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When to Plant a Peach Tree (and Where)

When it comes to ensuring you can grow a fruitful and healthy peach tree, there are a few important key factors that will make the process easier and help your peach tree truly thrive.

Closeup of peaches growing on a tree. Knowing when to plant a peach tree and where will get your tree off to a good start.

From deciding exactly when to plant a peach tree and where to plant a peach tree, to learning the steps to take to do so properly, using this guide will help ensure you have a healthy peach tree and a bountiful peach harvest for years to come!

Deciding When to Plant a Peach Tree

As you are learning when to plant a peach tree, one of the key factors to bear in mind is that the timing of when to plant a peach tree differs somewhat from when you would plant a peach seed or a peach pit (read our blog post, How to Plant a Peach Seed in 7 Easy Steps, for all you need to know!).

A peach tree should typically be purchased from a nursery, tree farm, or lawn and garden center at about a year old. Typically, you will want to purchase it in the peach tree planting season—which is actually in the late winter or early spring! This is when peach trees are still dormant, which is crucial to ensuring the health of your peach tree.

Fruit tree saplings at a plant nursery.

If you were to pick summer as the best time when to plant a peach tree, this would introduce added hardship to your tree, as they do not do well being transplanted while in their active phase.

You will also want to bear in mind your specific growing zone as you decide when to plant a peach tree in your garden; because you may bump up against some latent frost when planting in early spring or late winter if you are in a more inclement weather zone, you may want to consider peach varieties that will endure cold a bit better.

On the other hand, if you live in a warmer climate zone overall, you will have a bit more variety available for your peach selection as most will likely flourish in your area.

Thus, for the best time when to plant a peach tree, you will want to aim for when they are dormant, as indicated by a lack of leaves. Once a peach tree is fully flourishing with leaves, it is in its active phase, and you will have missed the best window for when to plant a peach tree.

Deciding Where to Plant a Peach Tree

Like many fruit trees, there is an ideal type of area for where to plant a peach tree. Ideally, you will want your tree to be planted in direct sunlight, where it can receive up to 6 hours of sunshine a day—peach trees are super sunshine lovers!

Peaches on a tree, backlit by sunshine.

In addition, the best spot where to plant a peach tree will be in soil that is sandy, adequately drained, and moderately fertile (you may want to fertilize ahead of time with peat moss and compost, both of which peach trees thrive on). A slight elevation in the soil will also help give your peach tree proper airflow and reduce the risk of frost damage to the tree.

The space you decide on for where to plant a peach tree should give it about 5 feet of space all around to spread out and flourish as needed.

Things You Should Know Before You Plant a Peach Tree

Now that you know when to plant a peach tree and where to plant a peach tree, there are still a few additional things that are important to bear in mind before you move on to the steps of planting your peach tree.

The Harvest Factor of Planting Peach Trees

Your typical peach tree will start to give fruit within about 3 to 6 years from seed, so if you are purchasing a young peach tree from a nursery, tree farm, lawn and garden center, etc., at the ideal age of a year old, you can anticipate having fruit within 2-5 years.

A peach tree with lots of fruit.

Because of this, as you are deciding where to plant a peach tree, be sure it is somewhere that the tree can survive and thrive ideally over the course of several years—not where it is convenient merely in a single season. You will likely not enjoy trying to transplant a tree from soil again any more than your tree would enjoy being disturbed!

The Care Factor of Planting Peach Trees

A peach tree is a highly sensitive form of fruit tree, and this can factor into your plans as you decide when to plant a peach tree.

An average peach tree is somewhat more on the fragile side and is susceptible to insect invasion and several fruit tree diseases. Because of this, you may want to pick when to plant a peach tree in your garden based on when you have the most amount of time to give it the care it needs.

If you are having a busy year with other forms of fruits and vegetables that all require a lot of maintenance, time, and energy, then you may want to pick a different time for when to plant a peach tree. Or you may need to reconsider planting a different plant in order to devote the care and attention to your peach tree that it needs.

The Watering & Feeding Factor of Planting Peach Trees

When planting a peach tree, you will want to make sure it is planted in an area where it is not as susceptible to overwatering, as this can quickly kill off a peach tree. Making sure to mound mulch and soil around the base of the tree will help prevent flooding exposure during times of frequent rain.

In addition, as your peach tree matures, you will want to be sure to work in a fertilization schedule of once in the spring and again in the summer to help maintain the peach tree’s overall health and success.

Steps to Plant and Care for a Peach Tree

Once you have settled fully on when to plant a peach tree and where to plant a peach tree in your garden, it is time to start the process of getting that peach tree in the ground!

Breaking the Ground

The first step is to create the proper space for your peach tree. Begin by breaking the ground up with a spade. Then remove any grasses and other greenery from the area and churn the earth up to a depth of about 12 inches. This will help give the peach tree roots their best chance of spreading out and really getting a healthy hold on the ground.

Person using a garden spade in soil.

Preparing the Soil

You can prepare the soil to receive the peach tree by fertilizing it with peat moss and compost. You may also want to add a bit of organic fertilizer such as an emulsion, but not too much! Then, you can sprinkle the soil with enough water to wet it, but not soak it completely.

At this point it is advised that you check the pH balance of the soil; you want it to be around 6.0 to 7.0, so if it is a bit low still, you can add more organic matter such as citrus to help give it a boost of acidity.

Planting Your Peach Tree

Place your dormant, young peach tree into the hole you have created in the soil, then fill the hole back in with the soil you have churned up and pat it down securely with a garden spade.

At this point, it would be wise to apply an organic mulch over the peach tree’s root zone, about 3 feet wide and a few inches deep. You may also want to wrap the tree with a small cylinder of mesh hardware cloth to deter rodents, who often like to feast on peach trees. In addition, it may be wise to encircle the trunk with some garden cover scraps to turn away borer-type insects.

A young peach tree.

Maintaining Your Peach Tree

Though many peach trees only require typical rainfall totals to water them, if your area experiences drought or several excessively hot days, keep an eye out for wilted leaves on your peach tree and water it just a bit as necessary to help restore its perkiness.

Continue to use organic mulch regularly to reduce the risk of competitive greenery sprouting up around your peach tree, and apply an organic insect repellant and a lime-sulfur spray to reduce the risk of insects and diseases such as peach-leaf curl encroaching on the tree.

Now You Know Where and When to Plant a Peach Tree!

Peaches on a tree.

Now that you know when to plant a peach tree and where to plant a peach tree, the true fun begins!

Excited for more peach content? Check out my peaches page for growing tips, info guides, recipes, and more!