Peaches are one of the favorites of summer bounty along with watermelon and strawberries. Although Georgia is most prominently known for growing peaches, other southeastern states such as North Carolina, have climates and soil favorable for peach growing too. If you live in a warm area within North Carolina, growing peaches can be as rewarding as making the first homemade peach pie of the summer; from the peaches picked right off your own trees.
Purchase peach trees from an established, reliable nursery or home improvement store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Early spring is the best time to purchase peach trees for spring planting.
Determine where you will plant your peach trees. It should be in an area where they can receive full sun and room to allow six to eight feet between trees.
Using a shovel, dig a hole twice as deep and one and one-half times as wide as the base of the dirt ball of the peach tree.
Place the peach tree securely in the hole.
Fill hole with water to help loosen tree roots.
Fill area around tree with dirt to cover hole. Slightly tamp the soil as it is returned to the hole to eliminate large air pockets and to provide a secure base.
Apply approximately one-half cup of fertilizer that contains equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium around the base of the tree, eight feet from the tree trunk. The ratio for the fertilizer will be listed as 10-10-10, or 20-20-20.
Prune the flower buds of a newly planted peach tree to encourage growth. Do not expect to harvest fruit for the first two years. Continue pruning blooms to prevent fruit production.
Water peach trees with a gallon jug that has a few holes punched in the bottom, twice each week (three or four times weekly in the event a dry, hot period is experienced).
Allow blooms to develop fully the third year, pruning some blooms to allow others to develop into larger, quality fruit.