Peach trees grow well in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones five through nine. The state of Kansas is within hardiness zones 5 and 6, so peaches are well-suited for growing there. Peach trees need plenty of water, mulch and pruning for optimum fruit production. Kansas growers who properly care for and maintain their peach trees may enjoy ripe delicious fruit beginning as early as five to seven years after planting.
Select a variety of peach tree that will grow well in Kansas. Purchase June Pride, Indian Free, Snow Beauty, Suncrest, O'Henry or White Lady from a tree nursery in late April. Choose trees that are a year old and around 3 to 6 feet in height for best results.
Choose a site with at least eight hours of sunlight each day and well-drained soil that is at least partially sandy. Make sure the ground is level or elevated only slightly. Add more dirt to the site to level the ground if necessary.
Dig a hole 2 to 3 feet deep and a 1 to 2 feet wide with a post hole digger. Place the tree into the hole so that the roots are below the soil line. Spread the roots downward and out inside the hole, and cover with dirt to just over the top of the root ball.
Water the tree using a garden hose with a spray attachment. Soak the roots and an area in a 2- to 3-foot diameter around the tree until the ground is wet but not holding water. Cover this area with a 2- to 3-inch layer of pine straw or other mulch such as chopped leaves.
Prune the tree immediately after planting. Cut the trunk of the tree back to a height of 2 to 3 feet, using a pair of pruning shears. Choose two to three branches that are 1 foot from the ground or higher, and cut these branches back to only two or three buds with the pruning shears. Cut away all other branches at the trunk.
Thin out the peach tree branches in the spring following planting .Cut small branches back so there is between 6 and 8 inches of space between fruit. Cut away any limbs that are diseased or broken at this time.
Prune peach trees annually in the fall just before the first frost, which will usually be in late September or early October. Cut limbs back so there is an open center which can easily receive sunlight. Remove broken or diseased limbs at this time as well.
Clean pruning shears after each use by wiping the blade with a soft cloth dampened with denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol. Hang the shears up on a hook so that the blades do not come in contact with dirt or grease from other tools. Clean blades in the same manner just before use if they become dirty or rusty.
Things You Will Need
- Post hole digger
- Garden hose with sprayer
- Pine straw
- Pruning shears
- Soft cloth
- Denatured alcohol
- Pick peaches as soon as they are ripe so the weight of the fruit will not damage the tree.
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