Peaches are used for fresh eating, in ice cream, in pies, on shortcake and are made into jellies, jams and preserves. That leaves many peach lovers with a lot of leftover peach pits and the desire to sink their teeth into a fresh, tree-ripened peach. But before you start a peach tree from seed, you should know what you're getting into. Peach trees are very finicky and susceptible to a host of deadly diseases and pests, and early spring frost, which can wipe out an entire crop in one day.
Select a suitable site for your future peach tree. Peach trees need full sun and can't tolerate shade from buildings or tall trees. Choose an elevated spot so that cold air will flow away from the tree during cold snaps.
Test the soil's drainage. Peach trees will not tolerate wet feet. Dig a 1 foot hole in your chosen spot. Fill it with water. If most of the water has not drained in an hour or so, choose another, better draining spot to plant your peach pit.
Send a soil sample to your local county extension office to have your soil tested. Peach trees need nutritious sandy loam soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Incorporate any amendments that the test recommends. Ideally, this should be done at least 1 year before you plant your peach pit.
Remove all of the flesh from the pit and rinse it off.
Leave the peach pit out on the counter to dry for several days.
Place the seed in a sealable plastic bag. Then place the bag in the refrigerator and store it until January. Do not store any apples or bananas in the refrigerator while you are storing your peach pit. The ethylene gas that they release might cause the peach pit to germinate prematurely. Check on the seed periodically. You should see a light layer of condensation on the inside of the bag. If you do not, the peach pit is too dry. Sprinkle a few drops of water into the bag.
Remove the peach pit from the refrigerator, in January, and place it in a bowl of room-temperature water. Allow it to soak overnight.
Line the bottom of a plastic bag with a few inches of slightly moistened vermiculte (soil or perlite will work just as well). Bury the seed in the vermiculte and put it back in the refrigerator. In 6 weeks, begin checking it frequently for signs of germination.
Transfer the peach pit to a pot filled with quality potting soil as soon as it germinates, then water the soil so that it is moist.
Plant the peach pit outside in spring when the last threat of frost has passed.