Hi I’m a total newbie peach grower here. My husband and I love peaches and thought we’d “try” a couple trees. We bought two I believe they are a snow white or something similar.
We haven’t done ANYTHING to the trees and this is the first year they started producing. I don’t know a thing about what you need to do, I was hoping to get by all organically and just let them grow.
Well we picked a couple and they really don’t look great from the outside! They look to have some type of sap coating at the top, lots of green dots, but I haven’t seen any holes or anything. We did get brave and peeled one -it looked good inside, so we tasted it and they are awesome.
I agree the peach looks like it has scab or bacterial spot. Also agree the sap is probably from bug damage. I would not be surprised if you don’t have some worms in unsprayed peaches which look like that.
In Ohio to get good productive trees with good fruit, will unfortunately require a decent level of management.
Deciding to invest some time in the trees is the biggest part. Once you and your husband decide to manage the trees, the learning will follow. Joining or following this forum is the best first step you could take, imo.
The most common important mistakes new peach growers make for new peach trees are:
-Planting peaches in poorly drained soil.
-Allowing sod to grow close to the trunk.
-Failure to prune/shape the trees.
-Failure to thin the peach crop.
-Lack of any pest management.
There are lots of good folks here who are happy to instruct you with these issues, or any other peach questions you will have.
@Toport20 … I too would like to get lots of nice clean completely organic peaches.
I do have 3 peach trees… and have been growing peaches near 25 years now.
I grow organic only… on everything I grow… no spray. Peaches are by far my most difficult fruit to grow organic and get good fruit from.
I have had my best luck with earlier ripening varieties. It seems the longer that peach fruit has to hang on the tree to ripen… the less chance you will get good fruit… given more hang time… I think that simply more pest find it and mess it up.
I have two trees that ripen peaches mid june… and I get some nice clean early peaches from them…
Copper fungicide is good for peach leaf curl, which must be sprayed in the dormant season, before you see any green foliage starting to sprout. Beyond that, copper isn’t good for much on peaches, imo. Some peach growers use copper to combat bacterial spot, but it’s use runs the risk of phytotoxicity to the foliage.
For an insecticide. You might try the new version of Sevin.
It has the same active ingredient as Mustang Maxx, which is commonly used by commercial peach growers. The only difference is the concentration.
I would recommend this forum for learning to prune. Certainly there are books out there, but some of the more experienced folks on this forum have teased out the nuances of pruning various trees into different shapes.
In the Reference category of the forum, you can find lots of material on pruning fruit trees, as well as other aids to growing fruit trees.
Here is a topic in the Reference category, which may be of use to you.
You also may want to check out the Guides category.
Here is a topic in the guides category which may be helpful in pruning apple/pear trees.
Lastly, there are 3 youtube videos put out by NSCU for peach pruning.
Mike Parker shows how to prune new, young and mature peach trees. The videos do an excellent job showing how to prune peach trees.
Btw, depending on where you are located in OH, it’s probably not too late to be pruning peach trees. I’m in zone 6b and prune well into Oct., even November sometimes.
Here is a pic where I pruned a peach tree fairly aggressively in mid Oct. several years ago.
Dear Olpea, I experimented this year with a Chlorothalonil app on peaches when they were already budding out and showing a tiny bit of green, combining it with oil so I could do oil and chlor at the same time. After spraying two orchards this way I found a Cornell guideline suggesting the two materials combined are phytotoxic so I sweated for a week or two before I found out no damage was done.
I am confident that the spray controlled peach leaf curl at one of the orchards that always gets it when I don’t spray for it. There was a trace on it on one very susceptible nect, but not enough to matter and given that it was a season of very high pressure where Glenglo suffered it in my own orchard for the first time any orchard tree has in my own orchard for 25 years or more (only Glenglo out of many varieties) there’s very little doubt that sprays this late can work.
The trees I sprayed were showing a peek of green between very swollen flower buds- I read a guideline that said PLC was still treatable at this point and took a chance.
Incidentally, my guideline of pruning by numbers works great for stonefruit as well. When I don’t follow it I’m much more likely to have broken peach branches when they come into bearing or even when trying to spread the branches. For Euro plums it can lead to earlier fruiting and for J. plums to more compact and manageable trees. Smaller diametered branches in ratio to the trunk are stronger and less vegetative, bearing fruit sooner on trees with any reluctance (this even includes some J. plum varieties like Elephant Heart, just not peaches).
The approach also works to create a strong branch structure and balanced tree for all ornamental trees, although a 2-1 ratio is generally more appropriate.
That’s good to know. I’ve always sprayed leaf curl protectants when trees were completely dormant, following all the recs I’ve read. Additionally, the causal mechanics of the disease would seem to preclude leaf curl protectants working at green tip. However, I admit I’ve not tried a leaf curl spray that late, so I’ll accept your strong anecdotal evidence as fairly conclusory that it works. That could prove useful for me. Thanks for mentioning it.
I also agree about the pruning by numbers for stonefruit. I’ve mentioned before that’s the one thing lacking in Mike Parker’s videos. Nevertheless, I continue to recommend his pruning videos to new backyard peach orchardists. Generally newbies don’t have a grasp at how much wood needs to be removed, or any general knowledge how to shape a peach tree. The vids do a very good job of that, imo.
I just wanted to put the statement out there because you suggested my recs only for pears and apples. I know in the past you have stated that some people apply my approach to peaches as well- I don’t even always do it because the trees have a way of getting away from me in my nursery. I try to reduce the vigor of “oversized” branches by repeated summer pruning when it would be too much of a setback to the shape of the tree if I remove it.
A problem I have is that I grow the nursery trees so close together that they interfere with each other growing in a more spreading shape, but my land is more lucrative if I grow them more densely- if only because or a relative reduction in weed control per tree. Less land to weed whack and less sunlight reaching the weeds.