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Have you ever seen nectarine or peach trees for sale and thought about buying one but didn't? Take this opportunity to get on the Peach train. No other fruit brings such joy to a person as a tree ripened peach (Prunus persica). We have all heard about the juice, the sweetness, the flavor, the taste of summer. Now it is time to grow some for yourself. For those that can't feel the joy because of peach fuzz, you have nectarines or just peel the darn peach. Equally delicious.

More than most fruit, grocery store peaches never come close to the quality of home-grown fresh peaches. Occasionally you get lucky at the store, mostly though you are stuck with mealy, bland peaches that only look good.

Peach and Nectarines Peach and Nectarines

The biggest advantage of growing your own peaches is the vast difference in flavor between homegrown, and what you'l find at your local supermarket.

What should I consider when buying a peach or nectarine tree?

Peachcling

Fuzz or no fuzz, clingstone or freestone, dwarf or standard size tree, pollination and chilling hours are all things to consider before buying a peach tree.

Clingstone and freestone are nearly self-explanatory. Clingstone peach flesh clings to the pit. They are good for deserts, jams, jellies, fresh eating and canning. Freestones, the pit is easily removed from the flesh. Freestone peaches are great for fresh eating and freezing. Both are good choices for baking.

Gurney's has a selection of great-tasting peaches for both Southern and Norther climates.

Are Peach trees easy to grow?

Growing peach trees is an easy endeavor. Bare-root trees or containerized trees are equally easy to plant. See our planting video. Your newly planted trees should thrive if you plant them in full sun and moderately fertile, well-draining soil. Water regularly during the growing season until well established.

You want to prune your trees yearly to maintain an open center for maximum sun exposure and wind flow. This will help control some pest and disease. A few timely insecticide/fungicide sprays will help even more. Consult your local extension service for information about both subjects.

Some varieties may fruit their second year. Depending on where you live and what variety you chose, your tree will begin to produce fruit in late spring if you're in the deep south and early summer to mid-summer the further north you are located.

How to Prune a 2 year old Peach Tree Video

Pruning peach trees is easy and will help the tree bear more fruit and be easier to care for.

What are "chill hours" and why do peach trees need them?

Chill hours are the number of hours when the temperature stays between 32-45 degrees Fahrenheit. Chill hours start accumulating once your fruit trees go dormant in the fall. Most of the USA receives at least 800-1000 hours of chill. As you get into southern USA, the Southwest and some parts of coastal Californian, chilling hours decrease, and selecting a variety of peach suited to your area becomes more important. In the very deep south, choices become even more limited. Chill hours must be met for your tree to bloom, leaf out and thrive. Chill hours can be found below the product description in the product details.

'Reliance' Peach is a tried and true peach and as the name indicates, it is a reliable. It often avoids those pesky late winter/early spring frost that freeze out earlier blooming varieties. 'Contender' and 'Trugold' take reliability to a new level. Both are very cold hardy and bloom late. The big difference is flavor. 'Contender' and 'Trugold' have incredible eating qualities which surpass 'Reliance. All three require 1000 plus chill hours and can be grown in the northern range of peach hardiness. Zones 4&5

At the other end of the spectrum is 'Flordaking' Peach needs only 450 Chill hours and 'Karla Rose' 700 chilling hours. This allows them to grow in southern zones 8 & 9.

Peach/Nectarine Chill Hours Guide
Northern Hearty (up to zone 4) Contender, Reliance
Central Hearty (zones 5-8) Mericrest, Elberta, Belle of Georgia, Flat Wonderful, TruGold
Southern Hearty (zone 8-9) FlordaKing, Karla Rose

Gurney's has a selection of great-tasting peaches for both Southern and Norther climates.

How big to will my Peach tree grow?

Rootstock are what your favorite peach trees are grafted or budded on to help control size. There are three general categories of rootstock based on how they affect tree size. Dwarf, Semi Dwarf and Standard.  Gurneys offers peach tree varieties on standard and dwarf.  Selecting a rootstock depends on your space limitations and ability to maintain the apple tree.

Standard size trees reach a mature height of 18-25 feet tall, although with proper pruning, even the standard size trees can be maintained in the 12-foot range. They have an extensive root system able to fend off certain soil borne diseases and support vigorous growth.

Gurneys 'Reachables' or Dwarf peach trees top out at 6-8 feet and have many advantages for the home gardener. Reachable Peach Trees produces full-sized fruits, but on a smaller tree. That makes it easier to fit into your garden, orchard--or even a container. The small size also allows you to plant several peaches in the same amount of space as one full sized peach tree. It's also easier to manage than full-sized trees. One person can prune, spray, net and harvest the tree--all while standing on the ground. They also start to bear fruit much sooner than a Standard sized tree. Sometimes in their second year after planting. Since Reachables produce full sized fruit on a small tree, a tree support is required.

Reachables Tree

Reachables are easy to grow

  • Reachables are easy to grow

    Easily cared for by one person

  • Reachables are easy to grow

    No ladders required

  • Reachables are easy to grow

    Easily netted by one person

Do I need to worry about my Peach or Nectarine getting pollinated?

Good News, most peaches and nectarines are self-pollinating and don't require an additional tree to produce fruit. All Gurney's offerings are self-pollinating.

'A few good choices for your home

Mericrest Nectarine

Peaches and Nectarines

Flat Wonderful Peach

Peaches and Nectarines

Both peaches and nectarines offer great flavor to home gardeners. If peach fuzz doesn't bother you though, we highly recommend Flat Wonderful for a truly decadent peach experience!

Elberta' peach is the classic peach home gardeners are often recommended to grow. For an even better peach eating experience try our exclusive 'TruGold'. Richly flavored, sweet and delicious. The Gold Standard in Peaches.

If peach Fuzz isn't your thing, we have several outstanding nectarines.'Mericrest' is a tried and true, yellow-fleshed disease resistant nectarine. Even better is our white-fleshed nectarine 'Yum Yum'. The perfect combination of a bright sparkling flavored nectarine with the rich sweet flavor of a white peach.

Finally, an unbeatable combination of flavor and beauty. All peaches are beautiful when they flower, however none so much as 'Flat Wonderful'. Showy pink blooms followed by maroon colored leaves then flat donut shaped fruit with classic peach appeal. Worthy of a spot in any landscape.

Peach Dessert

If you've never used a home grown peach in a dessert, get ready, it's something you'll be compelled to share with friends and family!

Plant Peach trees and win the good Neighbor award!

You don't have to blow up your tv, throw away your paper or go to the country like the John Prine song 'Spanish Pipedreams' suggest, but you should plant a little garden and eat a lot of peaches. If you are going to eat a lot of peaches, you are better off growing your own. When you have a surplus of remaining fruit after all the fresh eating, ice cream, jams and pies you've made, make a neighbor happy and share the harvest.

Peaches Fertilizers

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