Prunus persica


Peach or Nectarine

Nectarines are simply peaches without a fuzzy skin.


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Peaches and Nectarines are slightly frost sensitive, and have about the same cold requirement as Almonds.  They are particularly sensitive to waterlogging, with as little as 24 hours of soil saturation before root death begins.  This is largely due to the production of toxic root exudates by the plant.  In waterlogged soil these rapidly accumulate and poison the roots.

Peaches are lateral bearers, producing fruit on the previous season's growth.  For this reason a good supply of Nitrogen is needed for vigorous growth.  Pruning is generally to the open vase style, although the Tatura Trellis is becoming more popular.  In either case pruning is done to encourage the development of vigorous, well spaced fruiting laterals.  For good quality table peaches, pruning may need to be somewhat heavier to limit the yield and produce better sized fruit.  Manual or chemical thinning of fruit may also be required in all varieties.  Trees are usually spaced about 6 metres apart, although closer spacings have been used successfully.


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Plant Health

Common insect pests of peaches include Light Brown Apple Moth and Two Spotted Mite.  More important are the fungal diseases   Peach Leaf Curl, Brown Rot and Peach Rust.  Peaches are also affected by a number of viruses, but hygiene and planting of virus free plants is the only way to avoid these problems.

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