A step by step guide for Peach fruit farming, cultivation practices
Today, we learn the subject of peach fruit farming, cultivation practices along with peach propagation methods, peach plant care, peach fruit yield and harvesting procedure.
Introduction of Peach fruit:
Peach fruit crop is cold season crop and cultivated mainly in Meghalaya. After low chilling varieties are introduced, this fruit is cultivated across the country. Peach fruit is consumed as fresh fruit or processed one. China is #1 producer of peach fruit in the world.
Health benefits of Peach fruit:
Some of the health benefits of peach fruit are as follows.
- Peach fruit helps in eye health.
- Peach fruit helps in skin health.
- Peach fruit helps in weight loss due to its high fiber content.
- Peach fruit may help in preventing cancer.
- Peach fruit may control high cholesterol.
- Peach fruit may improve heart health.
Improved Varieties of Peach in India:
TA-170, Shan-e- Punjab Flordasun, and Sharbati.
Climate required for Peach production:
Peach fruit can be cultivated in a wide range of climatic conditions. These trees are tolerant to warm climatic conditions compared to other stone fruits. Peach crop prefers clear and warm weather during its fruiting season. It requires about 24ºC for ripening the fruits.
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Soil requirement for growing peaches:
Peach fruit crop can be cultivated in a wide range of soils. However deep sandy loam soils rich in organic matter is best suitable for its cultivation. This fruit crop requires good internal soil drainage as this crop is highly susceptible to water stagnation. This fruit crop thrives best in foothills, high hills, and mid-hills situation.
Soil and pits preparation for peach plantation:
Should prepare the half-moon terraces of 1-meter diameter and contour lines. Pits size of 0.75 m x 0.75 m x 0.75 should be dug @ 5m x 5 m apart. These pits should be filled 10 cm above the ground level. Upper 30 cm soil should be added with 20 kg of Farm Yard Manure (FYM), 125 grams of MOP, 125 grams of Urea, 250 grams of SSP & 25 grams of chlorpyriphos.
Propagation and spacing of peach plants:
Propagation in peach fruit farming is done by raising rootstock and grafting.
Raising rootstock for Peach
For raising rootstock, It is propagated through seeds. These seeds should be kept in the sand (moist condition) for 3 months for stratification. Seeds should be treated with thiourea (5 grams/liter of water) & GA3 (200 mg/liter of water) for better germination and vigor. The peach seeds should be sown in beds @ 5 cm depth and 12-15 cm apart. The row-to-row spacing of 20 cm should be maintained. Sown beds should be mulched with dry grass with light watering. Best sowing season is Oct-Nov.
Grafting of Peach plant
A slanting cut about 5 cm should be made on 1-year-old rootstock @ 20 cm above the ground level. Another downward cut should be given starting 2/3 from the top of the slanting cut of 2 cm length. This will form like a tongue-like structure on the rootstock. Similar kind of cut also should be made on the bottom side of scion matching the cut provided on the rootstock.
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The best planting season for Peach:
June to August (Monsoon) is the best time for peach plantation. After planting in the field, light watering should be provided in case of dry spell. In the case of irrigated conditions, These can be planted during December and January month.
Pruning and Training of Peach plants:
The peach crop requires regular and heavy pruning due to the fact that fruiting occurs laterally only on previous season’s growth. Should cut back newly planted peach trees to about 35 inches height. Select about 4 laterals with wide-angle crotches spaced evenly. Pruning should be carried out in the last week of Oct month. Linear shoots and water sprouts below the graft should be removed frequently.
Manures and fertilizers requirements for peach trees:
Manures and fertilizers in peach fruit farming are as follows: Farm Yard Manure along with MOP & SSP should be applied in December and January months. Urea should be applied 2 weeks before bud break.
|FYM (kg)||Urea (grams)||SSP (grams)||MOP (grams)|
|5 and above||30||1200||1250||500|
Irrigation requirement for Peach plants:
After planting the trees, Irrigation should be given immediately. In the rainy season, these plants may not require watering. Drip irrigation is the best method for effective use of water. Irrigations should be given @ some critical stages, in case of dry spell. Watering is important @ flowering/budding stage and fruit development stage.
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How to control weeds in Peach orchard:
Hand weeding should be carried in the initial stages of the plantation. Pre-emergence of weedicide can be applied to prevent any weeds in peach fruit farming.
What can be grown in between Peach trees:
Intercropping is always remunerative, In peach fruit farming, the following crops thrive best as intercrops.
Peach trees –> Chilli, Ginger, French beans, urad dal & any vegetable crops. This can be done until the pre-fruit bearing stage.
Pests and Diseases of Peach plants and control methods:
Normally, this fruit plant is less prone to pests and disease attacks. In the case of pests and diseases, the following control measures should be taken.
- Powdery mildew: To control this disease spray Sulfex @ 2.5grams/liter of water.
- Shothole: To control this disease, spay the Captain @ 2grams/liter of water (Fungicide).
- Aphids: To control this pest, spray Monocrotophos @ 2.5 ml/liter of water 1 week before flowering.
- Stem borer: To control this pest, spray Monocrotophos @ 2.5ml/liter of water. Remove and destroy affected branches of the tree.
When and how to harvest Peach fruits:
Peach fruits will be ready for harvesting when they reach good color with hard skin. These harvested fruits are good for the export market. However, if they are consumed locally, they can be harvested in a ripe stage. Hand harvesting can be carried out by twisting the fruit. April to May is the best and peak harvesting time in peach fruit farming.
The yield of Peach fruits:
Yielding always depends on the farm management practices and seed variety and soil type. In peach fruit farming, an average yield of 20 to 25 kg fruits/tree can be expected from 2 to 3 years old plant.
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