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The Best Fertilizer for Peach Trees

Fuzzy on the outside, sweet and sour on the inside—peaches are a delicious fruit enjoyed in many ways. Unfortunately, store-bought peaches can have an unpleasant mealy taste due to improper handling during transport.

A woman picking a peach from a tree.

The solution? Grow peaches in your backyard fruit orchard!

Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best fertilizers for peach trees, including the right time and the best process for application.


Why Should You Fertilize Peach Trees?

Peach trees thrive in well-drained soil in sunny locations that are shielded from the wind and receive plenty of water. In these conditions, they are sure to grow into picture-perfect trees with healthy fruit yields each year.

To make the most of your peach tree so that it puts forth maximum fruit growth every season without exhausting itself, you need more than a great planting site. The one product that increases the odds of having a healthy tree that produces consistently high yields is peach tree fertilizer.

Ripe peaches on a tree -- the best fertilizer for peach trees will hep your tree produce healthy fruit each year.

Peach tree fertilizers augment the tree’s nutrient requirements, giving your tree everything it needs for fruit production.

Another reason to use the best fertilizer for peach trees is when you want to grow peach trees in containers. These soil conditions don’t contain the right balance of nutrients unless you add them yourself.

Fertilizer for peach trees also maintains healthy soil quality and pH balance.


Best Fertilizer for Peach Trees

So now let’s get to our list of our pick for the best fertilizer for peach trees. A good rule of thumb to know is that the best peach tree fertilizers have the following NPK ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium): 10-10-10 fertilizer, 16-4-8, 12-6-6, or 12-4-8.

Best Fruit Tree Fertilizer Overall

Dr. Earth Natural Wonder Fruit Tree Fertilizer

DR EARTH Natural Wonder Fruit Tree 5-5-2 Fertilizer 4LB Bag - New Package for 2020

A blend derived from natural ingredients, Dr. Earth is ideal for container and backyard gardening. Its formula is perfect for application at any phase of the peach tree’s life.

If you need a versatile and balanced fruit tree fertilizer to take care of all the fruit trees in your garden, this one’s perfect!

Pros

  • All stages of growth
  • For all fruit trees

Cons

  • Might smell unpleasant

Best Fertilizer for Higher Fruit Yield

Espoma Organic Citrus-Tone

Espoma Organic Citrus-tone 5-2-6 Natural & Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food for all Citrus, Fruit, Nut & Avocado Trees; 4 lb. Bag. Promotes Vigorous Growth & Abundant Fruit

Espoma Organic is the perfect solution if you want healthy fruit yields and flavorful peaches. The mix is derived using natural and organic ingredients and is one of the most effective fertilizers for peach trees.

It has a long-lasting, slow-release feeding formula perfect for pre- and post-bloom applications.

Pros

  • For the complete fruiting season
  • Slow-release
  • Long-lasting
  • Higher fruit yield
  • Flavorful fruits

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell

Best Organic Fertilizer

FoxFarm Happy Frog Fruit & Flower Dry Fertilizer

Fox Farm FX14650 FoxFarm Happy Frog Fruit & Flower Fertilizer, 4 lb Bag Nutrients

FoxFarm Happy Frog fertilizer application contains Mycorrhizal fungi that ensure your root systems efficiently absorb nutrients and water from the soil. It contains high amounts of phosphorus to support fruit and flower growth throughout the growing season.

Pros

  • pH balanced
  • Increases nutrient uptake
  • Flavourful and bright-colored yield

Cons

  • Needs careful application

Best Fertilizer for Beginners

Espoma Organic Tree-Tone Fruit and Shade Tree Food

Espoma Organic Tree-Tone 6-3-2 Natural & Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food; 18 lb. Bag; Organic Fertilizer for All Trees. Use for Fruit Trees Like Peach & Apple Trees and All Shade Trees

Espoma Organic is the perfect fertilizer for beginner gardeners. It has a slow-release formula that ensures you don’t accidentally cause root burn during application.

The product is perfectly safe for pets and people, so you don’t have to worry about who gets close to your peach trees.

Pros

  • Approved for organic production
  • Safe for the plant

Cons

  • May not be enough for fruiting needs

Best Fast-Acting Fertilizer

Hoss Tools 20-20-20 Garden Fertilizer

20-20-20 Premium All-Purpose Garden Fertilizer | 10 lb Bag

This 20-20-20 Garden Fertilizer is a balanced fertilizer perfect for your backyard fruit orchard or vegetable garden. It supports all stages of plant development and is exceptionally effective if you’re transplanting seedlings.

Pros

  • All stages of growth
  • Easy preparation and application

Cons

  • Strong

Best Fertilizer for Deficiencies

Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food

Miracle-Gro offers the reliability only chemical products can. It contains adequate calcium to make up for soil deficiencies.

This fertilizer has a three-month feeding speed, so we suggest using it in minimal amounts, along with regular fertile soil testing. If your soil or plant shows deficiencies, add a natural fast-acting fertilizer in small quantities.

Pros

  • For in-ground and container growth
  • Long-lasting
  • Feeds microbes in the soil

Cons

  • Requires reapplication

Best Mulch Fertilizer

Rhino EZ-Straw Mulch With Tack

EZ STRAW MLCH/TACK 1CUFT

Rhino EZ is the best product for beginners with no experience in starting seeds. It holds the soil together and aerates it as well. It is biodegradable too, which allows you to leave it in after the plant is established and transplanted.

The straw is also safe for children and pets.

Pros

  • Helps retain moisture
  • Biodegradable
  • Safe for children and pets

Cons

  • Not enough nutrition

How to Fertilize Peach Trees

Apply the fertilizer in a 12-inch ring around the root zone. This helps the major nutrients from the fertilizer reach the fruit tree roots directly.

An established mature peach tree (at least two years old) will benefit best from one pound of fertilizer. Recently-planted trees can use half a cup (4.15 ounces) of fertilizer if the soil lacks essential nutrients.

Once your tree is five years old or older, you can use two to five pounds of fertilizer per application.

Person spreading granular fertiiizer around a tree.

If you’re planting your tree in a container, apply 15 ounces of fertilizer product to the soil once a year.

When mixing fertilizers, make sure to follow their product labels. Water the soil thoroughly after every application.

Perform soil analysis using a soil test kit before adding any fertilizer type. This will help you determine what peach tree fertilizer ratio your soil needs. Aim for the acidic soil ideal of 6.5 pH after the fertilizer application. Perform tests every other month to ensure that your fruit trees remain healthy and strong for years to come.


When to Fertilize Peach Trees?

Peach trees do not need fertilization for the first two years if the soil is nutrient rich.

They need fertilizers when their nutrient requirement increases during the fruit-bearing stage. Since there is no fruit-bearing in the first two years, the nutrient requirement is low.

If you’re replanting mature trees, you can apply fertilizer after one week and once again 40 to 45 days after planting.

Once the mature fruit-bearing trees are well-established or at least two years old, they need fertilizer application twice a year. The first application can be anytime between bud break and petal fall during early spring. Apply the second one after two months, between late spring and early summer.

Peach trees in bloom in the spring.
Peach trees in bloom.

You may also apply peach tree fertilizers in the summer and fall if you plan to harvest any fruit.

Note that certain fertilizers have different application schedules and frequencies.


Types of Fertilizers for Peach Trees

You have a variety of options when it comes to fertilizer for peach trees.

Homemade Fertilizer

You don’t have to use pre-manufactured fertilizer products. There are some common household items that can also serve as peach tree fertilizers.

Epsom Salt

Epsom salts are high in magnesium and are great for germination, lush foliage, and deterring pests. They are also effective in making up for magnesium deficiencies in the soil.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are high in actual nitrogen content and are great homemade fertilizers for vigorous growth. They are eco-friendly and incredibly moist, which keeps the soil hydrated.

Lime

Agricultural lime contains high levels of calcium carbonate. It is best used when your soil is high in acidic content and low in calcium.

Woman spreading natural or organic amendments around a fruit tree.

Compost and Manure Fertilizer

The strength and efficacy of compost fertilizers depend on their contents. In general, compost is a healthy choice for the soil as long as you use it with a more directed fertilizer.

Manure can be just as good as commercial fertilizers. It contains a high NPK ratio and all the minerals that peach trees need. However, fresh manure (from any source) is a no-go as it can kill the tree. We recommend using horse or chicken manure instead.

Chemically Manufactured Fertilizer

If you’re wary of using chemically manufactured fertilizers for your backyard plants, you’re not alone. But sustainably formulated synthetic fertilizers are effective when used sparingly to treat specific issues with your peach tree.

Chemical fertilizers contain exact concentrations of nutrients. They allow better control during soil application since you can measure soil deficiency and apply the precise amount of fertilizer needed. Application is easy even for beginners, and they come with complete manufacturer’s instructions.

Natural Fertilizer

Natural fertilizers for peach trees are entirely safe and perfectly healthy for the soil in the long term. Your best bet is going with mulch.

Mulch

Mulch is one of the best types of fertilizer for peaches. It prevents other kinds of growth (such as weeds or grass) from competing with your peach tree for essential nutrients.

It maintains moisture in the soil—it is especially useful when applied during a dry summer.

Closeup of straw mulch.

To best apply mulch, layer a few inches on top of the soil. If you’re planting a peach tree sapling, you can grow it directly in organic fertilizer mulch.

Mulch is easy to make—all you need is some straw, grass clippings, wood chips, or compost. You can also buy these in bulk to prepare your own mulch.

However, mulch alone isn’t enough as it does not contain all the nutrients a plant needs to grow and vegetate. The best strategy is to opt for natural fertilizing products along with commercial fertilizers from the list below.


How Do You Keep Your Peach Tree Healthy?

The most crucial detail to remember when caring for a peach tree is to avoid removing the growth from the previous year. This is because peach trees grow juicy peaches on last year’s branches.

If your peach tree has 12 to 18 inches of average annual growth, it may need less fertilizer. If there’s a lot of green growth during pre-bloom or fruiting, the soil might contain excess nitrogen. This is where regular soil tests will come in handy.

Wrapping up the Best Fertilizer for Peach Trees

Peaches are easy-to-grow fruit trees that provide delicious rewards. Whether you’re a beginner gardener or an experienced one, this guide should help you make the choice for the best peach tree fertilizer.

Closeup of ripe peaches on a tree.

If you’re looking for more information on all things peaches, visit our Peach Trees page on our website to access all our peach resources!