Peaches are a favorite summertime treat of mine. Peach fruits ripen sometime between June and August, and if you’ve never plucked a peach from a tree and taken a bite of it, I have to tell you, you’re missing out. But chances are if you’ve landed here, you’re ready to have that juicy, summertime experience. Growing your own peach tree is simple and straight forward. This article will guide you on how to grow a peach tree from seed.
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How to grow a peach tree from seed
Before we so much as gather a peach tree seed, we need to clear up something important about growing a fruit tree from a seed. If you collect a peach pit and grow it, it’s very likely to produce a tree, but the fruit it produces may vary. If you collect a peach pit from a big, juicy peach, you may be shocked 10 years down the road to find that your peach tree isn’t producing the same type of fruit. And some peach pits will grow trees that don’t fruit at all!
So what’s the point then? Should you give up? Before you go tossing your peach pits away, bear in mind that the tree may produce quality fruit and if it doesn’t, you can graft branches onto your peach tree that will produce a quality fruit. And besides, growing a peach tree from a seed is a fun little project.
Germinating a peach seed
Like all seeds, your peach seed will need the right set of environmental circumstances in order to begin growing. This is a process called germination. If you were to simply plant a peach pit in the soil in the middle of summer, you’ll probably be pretty disappointed that your tree doesn’t grow. That’s because peach seeds require a cold treatment called stratification.
Stratification simulates the overwintering of a seed. In nature, a peach tree would produce a fruit that then rots during the autumn and winter and sprouts a tree in the spring. We’re not going to wait for nature to do her thing though – we can simulate this process with a refrigerator.
First, soak your pit in water for about two hours, then place it in plastic zipping bag with a bit of lightly moistened soil. You can try to remove the outer shell of the pit, revealing the fragile seed inside of it, but this is optional. Store this bag in your refrigerator. You won’t see germination right away. Check your peach seed every week for signs of germination. It could take up to a few months or more for your peach to germinate. Be patient!
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Planting your peach sapling
Once you’ve observed your peach pit beginning to germinate, the stratification process has ended and it’s ready to plant. Remove your pit from the bag and plant in a pot in well draining soil about 4 inches deep. If your peach tree has begun growing after the danger of frost has passed in the springtime, you can plant your germinated pit directly outside.
For outdoor planting, again, plant about 4 inches deep and cover with a layer of straw or mulch of some kind to help protect the soil and retain moisture. Within a few weeks, you should see your tree beginning to poke up through the mulch.
If you’ve opted to pot it, wait until springtime to plant outdoors.
During its first year, you will want to water your peach tree regularly and monitor it for any kind of damage or disease. Your tree should begin producing peaches within a few years.
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