Prunus Persica, a plant native to Persia, from which the Latin name “persica” is derived, also grows spontaneously in China. Peach is a fruit tree of a small size, in fact, in its natural state it only reaches 4-5 m in height. It has lanceolate leaves up to 20 cm long, the flowers are mostly pink and bloom very early, which makes the peach especially sensitive to spring frosts. The fruit has a velvety red-yellow skin, the flesh according to the Prunus Persica variety may be yellow or white with red veins, more visible near the stone. Presumably, from the mutation of the buds, plants with hairless, smooth-skinned fruit, called nectarines or peach-nectarines, were obtained, from which different varieties with different characteristics, both in terms of size, color and age, were then selected. the ripening of the fruit. There are also special varieties of peaches, called percoche or duracine, the fruits of which are small and very regular in shape, have a compact and consistent flesh, therefore they are suitable for processing, they are used exclusively by the industry for the production of peaches. syrups and fruit salads.
The washer most often used by nurserymen for prunus persica undoubtedly franc, which has an excellent affinity for most peach varieties. It tolerates drought well, but is afraid of heavy, loamy and impervious soils, in which the plant becomes particularly susceptible to diseases and quickly depletes. Sometimes it is customary to graft a peach on wild almond, which gives good results in stony and calcareous soils where the Swiss franc does not find good conditions for development.
Most varieties are self-fertilizing. One of the most valuable and widespread varieties is JH Hale, which turns out to be sterile, so for good peach production, it is recommended to combine it with another variety. In any case, it is always advisable to have two or more plants of different varieties to promote pollination and thus also productivity.
The flowering of these plants occurs in the spring, before the leaves develop. The flowers can range in color from pinkish white to deep pink.
Excellent results are obtained with fertilizers based on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK), distributing a balanced amount during the winter, while during the growing season, especially in spring, you can intervene again by increasing the nitrogen dose. Avoid using fertilizers with a high nitrogen content during dry periods.
Among the animal parasites that can cause more damage to peaches, as well as aphids and scale insects, are moths that lay eggs in young shoots, causing them to wilt quickly. In addition, the moth also attacks the fruit, the pulp on which the larvae feed, opening the cavities until it reaches the core. The pathogen that attacks the peach tree the most is the peach vesicle, which occurs both on the young shoots and on the leaves, deforming and thickening them, where large yellow-red spots can be seen. This pathology originates from the fungus Taphrina deformans, which appears at a fairly high level of humidity. It can affect any plant, although it is usually found on leaves and shoots. To avoid this problem, it is recommended to intervene before sprouting with specific copper-based products. The treatment should be repeated regularly, even if the fungus tends to freeze spontaneously as the temperature rises. Sick parts must be removed. To avoid spreading the disease, it is wise to apply a copper and sulfur treatment in the fall, when the leaves have already fallen, to repeat at the end of winter.
In order to form the spindle, you need to plant a suction cup, which will be cut at a height of about 50 cm from the ground. In spring, numerous twigs will be produced, which will have to be thinned with a green cut, keeping the more durable ones balanced in order to form a crown. In the second year, the side branches will need to be blunted, taking care that the cut is made just above the outer bud to facilitate the opening of the leaves.
To form a palmette, cut the suction cup about 70 cm from the ground, then during vegetation keep a vertical branch for the arrow and two side ones for the branches, practicing thinning cutting, eliminating those messy inside leaves. Later the following year, an arrow will pop out and two more powerful branches will be retained to create the second floor. In the first years of growth, it is recommended to create a support structure for fixing the side branches of the plant.
To form a pot, you need to plant a one-year-old sucker and cut it 40-50 cm above the ground. At the beginning of the second year, at least four vigorous branches shorten to 30-40 cm, keeping them away from the center, which in turn will result in other branches, of which only the outer ones are preserved. Also, shorten these branches again to strengthen the plant even more, after which growth will remain slow by practicing only some thinning cuts, eliminating disordered branches.
The cultivation of this plant for the purpose of harvesting fruits takes place only in open ground, which guarantees the production of sweet and well-developed fruits. Planting young specimens is carried out in the fall or at the beginning of winter. In the first phase of growth, it will be advisable to intervene with training cuts that will allow the shape of the plant to be established, and in some cases it will be necessary to set up a vertical support to help maintain the plant’s progress. Based on the rootstock chosen for the production of this type of plant, it will be necessary to choose the best substrate. Vigorous development is achieved by planting the plant in soil that is rich in organic matter, with low acidity and good drainage. The peach tree can grow well even in sandy soils as long as the number of waterings is increased.
These plants require sunlight, where they are exposed to direct sunlight for several hours a day. It is a plant that tolerates winter frosts well, and late frosts can make flowering difficult. It requires adequate humidity and an environment that is not particularly exposed to strong winds, the fruits are harvested in the period from May to September; the fruit does not have a great ability to remain intact after harvesting and must be consumed within a short period of time.