Position – Full sun, although they can tolerate some shade they will yield more fruit the more sun they receive and grow more vigorously
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 – Choose well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil should have a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0, slightly acidic to neutral. Elberta peach trees need full sun exposure for at least six to eight hours daily to ensure optimal fruit production.
Mulch – Add a thick layer of pine-bark mulch keeping about 20-30cms away from the tree trunk. This will keep the soil moist and keep the weeds at bay.
Watering – Water every second day after transplanting for about a week; thereafter, reduce to twice a week in dry or hot weather for the next 2-3 months. Regular irrigation ensures the trees receive adequate moisture, especially during dry periods. Avoid overwatering, as excessively wet soil can lead to root rot.
Pruning – Prune peach trees during the dormant season (late winter or early spring) to remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches. Also, thin out crowded branches to improve airflow and sunlight penetration, which helps reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
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.