Although there are hundreds of varieties of peaches, they all fall within two categories: freestones and clingstones. Freestone peach flesh pulls readily away from the pit and is the type of peach most commonly eaten fresh. Clingstone peaches have flesh that clings to the pit and are used in canning. Horticulture agents with the Ohio State University Cooperative Extension suggest that choosing the proper cultivar for your region is the most important step the gardener can take toward ensuring success with the peach tree.
Choose a sunny location in which to plant the peach tree. An area that is higher in elevation is ideal because the cold air on chilly nights will be drawn to the lower elevation areas of the landscape.
Amend the soil by tilling a 5- to 6-foot diameter area. Add 4 inches of compost or other organic soil amendment and mix it to a depth of 8 inches.
Take a soil sample to the county cooperative extension office for analysis. Tell the agent that you are planting a peach tree and will need advice, based on your soil samples, of how much lime and fertilizer to add to the soil.
Add lime and fertilizer to the soil at the rate suggested by the soil analysis. Use a gardening fork to mix the amendments to a depth of 8 inches.
Dig a hole in the center of the prepared planting area that is deep enough to allow the peach tree's bud union (swollen area on the lower trunk where the tree was grafted onto the stock) to sit 1 inch above the surface of the soil. You may need to place the tree in the hole to check that the hole is the appropriate depth.
Place the roots of the peach tree into the hole and spread them out. Add a shovelful of soil and use your fingers to work it around the tree's roots.
Fill the hole half full with soil, then fill with water. When the hole drains, finish filling it with soil. Use your feet to lightly press the soil around the base of the peach tree. This will help remove any air pockets trapped in the soil.
Water the peach tree until the water puddles at the base and keep the soil moist until the tree shows signs of new growth.