If you love the idea of peaches straight from the tree but lack adequate space, a dwarf peach tree may be the way to go. You can plant it in your garden where it will require very little space. It will be easy to maintain and you won’t need a ladder to prune the tree or pick the fruit. Even though the tree may be small, the fruit will be regular size, and just as delicious.
Visit a greenhouse or garden center and purchase a dwarf peach tree. Purchase a locally grown tree, so you can be sure that the tree is appropriate for your climate. Look for a tree with a straight trunk and an even shape.
Choose a sunny spot about eight feet square in your garden or yard. To test the soil for drainage, dig a hole at least 10 inches deep. Fill the hole with water and check to see if it has drained in three hours. If not, find a planting site with better drainage.
Dig a hole approximately 18 inches deep and loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole with a garden fork. Put 1 to 2 inches of compost in the bottom, then form a small mound in the bottom of the hole with some of the reserved soil.
Remove the dwarf peach tree from the container, put it in the hole and spread the roots carefully over the mound. Adjust the height of the mound so that the graft line will be 2 to 3 inches above ground. The graft line is located on the trunk above the top of the root ball, and can be identified by a diagonal line that will look like a scar.
Put a hose in the hole and let water run until the hole is filled with water, and then let the water drain. Finish filling the hole with soil, and tamp it down.
Surround the trunk of the tree with a 2-inch layer of organic compost, but don‘t allow the compost to pile up on the graft line. This will be all the fertilizer the tree needs, and will help keep weeds down and moisture in. Replenish the compost every spring.
Water the tree deeply twice each week, especially during the first year. Water more often in hot, dry weather, but allow the soil to dry between waterings.
Prune the dwarf peach tree in early spring to keep the tree from getting too large, and to maintain the shape. Remove any thin or spindly branches, as well as any branches that are crossing into the middle of the tree, or twisting around other branches. Trim the tips of branches to keep them in line with the shape of the tree.