungal disease Peach Leaf Curl. Insects that affect peaches and nectarines include scale, mites, and aphids, which may reduce yield and increase stress. Peach Tree Borer can kill weak and young trees. Timed preventative sprays provide the best protection against most of these pests. See a Spray Schedule for more details.
Most common varieties of peaches and nectarines are self-fertile.
Download a complete information sheet on peaches and nectarines, including varieties.
Frost – Early variety, ripens in July to early August. Firm sweet peaches are great fresh, canned or frozen. Reasonably resistant to leaf curl, however it still needs spraying when it’s young.
Red Haven – Early variety, ripens early August. Firm, sweet, peaches of excellent quality and great for canning.
Hardy Red – Mid-season variety, ripening in mid-to-late August. Excellent quality and production. Good variety for the Northwest.
Download a complete information sheet on peaches and nectarines, including varieties