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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:33 pm
Location: New England

Hello, I'm looking for peach tree care suggestions

I am the proud owner of 4 peach trees, two apricot trees, one plum, one pear, and one cherry. I have had the most succuess with my peach trees (they're also my oldest trees) but I still don't feel like I have a good handle on the spray regiment. It never fails, a portion of my peaches always have worms. How is it that I can go to a local orchard 10 miles away and their peaches are ALWAYS worm free and beautiful to look at??
I am interested in what sprays people use and at what time of year. I am also curious about the type of fertilizers people use.
Please help. I am determined to make a success of these trees this year.

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Posts: 30548
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

My basic fruit care book marks peaches and nectarines with 4 hands -- I.e. the most care needed. But I have one peach tree and one nectarine tree -- both very young. They both flowered last year, and peaches had 8 fruits to start, with 4 fruits after June drop. Nectarine didn't fruit last year.

My garden is strictly non-chemical/organic care so I did buy the most disease resistant varieties I could find/get. But bugs are another story. I'm going to be checking on this thread often, but cringing at the same time.

I know I'll be using the 10% Milk Solution for fungal disease prevention, as well as Surround to hopefully confuse the buggers. I probably *should* use a dormant oil spray, but I'm concerned about annihilating the good guys.

Hope you get good answers that will work for you. :D

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

If we only had time travel and could go back to when the trees were chosen. My thoughts are if we spent a little more time researching varieties for our climate that would be half the battle. Healthy vegetables and trees are more tolerant to viruses and insects.

I have 2 Frost peach, 2 Puget Gold apricot and many more fruit trees. I'm like Applestar, no-chemical / organic. I have sprayed BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) for caterpillar. I thought this was considered organic, but now I'm not sure. :? My latest routine is a ring of horse manure around the trees and spray with aerated compost tea.

To be organic you have to put up with some blemishes.

Frost peach
Puget gold apricot


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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

I have 4 heirloom plums, 1 durazno (peachpricot), and 1 Korean Cherry Plum, and I'm 100% organic. This year, I've harvested about 200 lbs of fruit, but I'm still going since the Greengages are late to ripen, and I'm still waiting on my pears as well.

What do I do? I leave the trees to themselves, except for a nice coating of neem oil (in place of dormant oil) during the off-season - Applestar, this seems to only take out the bad guys, since they're the only ones on the trees in the post-harvest time. I have mild problems with scale, which I remove by manually scrubbing the trees with mild soapy water. That's it.

My main pollinators, oddly enough, are birds - there are a couple of types of small finches that seem to love the nectar. Them and giant sawflies.

For ferts, I use seaweed emulsion (Ibermar) at 1 tbsp to 1 gallon of water, and whatever volcanic ash falls on me during any given season - if the volcano isn't erupting, I'll go and collect a sack or two of ash from the lower slopes and turn it into the top layer of the soil during the dormant period. I've found that it's not so much fertilizer that gets me a nice big yield of tasty fruit, but rather making sure that the trees get abundant water after blooming.

Greener Thumb
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Lorax
The most common cause of maggot in stone fruit is the Plum Curculio.
This is a beetle that lays its eggs on the fruit at a very early stage in the fruits development.
The resulting grub burrows into the fruit and from then on is out of reach of any attack.
As a result there are only two methods of dealing with the little blighters. First is to keep the area completely free of re- infection. Remove and burn fallen fruit through the growing season as it will contain the grub.
Secondly if you want to spray then you have to do it at a very early stage to get the grubs at the hatching stage before they burrow deep into the fruit.
This is seven to ten days after petal fall. Any later than this and you will be too late to get them.
Because of the nearness to the blossom period you have to be aware that there could be quite a lot of bees still working your spray in the late evening or early morning to avoid killing them by accident as well.

Good to hear Alec is useing BT for control.
It is very effective in its action as it is so specific. Anything eating the infected caterpillers is left completely unharmed.

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