Sweet Summer Rewards

Growing your own Organic Peaches, Apricots and Nectarines

There’s no better reward for your effort than picking sweet, juicy, fresh, sun-ripened, fruit from your own garden and add to that, the enormous health benefits of bioactive phytochemicals, antioxidants and vitamins that come with consuming organic fruits on a daily basis. Most of these fruit varieties are versatile as they can be eaten raw, juiced, baked for desserts or as an accompaniment to roast meats. They can also be canned, dried, minced or made into sheets or sticks and used to make delicious jams.

Best conditions for growing stone fruits (Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines)

These fruits grow well in areas with hot summers and quite a drop in winter temperatures which is essential for sprouting of the flower and fruit buds, although very cold and frosty winds can damage the buds. So in this climate its best to plant your trees in a sheltered position.

Where the temperatures do not drop the trees can suffer from delayed foliation, so choose cultivars that do not require very cold winters such as Orion, known to be resistant to delayed foliation (R.D.F.)

Planting Position

These fruit trees require full sun sheltered from strong winds.

Soil conditions

Stone fruits grow best in a fertile, well-drained soil or growing media. The ideal pH of the soil is between 5.5 and 6.5.

How to plant your tree in the garden (Containers or pots NOT recommended)

Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots can be planted at least 7 meters apart.

1. Prepare a planting hole that will cover the root ball of the tree. Remove the pot or the sleeve and position the tree.

2. Mix the soil dug from the hole with 1 liter of good quality compost or 500ml of Vermicast and add 150g of VITA GROW 2.3.2(16) Organic fertilizer. If soil is acidic add 1kg of Lime to the mix. Then fill the hole around root ball with the soil mix and a basin wall can be built with subsoil to contain water.

3. Water thoroughly after planting and every 2 to 3 weeks thereafter, as stone fruits require regular watering, especially newly planted young trees.

4. Then mulch with wood chips or leaf matter placed about 10cm up the stem to prevent root or collar rot.

Seasonal care and feeding your fruit trees

1. Good soil management: Condition soil with good quality compost or vermicast at least twice a year.

2. Winter feed at pruning to condition & energize roots and overall tree health with VITA GROW 2:3:2(16) at 250g – 2kg (adjust for tree size and age) and sprinkle fertilizer over drip zone.

3. A thick layer of mulch should be maintained around the tree base.

4. Spring feed with VITA FRUIT & FLOWER 3:1:5(18) at 250g – 2kg early in the season to promote blossoms and fruit formation.

5. A post-harvest feed of VITA FRUIT & FLOWER 3:1:5 (18) at 250g – 2kg can be applied after last harvest to condition tree for the next season.

The Gardener