Image by Zechariah Judy
By Heather Rhoades
Home grown peaches are a treat. And one way to ensure you get the best peaches possible from your tree is to make sure you are properly using fertilizer for peach trees. You may be wondering how to fertilize peach trees and what is the best peach tree fertilizer. Let’s take a look at the steps for fertilizing peach trees.
When to Fertilize a Peach Tree
Established peaches should be fertilized twice a year. You should be fertilizing peach trees once in the early spring and again in late spring or early summer. Using peach tree fertilizer at these times will help support the development of peach fruit.
If you have just planted a peach tree, you should fertilize the peach tree one week after you planted it and again a month and a half afterwards. This will help your peach tree to become established.
How to Fertilize Peach Trees
A good fertilizer for peach trees is one that has an even balance of the three major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. For this reason, a good peach tree fertilizer is a 10-10-10 fertilizer, but any balanced fertilizer, such as 12-12-12 or 20-20-20, will do.
When you are fertilizing peach trees, the fertilizer should not be placed near the trunk of the tree. This can cause damage to the tree and will also prevent the nutrients from reaching the roots of the tree. Instead, fertilize your peach tree about 8-12 inches from the trunk of the tree. This will get the fertilizer out to a range where the roots can take the nutrients up without the fertilizer causing tree damage.
While fertilizing peach trees right after they are planted is recommended, they only need a small amount of fertilizer at this time. About ½ cup of fertilizer is recommended for new trees and after this add 1 pound of peach tree fertilizer per year until the tree is 5 years old. A mature peach tree will need only about 5 pounds of fertilizer per application.
If you find that your tree has grown particularly vigorously, you will want to cut back to only one fertilization the next year. Vigorous growth indicates that the tree is putting more energy into foliage than fruit and cutting back on fertilizer for peach trees will help to bring your tree back into balance.