Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Its time to plant those peaches

Now is the time to plant your peach trees
Now is the perfect time to plant fruit trees in Texas. There will be many varieties to choose from and they are cheaper now than they will be at any other time of the year. Peach trees that are planted now will have an opportunity to establish a root system before warm spring temperatures force them to bloom and form leaves. Make sure to water and feed regularly. I clean out the used hay and mulch from my chicken coops. It is full of rich fertilizer that has been setting for a few months and the hay mulch keeps the tree roots warm. I pile it up thickly around the base of my young trees that I am planting. I keep it built up around all of my trees. Remember that peaches need lots of water, especially during the fruit development period. The rain should be sufficient in the fall and winter but in drought prone Texas, growers must haul out the hose every day during spring and summer. Growers that live in the driest parts of the state will need to keep a very close eye on their trees. Make sure to prune every winter to keep the tree fruiting. Pruning is one the most essential chores in peach tree production. If you buy a young, bare root tree with no branches, cut it so that it stands no more than several feet tall. After the new branches form, cut all but three of the sturdiest ones. They should be evenly spaced apart and 18 to 32 inches from the ground. Until the tree reaches 3 years of age, cut the three main branches back by one-third each winter. During the fourth winter and each winter thereafter, remove any crowded branches, base suckers and shoots. Keep the center of the tree open to allow sunlight to penetrate each part of the tree. Trees should be kept to a height of 10 to 12 feet.

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