Peach, a peach tree (Latin Persica) is a woody plant of the Pink family, a relative of the almond tree. Common peach (Persica vulgaris) - is a tree up to 8 m high, with pink flowers that appear before the leaves. The homeland of the peach is China, currently this country ranks 1st in its industrial cultivation.
Peach is a thermophilic tree. Most varieties do not tolerate temperatures below -25 ° C. The trees grow up to 4 m in height, with a crown up to 6 m in diameter. Peach blooms in mid or late April, for 10-12 days. Early peaches ripen 3 months after flowering, mid-early ones - after 3-4 months, late ones - after 4-5 months.
Peach usually bears fruit in 2-4 years after planting, within 10-15 years. Depending on the variety, the fruits have different weights - from 200 to 300 g, pubescent or smooth (nectarines), round or flattened (figs). Peach trees are distinguished by high productivity, from one tree you can get 30-50 kg of fruit. By the way, peaches are among the three most delicious fruits along with oranges and mangoes.
Types of peach trees:
Common peach (Persicavulgaris) - or real peach, with pubescent fruits. In the composition of the common peach species, two varieties are distinguished: with pink flowers (Persicavulgaris rosaeflora) and with bell-shaped flowers (Persicavulgaris campanulaeflora).
Nectarine (Persicanucipersica) - peaches without pubescence or bare peaches.
Potanin's Peach (Persicapotaninii) - or Potanin's Almond.
Fig peach or Fergana peach (Persicaferganensis), or Chinese peach - peaches with flattened fruits. A relative of the almond tree.
Peaches for growing in Ukraine - popular varieties:
Early varieties: fruit ripening in July - first half of August:
Medium varieties: fruit ripening in August:
Mid-late varieties: ripening of fruits at the end of August:
Selection and purchase of seedlings. When buying seedlings, you should pay attention to the following points:
Location and landing. Swampy, damp areas, as well as places located in lowlands, are unsuitable for peaches. Places on the south side of the site, well lit and protected from the wind, are recommended. You also need to make sure that large trees or bushes do not obscure the seedling. Planting should be done at a distance of at least 3 meters from other plantings. When grown in the shade of young peach shoots, the wood does not have time to ripen over the summer and flower buds are poorly laid on the tree.
If strawberries, clover, alfalfa, melons or nightshade crops were grown on the site, then it is impossible to plant a peach in this place for 3-4 years, so as not to subject it to verticellosis.
Depending on the fertility of the soil, when planting, you need to apply mineral and organic fertilizers. For poor soils: the soil from the planting pit is mixed with 50 g of superphosphate, 50 g of potassium chloride, 200-300 g of wood ash and 8 kg of humus manure, compost). For fertile soil, only mineral fertilizers and ash are introduced.
When planting in autumn, mineral fertilizers do not need to be applied. You can pour a little humus on the bottom of the pit and sprinkle it with a layer of earth 15-20 cm.
The dimensions of the landing pit are 50x50x50cm. At the bottom of the pit, a layer of earth mixed with fertilizers is poured (spring planting), a seedling is placed on the hill, the roots are straightened and covered with earth. The grafting site should be 4-5 cm above the ground. To prevent the tree from losing orientation, the grafting "tummy" should face north. The soil is trampled down from the edges to the trunk and 2-3 buckets of water are poured. The top layer is mulched with a layer of manure, 8-10 cm high.
Peaches can be planted both in early spring and early fall. When planting in the fall, a mound 20-30 cm high is poured around the trunk, and before the onset of frost, the seedling is covered with a bag. To prevent the bag from being blown away by the wind, it is attached to two pegs dug into the trunk circle. On the south side, a hole is made in the bag to allow air to enter.
A simpler method is to pour a mound of earth 50-60 cm high around the trunk. In the spring, remove the earth.
Immediately after planting, the seedling is treated for diseases and pests: curly leaves, powdery mildew.
Watering. Peach is drought tolerant, but lack of water affects its development and fruiting. In dry weather, the peach is watered once every two to three weeks from the beginning of June to the first half of August. For one tree, 1-2 buckets of water are enough for one watering.
Top dressing. Every year, during the spring digging, mineral fertilizers are applied to the trunk circle: nitrogen fertilizers - 70 g of ammonium nitrate or 50 g of urea. In the fall, 40 g of phosphorus and 50 g of potash are introduced. Organic fertilizers (manure or humus) are applied during digging every 2-3 years. Humus can be replaced with green manures, so-called green fertilizers, sowing them in the aisles of peach plantings. As siderates, rape, oil radish, lupine or rapeseed are suitable.
Trimming and shaping. Throughout the life of the plant, several types of pruning are applied to it: formative, thinning, healing and rejuvenating. Thanks to pruning, the height of the tree does not exceed 2.5-3 m, and the crown diameter is 2-2.5 m.
Pruning peaches should be done in the spring, from March to mid-April. Most often, pruning is used to form a cupped crown. For this, in the area of the trunk, all lateral branches are removed, leaving only 3-4 skeletal branches (at a distance of 10-15 cm between them). The central trunk is cut over the upper skeletal branch. The next year, only branches are cut off, the length of which exceeds 50 cm.
Dry branches damaged by frosts or diseases, shoots growing inside the crown and thickening it, tops and wen are also removed. Places of cuts are covered with garden pitch.
Flowering and fruiting. Peach trees begin to bloom in April and last for about 10-12 days. Peach blooms mainly in single flowers of two types: large (2-3.5 cm) with wide petals and small bell-shaped (1-1.5 cm), collected in a cup.
A lot of buds are formed on the branches, forming ovaries. From the ovaries, depending on the variety, the fruits ripen in 80-150 days.
In order not to deplete the tree, after flowering, only the largest ovaries (2-3 cm) are left, and the small and weak ones are cut off. Of the groups of 2-3 flowers, the largest is left. After shedding the ovary, some of the small fruits are also removed.
Peach fruits, in addition to excellent taste, are also very useful. They contain vitamins, organic acids, mineral salts and sugars. Peach juice increases hemoglobin and maintains the acid-base balance in the blood.
Reproduction and grafting. The peach is propagated by seed, pitted and grafted. Seedlings begin to bear fruit in 5-6 years, grafted seedlings - 2-3 years after planting.
Vaccination-budding is carried out in the summer. Seedlings of wild peaches, bitter almonds, cherry plums, plums, and felt cherries can serve as a rootstock (a plant that will supply the cultivar with nutrients with its root system).
Diseases and pests. The peach has three main enemies caused by fungi: moniliosis (gray fruit rot), curly leaves, and powdery mildew.
The causative agent of moniliosis is the Moniliacinereabon mushroom. In addition to the peach, other stone fruit trees are also susceptible to the disease: apricot and cherry. The fungus hibernates in diseased branches and dried fruits. At the time of flowering of the peach, the spores of the fungus fall into the ovary and peduncle, which causes drying of the shoots, at the time of fruiting - into the fruits, causing them to rot right on the branches.
To protect and prevent this disease, you need to take the following measures:
Leaf curl is also caused by a fungus, but of a different breed. The disease manifests itself in damp and cool weather. Most often, fungal spores infect young leaves and shoots. Diseased leaves curl, thicken and fall off over time. To protect the peach from attack, you need to spray them with a 1% Bordeaux mixture 3 times a year: in the fall, after the leaves have fallen, and in the spring, before the buds open.
The drug "Skor" is also recommended. Process with a solution: 2 ml per 5 liters of water in the spring.
When choosing seedlings, it is recommended to buy varieties that are resistant to curl so that later you have fewer problems.
Powdery mildew. It is a white felt bloom on leaves, fruits and shoots. You need to fight this disease in the same way as with moniliosis: remove damaged fruits, shoots, fallen leaves and burn them.
Peach in winter. To protect the seedling from frost in winter, it is covered with a bag of sugar, fixed on two pegs.
Instead of a bag, you can build a box from a cardboard box or film around the trunk. The distance from the walls to the trunk is 50-70 cm, the height of such protection is up to 1.5 m. When the temperature drops below -5-10 ° C, fill the box tightly with straw. In the spring, the structure is removed.
The method is simpler - before the onset of frost, pour a mound of earth 50-60 cm high around the peach trunk. Remove the earth in the spring.
Usefulness of peach fruits: The fruits contain a lot of useful substances - mineral salts: potassium, calcium, iron, copper; carotene, vitamins - B, C, E, K, PP; pectins and essential oils. Peach juice improves immunity, helps to cope with cardiovascular diseases, increases hemoglobin in the blood.