The peach tree grows in most of North America (zones 5 through 8), excluding some of the northern states. It will start producing fruit within about three to five years after planting. Because of natural genetic variation, the fruit of the seeds you plant will likely be quite different from the fruit that produced the seeds in the first place, but your peaches will most likely be just as delicious as the fruit from the mother tree. You can save money by growing a tree from a seed rather than a cutting.
Select peach pits from local trees, which are more likely to thrive in your growing space, because they will be adapted to your climate. Purchase peaches from farmers' markets or fruit stands in your area. Ask the growers if the peaches come from early-maturing trees; if they do, avoid them. Taste the peaches to determine which pits you want to plant.
Let the pits dry out for a few days. This will make it easier to crack the outer shell and remove the seed. When the pits are dry, crack them (being careful not to damage the seed inside) with a vice, nutcracker or clamp. Avoid using a hammer, as this can damage the seeds.
You can either leave the pit inside the shell or remove it. Four months before the last spring frost date, put the seed (and shell, if desired) in a container of water overnight. On the next day, put the seed into a jar, plastic bag or plastic container filled with barely moist potting soil or perlite. Put this container in the refrigerator. If the outdoor temperature is cold, you can place the seeds outside in pots instead; just be sure they're protected from animals.
Check the containers regularly to see if the seeds have sprouted. The seeds require a prolonged exposure to cold (called stratification) before they will do so. Keep them in the refrigerator until a month before the last frost date.
Fill the milk containers (or other disposable pots) with soil that has a good mix of sand, natural soil and organic matter such as peat moss. Cut drainage holes in the bottom. Plant the seedlings 3 inches deep in the soil.
Keep the soil moist, but don't overwater the plants. After the water settles, the soil should be moist but dry enough that you can take a handful of it and squeeze without water dripping out.
After one or two months, it will be time to plant the young plants outside. Find soil nearby with a neutral pH and fertile, well-drained soil. If the ground is acidic, add lime. Add organic material such as peat moss or compost to improve fertility, if necessary, and add sand to improve draining. If you are planting the seedlings in an area that drains slowly after rain, build a mound for each plant that is 1 foot high and 3 feet in diameter.
Dig holes in the ground for the soil from the seedling containers. Cut out the bottom of the containers, put them in the holes and then cut away the rest of the containers. Fill any remaining space with soil.