Position – Full sun; although they can tolerate some shade, they will yield more fruit the more sun they receive and grow more vigorously
They are really easy to grow. Summersun peach trees thrive in warm climates with long, hot summers. They require a minimum of 600 to 900 chill hours (hours of winter cold temperatures) to properly set fruit.
Size – Peach trees can grow to about 8-10 metres tall. Plan the site before planting, keeping the tree away from external walls, electrical lines, and other trees. Plant in a protected area if possible as strong winds can damage branches and leaves.
Soil Type – Peach trees are not fussy about soil type but prefer slightly acidic soil. Prepare the planting area about 1.5mts depth by loosening the soil and incorporating organic matter, such as compost, to improve drainage and fertility.
Place the tree in the hole, ensuring that the bud union (the swollen area where the scion is grafted onto the rootstock) is positioned slightly above the soil level. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the roots.
Mulch – Add a thick layer of pine-bark mulch, keeping about 20-30 cm away from the tree trunk. This will keep the soil moist and keep the weeds at bay.
Watering – Newly planted Summersun peach trees require regular watering to establish a strong root system. Provide deep watering once or twice a week, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Once established, water the tree deeply during dry spells or when the topsoil becomes dry.
Pruning – Pruning helps maintain the shape of the tree, improves air circulation, and enhances fruit production. Perform corrective pruning during the dormant season to remove dead or damaged wood and shape the tree. Additionally, thin out excess fruit during the growing season to ensure proper spacing and promote larger, healthier peaches.
Fertilising – Apply a balanced fertiliser formulated for fruit trees in early spring before new growth begins. One 200-gram Bag of Superfrass added to the soil every 4-6 months works well. Talborne Fruit & Flower or nourish liquid are also options. Avoid over-fertilisation, as it can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of fruit production.
Pest and Disease Control – Monitor the tree regularly for common peach tree pests such as aphids, peach tree borers, and fruit flies. Use organic pest control methods; EM Control is a reasonable and efficient option. Implement proper sanitation practices, such as removing fallen leaves and fruit, to reduce the risk of diseases like peach leaf curl or brown rot.
Harvesting – Summersun peaches are typically ready for harvest in late summer. The fruit should have a firm texture and reach its full coloration. Gently twist or lift the fruit to detach it from the branch. Harvesting is best done in the morning when the fruit is cool.