Plant semi-dwarf peach trees in full sun approximately 12 feet from competing trees or buildings. The soil should drain soon after a rainstorm.
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.
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.
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.
Fill up the hole the rest of the way with the improved soil. Firm the surface firmly with your foot.
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.
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.
Mulch the planting hole with a 4 to 6 inch layer of shredded bark or wood chips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Supplement rainfall by watering so the tree receives at least 1 inch of moisture per week.