The importance of adequate irrigation

The timing and quantity of water to be added to the peach tree must take into account several factors. Regarding the phenological phase, that is the precise production stage, it is in fact important to know that this species is particularly in need of water during flowering, until the fruit ripens. Excessive additions in this last phase, however, must be avoided to avoid an excessive dilution of sugars that can compromise the subsequent shelf life of the drupes. Overall, the quantity of water per hectare to be used is around 2,500-4,000 cubic meters, also depending on the quality of the soil and the seasonal trend. It is advisable to avoid radical flooding, since the peach tree is sensitive to root asphyxiation, preferring drip systems.

Soil quality and pruning

To ensure rapid development and an equally rapid entry into production of the peach tree it is necessary to cultivate this plant in particularly loose soils rich in organic substance. Before planting it is advisable to work the soil well, even in depth, in order to ensure adequate water drainage and thus avoid water stagnation. The aerial portion of the peach tree must be kept sufficiently open to favor good ventilation, since accumulations of humidity can trigger the development of dangerous pathogenic fungi. During winter pruning it is advisable to remove dry or damaged woody parts with sterile tools, as well as any branch portions characterized by excessive production of gums or resins.

The importance of fertilizing

A correct fertilization of the peach tree must first of all guarantee the compensation of the nutrients subtracted from the plant during the fruit harvesting phase and during pruning. It is essential to use fertilizers rich in the three main plant nutrients, namely nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. From an operational point of view it is advisable to carry out an abundant bottom manure before implantation. Nitrogen must be administered in the flowering phase until the core hardens. On the other hand, phosphorus and potassium can be dosed during the cold season. As for the quantities, it is good to take into account the relative annual consumption of these elements by the peach tree, that is 150g of nitrogen, 40g of phosphorus and 120g of potassium.

Peach: The bubble and bacteriosis

From the phytosanitary point of view, the peach tree is often affected by the fungus called Taphrina deformans, also known as the “peach bubble”. The attacks cause the deformation of the leaves and their early fall, with a consequent reduction of the photosynthesizing surface. In these cases it is necessary to administer fungicidal products at least 3 times a year, to avoid the spread of the disease or, if the number of plants is low, manually remove all the affected leaves before the formation of white hair (reproductive organs of the fungus) on the bottom page. To avoid the spread of bacterial diseases it is important to prune the peach tree by using sterile tools or to disinfect all accidental and cutting lesions present on the plant.

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