How Often Should I Water Peach Trees? How Much Water?

Large peach tree in an orchard.

Over the past two thousand years, peach trees have graced Asian landscapes with their sweet, nutrient-rich fruit. Peach trees do best in temperate regions with no winter or spring frosts. There is a watering schedule that must be followed no matter what the weather is like, else the peach flavor will be compromised. The first step in appropriate peach tree care is to know how to properly water your trees.

There’s a good chance that after the first growing year, you won’t have to water your peach trees much more than what the rain naturally gives unless they’re in a particularly dry or drought-prone location. The tips below will help you start your new peach trees off on the right foot till then.

General Guidelines for Watering

No further water should be required if the growing season brings about an inch of rain every ten days or so; but, if it gets particularly dry in a week’s time, you can bathe your young peach tree thoroughly. Allowing your garden hose to drip slowly around the root zone is the finest method.

Instead of rushing off over the soil’s surface, the water has a chance to soak in and reach the roots this way. A soaker hose can be used to water multiple trees at once. Water your peach tree so that the soil surrounding the roots is completely saturated.

If you’re in a “brown-lawn drought,” you shouldn’t water your grass too much, regardless. Drowning roots are even worse than thirsty ones.

A little depression in the soil helps prevent drainage during the growing season, but it is critical to raise the soil around the tree so that it is equal in height to the surrounding soil in the winter. This will help the tree survive. The water surrounding the tree’s trunk could freeze if the settled soil is not filled in.

There’s no need to follow these rules to the letter; simply water your plants as needed. If you find that your soil or the area where your peach trees are located necessitates more frequent watering in order to minimize drought stress, you should modify your peach tree watering schedule accordingly.

The best indicator of when your peach trees need water is how deeply they’re rooted into the ground, so pay close attention to those factors. Use a moisture meter if you’re unsure when to water your tree.

Peach Tree Excessive Watering Problems

Phytophthora root and crown rot are fungal conditions that can kill a peach tree if it receives too much water. Root degradation is caused by root rot, which leaves only a few feeder roots. Crown rot weakens the tree’s structure from the inside out. The fungus that is responsible for these disorders has no known chemical inhibitors. To minimize root and crown rot, avoid watering established trees up to the drip line; instead, water them from the base up.

Overwatering can have a detrimental effect on the health of peach trees, and in certain cases, it can be fatal. Brown rot, a form of fungus, can develop as a result of excessive watering or constant rain. Even during the spring blossoming season, you may spray fungicide on peach trees to keep them from getting it — and the more rain there is, the more you need to spray.

During the initial stages of establishing peach plants, excessive watering can suffocate air spaces in the soil, resulting in the death of young trees. During the summer growing season, first-year trees only require 5 to 10 gallons of water per week.

A fungus called gummosis, which causes sap to seep from the tree’s trunk, is more likely to develop in under-watered or overwatered peach plants. Botryosphaeria dothidea, a fungus, is to blame for the sickness.

Individual branches or even the whole tree might be killed by it over time. This disease can be prevented by keeping the tree trunk dry when watering and by keeping the surrounding area clear of tall weeds, which can also store moisture and promote the development of gummosis.

Peach Tree Water Requirements

The amount of water a peach tree needs depends on the location, environment, and season. When watering any type of fruit tree, it’s important to keep this in mind.

Peach trees need 36 inches of water per year on average to stay healthy. Peach trees in warm climes require either daily drip irrigation or a thorough sprinkler treatment every three weeks throughout the summer growing season, according to researchers at the University of California.

The watering frequency of peach trees increases in hot weather to once every two to three weeks. Only when peaches appear should you be concerned about under-watering. Peaches grow quickly and require a lot of moisture in their first month to avoid being undersized. At this point, it’s possible that you’ll have to increase your irrigation.

To have strong root systems, young peach plants require regular irrigation. About 3 to 5 liters of water each week can be expected. Sprinklers are not the greatest irrigation solution for peach trees because they need to be irrigated deeply. A garden hose or drip irrigation system is preferable to conventional methods of watering.

Water established trees every two to three weeks to a depth of three to six inches, depending on the climate. Also, the type of soil where a peach tree is placed affects how much water it requires. Especially when peach trees are young, sandy soils require more regular watering. Conversely, heavy clay soils require less watering since it holds moisture better. Dwarf peach trees in pots, on the other hand, require more frequent watering than their counterparts in the ground.

You can reduce watering in the late summer and fall, when the tree is about to enter dormancy, if it is hot or there is a drought.

Peach Tree Site Selection

The soil must drain adequately before you choose a location for your peach tree. As a result, planting trees on steep hillsides is a bad idea. Soil with a pH of 6.5 works best for growing peaches. Pre-testing the soil before planting peach trees is a good practice to see if any amendments are required to get to the proper pH level.

Peach trees require adequate sunlight in addition to regular feeding and drainage, so look for a spot that gets sun for the majority of the day, especially early in the morning. Preventing foliar infections and keeping leaves dry is vital since early sun aids in the evaporation of dew. Additionally, good air circulation aids in the prevention of disease.

Related: When Do Peach Trees Bloom? | How Long Does it Take for Peaches to Grow? | Do Peach Stain Clothes? | Do Peaches Ripen After Picking? | Do Peaches Need to be Refrigerated?

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