Planting Peaches


Peaches are second only to apples in popularity as a home-grown fruit. Many heirloom varieties are not available commercially. Indian Blood Cling has deep crimson skin and flesh; George IV New York 1820 is a tasty white-fleshed peach. Many gardeners grow several heritage varieties along with the more common Babcock. Peach trees thrive with a certain number of chill hours per winter. There are varieties that grow well in all zones. Check your USDA plant hardiness zone map before you purchase a tree (see Resources below).

How to plant a peach tree

Step 1

Choose a peach tree variety that is well adapted to your local climate conditions. The best tree-trunk diameter for a bare-root tree is ½ inch. Purchase heirloom peach trees by mail order from specialty nurseries.

Step 2

Choose the planting site. Peaches prefer well-drained soil and lots of sun. A north-south axis gives optimum sun exposure. Plant peach trees in a protected location if wind is a regular factor. Midway down a gentle slope is a good choice if the lower elevations have spring frost.

Step 3

Dig a hole as deep as the roots of the tree and two times as wide. Add 1 cup bone meal and mix well into the soil. Create a cone of soil in the middle. Place the tree in the hole on top of the cone. Spread the roots gently in each direction. Replace the soil one shovelful at a time, gently pressing down on the roots. The soil should be several inches higher around the tree than the surrounding soil level.

Step 4

Create an inch-deep basin in a ring around the tree several inches from the trunk. Water thoroughly two times to check for proper drainage.

Tips and Warnings

  • Shallow, poorly drained planting sites produce a weaker tree with less fruit. The diameter of a bare-root tree is called the caliper. If the caliper is less than ½ inch, the tree may be weak; if more than ½ inch, it may be unbalanced between the canopy and the root system.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Shovel
  • 1 cup bone meal


  • University of California at Davis: The California Backyard Orchard

Who Can Help

  • USDA: Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • Ohio State University Master Gardener: Fruit
Keywords: plant peaches, grow peach trees, peach tree care

About this Author

Joan Norton, M.A., is a licensed psychotherapist and professional writer in the field of women's spirituality. She blogs and has two published books on the subject of Mary Magdalene; "14 Steps To Awaken The Sacred Feminine:Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene," and "The Mary Magdalene Within."