Peach care in the fall and preparation of the tree for winter
Peach is a southern, thermophilic culture that is difficult to tolerate cold. Growing this tree, you need to pay great attention to caring for it and preparing for winter. So, the quality of the autumn work performed depends on how successfully the plant will tolerate winter, and what crop will yield in the next season.
Features of peach care in the fall
Experts are well aware that a capricious peach without proper care can stop bearing fruit and even die.
Caring for trees in the fall consists of several events:
- top dressing;
- digging and mulching the soil;
- treatment for diseases and pests;
- shelter from the cold.
Fertilizers are needed to replenish peach with valuable substances. They are introduced into ditches with a depth of about 25 cm and a length of up to 30 cm.
Digging of the soil in the root circle is carried out to destroy the parasite insects that have lain in the winter. In this case, the shovel is immersed on a full bayonet, and the clods of the earth are not broken. Further mulching of the soil with plant residues protects the root system from the cold.
Did you know? Peaches are so popular in the USA that Georgia even got a local name. «peach state». However, the state’s record for the number of peach trees is California.
The list of measures to prepare the culture for winter includes spraying the tree with insecticides that protect against ailments and pests. And whitewashing the lower part of the trunk protects from the hot rays of the winter sun.
Also, the tree must be insulated with agrofiber, burlap or several layers of thick paper. This will help him survive the frosts and cold gusty winds.
In autumn, peach does not need abundant watering. The last moderate watering should be done in late October - early November.
Do I need fertilizer?
Peach in the fall must be fed. Why organic matter (manure or compost) and mineral additives are added to the near-furrow grooves. Top dressing depends on the age of the tree and is carried out as follows (based on 1 plant):
- young tree under 3 years old: organics - 9–10 kg, superphosphate - 70–80 g, potassium salt - 25–30 g;
- 3–6 year old tree: organics - 14-15 kg, ammonium nitrate - 55-60 g, superphosphate - 110-115 g, potassium salt - 45 g;
- tree age 6–8 years: organics - 28–30 kg, superphosphate - 170–180 g, potassium salt - 65–74 g;
- tree older than 8 years: organics - 25–35 kg, ammonium nitrate - 115–135 g, potassium salt - 85–105 g.
Foliar top dressing is recommended to be carried out with fertilizers based on urea.
The most important autumn event is to protect the culture from the cold. For this, comprehensive work is carried out, which consists in digging, watering and mulching the soil.
Deep digging of the soil will allow to destroy pests, and mulching will protect the roots of the plant from freezing.Work begins after the leaves fall at a plus temperature. Young seedlings are bent to the ground, the branches of the crown are neatly tied with a rope and covered with sawdust, straw or old tops.
Next, agrofibre or roofing material is placed. When snow falls, you can pour a small snowdrift on the tree.
Important! Do not use polyethylene or too dense material that does not allow air to pass through. Under it, a peach can dry out and become sick or even die.
Peach needs regular pruning.At a young age, this is necessary for the formation of the crown, thinning of thickening skeletal branches and the sanitary removal of dry and damaged shoots.
Processing of old trees is necessary for their rejuvenation and prolongation of the period of productive fruiting.In autumn, diseased branches damaged by pests, broken off under the influence of wind or the severity of the fruit should be removed. They also remove all radical stepchildren, where pests can be found.
Pruning is carried out after harvesting (until mid-October). To do this, choose a dry and windless day, which avoids the spread of bacteria and infections.
All work is carried out with clean garden tools, previously disinfected with a potassium permanganate solution. Depending on the thickness of the branches, a pruner, knife or garden saw is used.
Pruning a young one-year-old seedling consists of forming a crown; its top is cut off at a level of 50 cm from ground level. Autumn pruning of adult trees is carried out according to the following scheme:
- The upper branch is cut off at the base, the upper lateral branches are cut so as to leave 2-3 eyes on the undergrowth.
- The shoots growing inside are removed, which improves the access of air and light to the main skeletal branches.
- Infected, dry or broken branches are completely cut off.
- Thin, elongated, not matured shoots are shortened by 50%.
Important! If a too cold and snowy winter is expected, you need to remove all thin and green shoots on the peach.
From the age of 8-10 years, the tree needs to be rejuvenated. Then, in addition to damaged, infected and dried branches, those shoots that do not bear fruit are cut by a third. And all skeletal branches are pruned to an age level of 3-5 years.
Preparing a tree for winter
Peach is a gentle, moody and demanding tree. It does not belong to frost-resistant plants and is afraid of low temperatures and gusty cold winds. Good protection must be provided for all its parts.
Such preparation will allow the peach to successfully survive the frosts and in the new season to please juicy fruits.
Preparation for the winter period is carried out in this way:
- the soil is dug up and watered in a circumferential circle;
- the plant is treated with fungicides or Bordeaux liquid to prevent various diseases and pests;
- the area under the crown is mulched with a thick layer of humus, sawdust or fallen leaves;
- the trunk is wrapped in several layers with burlap or other similar material;
- supports are installed nearby, and the crown is wrapped with covering material - agrofibre, roofing material, several layers of thick paper.
Pest and Disease Control
The main goal of the autumn processing of peach is the suppression of spores of fungi, which are especially active in multiplying in a warm and humid environment.
Also, the culture is prone to diseases - curly leaves, moniliosis (fruit rot), coccomycosis, kleasterosporiosis and powdery mildew. The most common peach pests include aphids, weevils, eastern codling moths, fruit moths and ticks.
The fight against diseases of fruit trees is carried out using fungicides, and with pests - insecticides.
The most effective of them:
- urea - carbamide qualitatively eliminates most pests;
- copper based fungicides - Bordeaux liquid and copper sulfate do an excellent job with fungal infections;
- fungicides “Tattu”, “Horuz”, “Trichodermin”, “Skor”, “Planriz”, “Haupsin”, “Abiga-Peak” - also effective against fungal infections;
- Insecticides Aktellik, Angio, Aktara - designed to control pests;
- diesel fuel emulsion - form a film that blocks oxygen by an insect;
- folk remedies - tinctures of garlic, lavender or tobacco resist aphids.
First you need to familiarize yourself with the forecast and make sure that no precipitation is expected in the next 2-3 days.
It is necessary to process the entire surface of the peach and not to use the same drugs repeatedly, since the pests quickly adapt to them.
Did you know? Peach seed lovers should know that they contain the strongest poisonous substance - hydrocyanic acid. A safe number of seeds for adults - 1-2 pcs.
Frequent peach care mistakes in the fall
The most common mistakes gardeners make:
- Untimely pruning. An early event, when the tree has not yet dropped foliage, will lead to the loss of plant juices and weakened plant immunity.
- Incomplete pruning. The remaining diseased or damaged branches will cause overuse of the tree and a breeding ground for pests.
- Raw cuts of branches. Without gardening fresh cuts, peaches can become infected with viruses or bacteria.
- Incorrect digging of the earth. If you break or loosen the clods of soil, then the pests will again be in the thickness of the earth.
- Incorrect mulching. The height of the layer should be more than 5 cm. You should also leave a gap between the barrel and the mulch for air circulation.
- Incorrect insulation. It is not recommended to use polyethylene and to conduct an event in rainy weather, this will lead to rotting and the appearance of fungus.