How to Grow Semi-Dwarf Peach Trees

Overview

Semi-dwarf peach trees are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow in the home garden. Their smaller size makes caring for the tree easier and it makes harvesting the fruits easier. Pick peaches when they are still a little hard because they will not bruise as easily as fully ripe ones. The peaches will finish ripening in just a few days.

Step 1

Plant semi-dwarf peach trees in full sun approximately 12 feet from competing trees or buildings. The soil should drain soon after a rainstorm.

Step 2

Prepare the planting hole. Dig a hole at least 5 feet in diameter and 12 inches deep. Add two to three 5-gallon buckets each of peat moss and compost and at least one 5-gallon bucket of well-rotted manure to the soil removed from the hole. Mix together well.

Step 3

Set the root ball of the tree into the planting hole. Make sure the bud union is at least 1 inch above the soil line.

Step 4

Back fill the hole half-way with the improved soil, firming it down with your foot. Fill up the half-filled hole with water. Allow it to drain and then repeat. This will settle the soil around the roots of the tree and eliminate any air pockets.

Step 5

Fill up the hole the rest of the way with the improved soil. Firm the surface firmly with your foot.

Step 6

Make a ridge around the planting hole with your hands or a spade. This will help catch rainwater and direct it down to the roots of the tree.

Step 7

Water the tree thoroughly. Place a hose near the trunk set at a slow trickle. Let it water the tree for 30 to 60 minutes.

Step 8

Mulch the planting hole with a 4 to 6 inch layer of shredded bark or wood chips.

Step 9

Prune the tree to a height of 26 to 30 inches immediately after planting, cutting off all side branches. Remove any low-hanging limbs the first year of growth, allowing 4 to 5 lateral branches to grow near the top of the trunk.

Step 10

Prune the second and third year in early spring to remove low branches and dead, diseased wood. Keep branches pruned from the center of the canopy to keep it open. This allows sunlight to reach all surfaces of the lateral branches, where fruits form.

Step 11

Thin fruit in mid spring, about 3 to 4 weeks after blooming when the fruits are the size of a quarter. Remove fruits by hand so the remaining fruits are about 8 inches apart. This thinning will allow the remaining fruits to grow large and healthy.

Step 12

Fertilize with ½ pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer a week after planting the tree and again a month later. Spread the fertilizer in a ring about 12 inches away from the trunk. In subsequent years, apply ¾ to 1 pound of fertilizer the same way in March and again in May.

Step 13

Supplement rainfall by watering so the tree receives at least 1 inch of moisture per week.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Mulch
  • Pruning clippers
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer

References

  • How to grow semi-dwarf peach trees.
  • Grow peach trees.
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About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.