Tips on Peach and Nectarine Cultivation
Soil and Situation. Both peaches and nectarines require a warm, sunny position and good, well-drained soil. In these respects they resemble apricots, and the same general treatment should be observed. They are equally suitable for sunny greenhouses or walls and fences.
Planting. This may be done at any time during the dormant period as for apricots. The same particulars apply.
Training. Outdoors sometimes as bushes; against walls and under glass in fan formation. The details of training and early pruning are the same as for plums.
Pollination. So far as is known, all varieties will set fruit with their own pollen. To ensure pollination it is advisable to dust pollen from flower to flower when these are fully open and the atmosphere is dry. This is especially necessary under glass. An alternative is to rap the tree smartly every day while in flower.
Pruning. This is the same as for Morello cherries, as the fruit is borne on yeartold side growths.
Thinning Fruits. This should begin as soon as the fruits are as large as marbles but must not be completed until the stones are formed. This can be ascertained by cutting a typical fruit in half. At first the fruits should be reduced to one per cluster. Later they may be further spaced out 9 in. to 1 ft. apart for peaches, a little closer for nectarines. Select healthy, well-formed fruits that are placed where they will get the maximum amount of sunshine. Later, a few leaves that are shading fruits may be removed and the latter propped forward to catch the sun.
Routine Feeding and Watering. Mulch with strawy, well-rotted manure each March. This is especially necessary with greenhouse trees. Give Nitro-chalk, nitrate of soda, or sulphate of ammonia in March and again in early May, 1 oz. per square yard at each application. Give sulphate of potash, 1 oz. per square yard each October, with basic slag, 6 oz. per square yard, one year, hydrated lime, 8 oz. per square yard, the following year. Borders against walls and fences must be soaked thoroughly with water at frequent intervals while the fruits are swelling.
Routine Pest Control. Spray with tartoil wash, 5% strength, in December. At the end of February spray with Bordeaux mixture or captan to check leaf curl. In May pick off and burn leaves that are red and curled. In late June cut out and burn any branches that have silvered leaves. Syringe twice daily with clear water if red spider attacks the trees, especially under glass.
Greenhouse Management. Early trees can be started into growth in January by closing ventilators, watering border, and raising the temperature to 45° at night, 50°-55° by day. Most houses are not started until about a month later. Peaches and nectarines in unheated houses should not be hurried unduly and ventilation must be given freely until mid-March. All plants under glass must be well watered while in growth. Never entcourage temperatures above 60° at night and 75° by day, and these only when fruit is set. Maintain a moist atmosphere by damping the paths and syringing the trees daily with tepid water, except while in flower and after fruit starts to ripen, when syringing should be discontinued.
Propagation. By budding during July and August in the same manner as for apples. Plum stocks, Brompton, Common Mussel and St Julien A, or seedling peaches are used for the purpose.
Varieties of Peach. Advance, Aug.; Alexander, July; *Amsden June, July; *Barrington, Sept.; *Bellegarde, Sept.; *Crimson Galande, Aug.; *Duke of York, July; *Dymond, Sept.; Early Grosse Mignonne, Aug.—Sept.; Goshawk, Aug.—Sept.; Golden Eagle, Oct.; *Hale’s Early, July—Aug.; Lady Palmerston, Sept.—Oct.; Late Devonian, Sept.; Noblesse, Aug.—Sept.; *Peregrine, Aug.; Prince of Wales, Sept.; Princess of Wales, Sept.—Oct.; Rochester, Aug.; *Royal George, Sept.; *Sea Eagle, Sept.—Oct.;
Stirling Castle, Sept.; Thomas Rivers, Sept.; Violette Hative, Sept.; *Walburton Admirable, Sept.; *Waterloo, July.
Varieties of Nectarine. Cardinal, July; Darwin, Sept.; *Dryden, Aug.; *Early Rivers, July; *Elruge, Aug.; *Hardwick, Aug.; *Humboldt, Aug.; John Rivers, July; Lord Napier, Aug.; Pine Apple, Sept.; Rivers’s Orange, Sept.; Spenser, Sept.; *Stanwick Elruge, Sept.; Victoria, Sept.; *Violett Native, Aug.
*May be planted outdoors.