How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Site selection

Long summer days, cool nights, and a mostly dry season are ideal conditions for growing fruit trees. Fruit trees require freezing or close to freezing temperatures during the winter, but generally need at least 150 days between the last spring frost and the first fall frost so that blossoms are not damaged in spring and so that the fruit will mature in the fall.

Peaches and nectarines do best in areas with full sun, good air movement, and well-drained soils at least 4 feet deep. The best soils are fertile, sandy loam soils, free of alkali or salinity. They cannot tolerate soils without drainage whether from hardpan or clay pans. Avoid sandy, high-clay, or shallow soils. Peaches and nectarines are best adapted to areas with 600 chilling hours for low-chill varieties to 900 for higher chilling varieties. Chilling hours are defined as the number of hours that the temperature is below 45° F. It is important to make sure that your area has adequate chilling hours because inadequate chilling will result in delayed foliation and uneven fruit development. Late frosts can also damage newly developing flowers and fruit, as peaches and nectarines bloom early. Adequate heat is required in the summer to ripen fruit properly. Cool, wet climates are not typically good for growing high-quality peaches and nectarines.

Do not plant in low spots or areas that flood frequently. Do not plant trees too close together, as this may cause poor growth.

Site selection
Peaches and nectarines need good drainage

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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