High Density Peach Planting
Hello fruit farmers, we are here today with a topic of high density peach planting. HDP gives higher crop yield as well as returns/unit area due to increasing the number of trees per unit area. It is the fastest way of reducing the gestation period and increasing fruit productivity. The High density planting increases production and returns per unit area, it is eco-friendly, efficient land use and resources like light, water, and fertilizers, efficient pesticides application. The main aim of high-density planting in fruit trees is to meet essential productivity requirements by balancing vegetative and productive growth. The typical suggested planting space requirements for fruit trees are similar to what would be utilized in commercial orchards. Though, high density planting promotes planting trees closely.
A Step by Step Guide to High Density Peach Planting
Peach fruit is considered the “Queen” of fruits and is second only to apples in popularity. Peach is a deciduous fruit, delicious in taste, attractive in color, fine in flavor, and aroma. Fresh Peach fruit is a rich source of vitamins A and C in addition to potassium and fiber. It is a modern method of fruit cultivation involving the planting of fruit trees densely for better light interception and distribution.
Constraints in Adopting High Density Peach Planting Systems
- Poor availability of planting material in dwarf tree varieties as well as vegetatively propagated rootstocks in different horticultural crops.
- Lack of standardization of production technology in high density planting of various fruit crops.
- The high density planting requires a higher initial establishment cost as compare to the traditional system of planting.
- Avoidance in the use of inter-cropping and mixed cropping systems.
- Need for a more professional approach for management compared to conventional planting at wider spacing.
- Crowding and intermingling of branches can occur in coming years which can result in poor performance of trees.
- Non-availability of a complete package for high density planting and use of mechanization.
High density planting requires canopy management includes pruning, training, and maintain the tree growth for strong and healthy trees using growth regulators. Also, it helps to increase fruit production and improve fruit quality in the long term. After the first few years, the fertilization regime must be maintained with a balance between fruiting and cropping. Excess fertility results in excessive vegetative growth delayed cropping and soft and poorly colored unmarketable fruit. The goal of high density planting is to get the trees into cropping as soon as possible from a limited space.
Soil Requirement for High Density Peach Planting
The peach tree requires deep sandy loam soil rich in organic matter with good drainage. The pH level of the soil should be between 5.8 and 6.8. Acidic and saline soils are not suitable for Peach cultivation.
Select a sunny spot with deep, well-drained soil with a pH of around 6.5. Sandy loam or clay loam is best. Choose a site with well-drained and moderately fertile soil. These trees won’t do well in areas where the soil is compacted or remains consistently wet. It is a good idea to have the soil tested before planting, and even annually after planting, to determine if it’s lacking in any essential minerals or nutrients.
Different Varieties for High Density Peach Planting
Peach- Red heaven – The Red Haven Peach produces a large, almost fuzz-less skin over firm, creamy yellow flesh fruit.
Candor – The Candor Peach fruit is an early maturing yellow clingstone variety. It is a small size Peach and good for a quick snack.
In India, the different varieties of Peach trees are Prabhat, Pratap, and Shan-e- Punjab, Florida red sun, Red, Sharbati, and Floridaprince.
Peach Fruit Production in India
Peach fruits are rich in several essential minerals like potassium, fluoride as well as iron. The major Peach fruit-producing countries are Italy, the USA, Spain, China, France, Greece, Russia, Mexico, Japan, and Argentina. In India, Peach is mainly cultivated in J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Punjab, and Delhi.
This area has a subtropical climate. Peach cultivation areas in Punjab are high in Ludhiana, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Muktsar sahib, Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda, Ropar, SAS Nagar, SBS Nagar, and Fatehgarh.
Best Season for High Density Peach Planting
The best season for planting Peach is from June to August which means before the monsoon season starts. And, light irrigation must be given after the plantation. Cultivating Peach in irrigated conditions, the plantation can be done from early December and late January.
Process for High Density Peach Planting
For planting Peach through seeds, plant the seeds in a pit at a depth of about 4 inches deep and then cover it with a mulch, about 1/2 inches deep. Provide water just after planting Peach seeds in the pit. Then, give water based on plant need. After some time, a seedling will appear in the container or pot. However, in commercial Peach farming, this crop is propagated by grafting and rootstock method.
Rootstock Method – Firstly, keep the selected Peach seeds in moist sand for about 100 days for delamination. Then, treat the seeds with GA3 by 250 mg per liter of water and thiourea by 10 grams per liter of water to increase the germination % and vigor.Then sow these seeds in prepared beds at depth of 5 to 6 cm at 15 cm apart from each other. With this process, the best time for planting season is from October to November. Then, give light irrigation just after the planting on the beds.
Grafting Method – In this method, cuts a 5 cm graft from 12 months older rootstock from about 25 cm above from the field. Then, cut the graft in tongue form from the rootstock. Then it must be planted in the prepared pit followed by light irrigation for a good setting of the grafted rootstock.
Spacing Requirement for High Density Peach Planting
In high density plantation system, the distance can be reduced to 3 m x 3 m.
In the Tatura trellis and Meadow system, the peach tree is planted at a distance of 5 m x 1 m (2000 plants/ha) and 2 m x1 m (5,000 plants/ha) respectively.
Nutritional Requirement in Density Peach Planting
- The nutritional requirement of Peaches is higher compared to other stone fruits because it bears on one-year growth making the production of annual growth imperative for fruit production. Also, recoupment of the wood removal every year in pruning is necessary.
- Fertilizers are applied every year. A large number of factors such as the type of soil, its fertility, climate, cultivar, planting density, shoot growth, and irrigation facilities determine the number of fertilizers to be applied.
- The FYM (farmyard manure) along with a full dose of P and K must be applied during December and January. Half dose of Nitrogen is applied in spring before flowering and the remaining half dose a month later.
High Density Peach Planting for Limited Spaces
Fruit trees can be planted very close in high density planting. There are many ways to plant in a limited space and will depend on the desired look of the orchard.
- Multiple trees planted close together in the same hole
- Trees planted close together to practice a hedge
- Trees trained as an espalier to grow along a narrow area
To evaluate the potential offered by high density planting application, it is necessary to take into account tree size control, and also the training system most suitable to obtain high crop yield and good fruit quality. The main tools for tree size control are rootstocks, summer pruning, root restriction, growth regulators. Also, the main Peach-growing countries of the world, to investigate the extent of utilization and the main aspects characterizing Peach and nectarine HDP orchards, are summarized.
The training systems for HDP are Fusetto, Tatura trellis with their interaction with soil fertility. Fusetto allows a maximum planting density of 1200-1500 trees per hectare. It is necessary to adopt some training systems in extremely fertile soil. The first alternative (palmette) allows maximum planting densities of about 700-900 trees/ha. For orchards with planting densities greater than 1000-1500 trees/ha, the Tatura trellis and its variants appear the most appropriate. The right choice of training system will have to be made based on careful economic analysis, taking into account the greater costs involved for the establishment and also for the management of HDP.
Training and Pruning in High Density Peach Planting
Training and pruning are effective tools in high density planting by their impact on the shape and size control of the tree. The training in Peach trees begins when the tree is first planted and continues throughout its productive life.
Each plant is allowed to maintain a single stem with upward growth up to 60-80 cm and then 4 scaffold branches are allowed in 4 directions to make the tree frame. After the start of bearing, shoots arising from secondary and tertiary branches are given 15 to 20 cm deep pruning soon after Peach fruit harvest. A spray of 1% urea combined with 0.2% Blitox-50 must be done soon after tree pruning.
In the perpendicular-V system, only two main limbs oriented perpendicular to the tree row is allowed to develop. The advantage of the perpendicular-V system is that trees can be planted closer in the row to increase the number of trees per acre.
Peach trees are usually trained to an open-center system. Cut back newly planted trees to about 30 inches high, just above a lateral branch; and select 3 to 4 laterals with wide-angle crotches spaced evenly.
The peach tree requires heavy and regular pruning because fruiting occurs laterally only on the previous season’s growth. During early bearing, 20 to 30% linear growth of the shoots should be removed. The best time of pruning Peach trees is the last week of October.
Weed Control in High Density Peach Planting
These are regulated by manual weeding however it is tiring and also expensive. As Peach roots are irregular, they can be damaged by continual ploughing. Thus, the usage of herbicides is an excellent substitute.
Irrigation Requirement in High Density Peach Planting
After planting the Peach trees, irrigation should be given immediately. In the rainy season, these peach trees may not require watering. The drip irrigation system is the best method for the effective use of water. Irrigation must be given at some critical stages, in case of a dry spell. Watering is very important at the flowering/budding stage and fruit development stage.
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Fruit Thinning in High Density Peach Planting
Fruit sets can be too heavy on some trees in some years. If Peach fruit is not thinned, the size, color and quality of the entire crop are reduced. Peaches usually have excess fruit. In years without freeze damage, more Peach fruits will set than the tree can support, and the fruit must be thinned. Normally, fruit thinning will allow the remaining fruits to develop optimum size, and color, as well as prevent depletion of the Peach tree.
Points to be considered in High Density Peach Planting
- If you plant trees in higher density, orchard establishment costs may escalate substantially. Also, you may need to learn a new system of tree training and pruning that requires summer pruning to be viable. It requires skilled labor and attention to detail, and timing is important. In the case of V-shaped trees, if summer pruning is done too late in the season, flower buds may not be produced, and cropping next year added cost of summer pruning, that summer-pruned trees require much less dormant pruning (cost savings). Also, summer pruning improves light distribution in the canopy that results in improved fruit size and coloration.
- One advantage of higher density is that fruit trees fill in the row sooner in the life of the orchard. This increased early yield can help to offset the cost of the additional trees. Once the fruit trees fill the tree row, the orchard is absorbing as much sunlight as it can. Though, yield differences between orchards with different tree densities and training systems can be negligible.
- Tree height varies depending on the tree density and system used. High-density V systems were grown to 12 feet.
Advantages of High Density Peach Planting
Also, below are the few reasons to consider high density planting;
- The main benefit of high density planting is that you can plant multiple varieties in a small space.
- Low cost per unit production
- Allow mechanization in fruit crops
- Improved fruit yield and quality
- Efficient use of applied and natural resources
- Induces precocity, increases crop yield, and also improves fruit quality
- Enables the mechanization of fruit crop production
- Best utilization of land and resources
- Quality production of fruit crops
- Increase in yield per unit area
- Easy for intercultural, plant protection, and harvesting
- Obtain export quality of the harvest
- It is amenable to modern inputs application methods such as drip irrigation, fertigation, mechanization, etc.
- Early economic returns.
Pests and Diseases Management in High Density Peach Planting
The peach tree is less affected by diseases and pests. Sometimes, powdery mildew and shot holes cause damage to the peach crop.
Powdery mildew disease causes white powdery substances on the plant leaves, buds, and flowers. This disease is controlled by spraying Sulfex with 2.5g/l of water.
Shot hole disease is caused by fungus and the effect is a dark brown scattered lesion on leaves appears. This disease is controlled by spraying with Captan by 2g/l of water.
Peach leaf curling aphid sucks growing buds. Leaf buds become weak and then result in poor setting and fruits falls-off prematurely. It can be controlled by spraying with Dimethoate by 1.5 ml/l of water or Monocrotophos by 2.5 ml/l of water at 7-10 days before flowering.
Fruit Fly – For controlling this, spray Malathion 50 EC at the rate of about 2 ml/lit of water.
Brown rot – The main symptoms are brown discoloration of fruit skin and inner tissue; fruit skin wrinkled; tan cankers with dark edges on twigs; gray-brown spore masses may be present on cankers.
Management – It can be controlled through the application of appropriate protective fungicides timed so that they are applied when the susceptible flower parts are exposed or after a wet period. Avoiding sprinkler irrigation protects the plant leaves and flowers from wetness that promotes the disease. Some cultural control methods are removing mummified fruit from the tree, pruning infected twigs, and reducing plant stress by providing adequate levels of water and fertilizer.
Leaf curl – To control leaf curl aphids spray Methyl Dimeton 25 EC by 2 ml/lit.
Powdery mildew – It can be controlled by spraying Carbendazim 0.5 g/lit.
The yield in High Density Peach Planting
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The planting high densities were 1111, 1481, and 1667 trees per hectare. Crops in the 3rd year will yield about 12.5 to 17.9 tonnes/ha. This yield is not attained in lower density planting (500 trees per hectare) until the 5th or 6th year from the plantation time.
Commonly Asked Questions about High Density Peach Planting
Where do Peach trees grow best?
Peach trees grow best in climates with hot summers and winter temperature levels colder than 7°C. Most Peach tree varieties require time in cold temperatures to grow effectively.
Do Peach trees like sun or shade?
Peach trees thrive in full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Peach trees need at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day during the growing season.
Do Peach trees need a lot of water?
Peach trees do not require lots of water every day. If you discover that soil or your location’s environment requires more frequent watering to avoid drought-stress to your Peach trees, adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Do Peach Trees Produce Fruit Every Year?
Peach trees do not produce fruit every year. Generally, Peach trees need 2 to 4 years before they grow to maturity and start producing fruit. Dwarf Peach varieties may start producing fruit 1 year sooner than standard height Peach trees.
That’s all folks about high density peach planting, hope this information help you for sucessfull peach farming.