Friday, 28 November 2014

Growing Peaches & Nectarines against a wall

With some basic information it is relatively easy to create a beautiful fan trained Peach, or Nectarine and with the benefit of a sunny south or west facing wall, the crops will be more reliable and extra sweet and juicy! An area of not less than 6 x 6' will be required. Remember that next to a wall the soil may not get much natural rain water so be prepared to water heavily until established and during dry periods.
THE FAN TRAINED TREE. Plant a feathered maiden and in the spring after planting cut back to lateral about 24 inches from the ground. Ensure that you have left one good bud on each side below the pruning level. Any remaining laterals should be cut back to one bud. In early Summer 3 shoots should be selected, train the top shoot vertically and with remaining two, train one to the left and one to the right. Remove all other buds and shoots. In July the shoots will now have lengthened and they should be tied to the support at an angle of about 45 degrees. Later in the Summer, cut out the central upright shoot and protect the cut with wound paint.

THE SECOND YEAR. In the Spring cut back your two side shoots to a bud or triple bud to about 12 to 18 inches from main stem. In Summer, four new shoots on each arm should be selected. The main one to extend the growth of the main arm, two to train above and one below each side of the tree other shoots should be stopped at one leaf.

THE THIRD YEAR. In Spring each leader should be shortened by a third to a downward pointing bud. In Summer the leading shoots should be allowed to extend their growth and every 4 inches a new shoot can be trained to your required fan shape. Do not train more than 3 new shoots from every branch and in late Summer when they have made 18 inches of growth pinch out the growing point and tie them to the cane or wires. These new laterals will fruit the following summer. Your wall will now be covered with your fan shaped tree and future season training is simply a matter of removing any shoots that are growing directly away or towards your wall cutting at 1 or 2 leaves. Replacement laterals can be trained if required and the old fruited wood removed to make room for your new replacement after fruiting.
Pictured is Peach 'Peregrine' one of the most reliable varieties and a delicious white fleshed Peach.

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