How to Grow Peach Trees in Missouri
Peach trees are a bit of a controversy to the home fruit tree grower. They can produce fruit that is so sweet and delicious but at the same time the tree can be a real pain to take care of and is susceptible to several problems that can ruin the fruit. However, that being said, if you follow a few guidelines, you can grow peach trees in Missouri.
Choose the site for your new peach tree. It should be a sunny south facing slope. That way, the peach tree will not sit in cold air that puddles in valleys, and it won't get wet feet from sitting in soil with a high water table. Missouri winters can be almost too cold for peaches, but a south facing slope should collect enough warmth for the tree to survive.
Go shopping for a peach cultivar that is resistant to most of the pests common to Missouri. Michele R. Warmund of the Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri recommends Harbelle, Harken, and Reliance as good choices both for being resistant to the pests and cold hardy to almost 0 degrees.
Dig a hole that is about 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide. This will be larger than the tree's root ball and will allow you to place some good topsoil into the hole. Set the removed soil aside on a tarp so you can add it back to the hole once the tree is planted.
Set the tree in the hole with the roots spread out radially. Add a few shovels of topsoil and then tamp it down with your heel. Continue to add the dirt and tamp until you are about 6 inches from the top . Add a few gallons of water and let it sit for about an hour to settle the soil around the tree. Fill the hole the rest of the way.
Water the tree after planting and then again every few days until new growth begins to show. Peach trees should be planted in early spring so continue to water weekly through the summer of the first year.
- Peach tree seedling
- Top soil
- Pruning shears