There is no better way to guarantee fresh fruits and vegetables than by growing your own at home. Like many fruits, peaches grow on trees. Peaches are best enjoyed when planted and harvested at just the right time of year.
When to plant your peach tree
Peach trees are best planted during the dormant times of year for peaches, in the winter or very early spring. Planting your tree during this time of year will allow the roots to spread and the tree to become accustomed to the soil and climate in your garden. Professionals at a nursery or garden center will be able to make suggestions regarding the perfect time to plant and the types of peaches you want to grow based on local weather and soil conditions.
Acquiring a peach tree
As with any shrubbery, a lot can be determined about a peach tree by its looks. When deciding on a peach tree at a nursery or garden center, be sure to look for telltale signs of sickness or decay: withered leaves, black spots and damaged roots, for example. Generally, it takes a seed about three to four seasons to grow into a fully producing peach tree. You should choose a tree that is about a year old; older trees may have trouble adjusting to a new soil or climate. Remember: a one-year-old tree may still take another year or two to produce fruit.
Preparing the soil
To grow the most ripe and juicy fruits, peach trees require a balanced pH, or acidity level, in the soil in which they are planted. Therefore, a lot of thought should be put into the type of soil you use to grow your peaches. Soil should be prepared ahead of time--about two to three seasons--to make sure that you have plenty of time to balance the acidity level and ensure healthy peach trees. The gardening Web site gardenersnet.com suggests mixing compost with regular garden soil. Most garden centers will have soil test kits, and will be able to instruct about the proper pH level for a peach tree.
Caring for your peach tree
The size and number of peaches on your tree will depend on the individual season. Pollination from wind and animals will vary from year to year. Frost and insects may destroy some of the fruit; it is wise to remove any damaged fruit or the damage will spread to other fruit on the tree. Often, a tree that produces a large number of peaches will produce smaller peaches, as the fruit needs more room to grow. You may also want to start a regimen of regular spraying for insects and pests to protect the peaches from harm.