Saturday, October 25, 2014

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Rochester

Growing Peaches in Upstate

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If you'd like to grow peaches in your upstate garden, I've got a couple of tips for you.

First and foremost, location is everything. Peaches are really on their northmost edge of hardiness across most of upstate New York. So, you need to site in a location where there is a little bit of protection.

You want to be out of the strong west and northwest winds during the winter months. You also want to site in a location where the soil is very well drained, but yet will retain a fair amount of moisture.

The interesting thing is where peaches grow best in upstate New York is right along the Lake Ontario shoreline. That's where you have that winter warmth coming off the shoreline. It captures the slightly warmer temperatures.

Now, to avoid the winter damage, one of the best things you can do is grow one of the heartiest peaches. One that you'll want to consider is the "red-haven" which was introduced over 40-years ago. Also, "alliance," which was introduced from the University of New Hampshire.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you'll want to prune them so that all of the branches move to the outside, unlike apples, for example -where you prune them so the fruit layers up inside the tree.

You need to prune the branches wide so you get light penetration inside the tree, and as peach trees get big, you want to prune them back quite hard each year, because where you find the fruit is at the base of one year-old wood.

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