The Prunus Persica is a plant originating from Persia from which it derives the Latin name "persica", it grows spontaneously also in China. The peach tree is a fruit tree of modest size, in fact, in its natural state it reaches only 4-5m in height. It has lance-shaped leaves up to 20cm long, the flowers are generally pink in color and bloom very early, making the peach particularly sensitive to spring frosts. The fruits have a velvety yellow-reddish skin, the pulp, according to the variety of Prunus Persica, can be yellow or white with red veins, more evident near the stone. Presumably from a bud mutation, plants with smooth, glabrous peel, called nectarines or peach-walnut, were obtained, from which, later, different varieties were selected with different characteristics both on the size, color and age of fruit ripening. Furthermore, there are particular selections of peaches, called percoche or duracine, whose fruits are small in size and very regular in shape, have a firm and firm pulp, therefore suitable for handling, they are used exclusively by the peach production industry syrup and fruit salads.
The most used rootstocks by nurserymen for the prunus persica It is undoubtedly the frank that shows excellent affinity with most peach varieties. It resists drought well but fears heavy, clayey and impermeable soils, in which the plant becomes particularly susceptible to diseases and quickly runs out. Sometimes it is used to graft the peach on the wild almond, which gives good results on stony and calcareous soils, where the franc does not find good conditions for development.
Most varieties self-fertilize. Among the most valuable and widespread varieties, is J.H. Hale which turns out to be sterile, so it is advisable to associate it with a different variety to obtain a good production of peaches. In any case it is always advised to have two or more plants of different varieties to favor pollination and consequently also productivity.
The flowering of these plants occurs in the spring period, before the leaves develop. The flowers can have a color ranging from pinkish white to deep pink.
Excellent results are obtained using fertilizers based on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK), distributing balanced quantities during the winter, while in the vegetative period, especially in spring, it is possible to intervene again by increasing the dose of nitrogen. Avoid using fertilizers with a high percentage of nitrogen in periods of drought.
Among the animal pests that can do more damage to the peach tree, besides the aphids and cochineals, are the moths, which lay their eggs in the young shoots making them quickly wither. The moth also attacks the fruits of the pulp which feed the larvae, opening cavities until it reaches the core. The pathogen that most attacks the peach tree is the Bubble of the peach tree, which appears both on young shoots and on leaves, deforming them and making them thicker, where large yellow-red spots can be seen. This pathology originates from the Taphrina deformans fungus, which occurs when the humidity rate is quite high. It can affect the whole plant, although it usually appears on leaves and shoots. To avoid the occurrence of this problem, it is advisable to intervene preventively with germination with treatments using specific copper-based products. The treatment should be repeated regularly, even if, when temperatures rise, the fungus tends to freeze spontaneously. The diseased parts must be eliminated. To avoid the spread of the pathology it is good to foresee a treatment with copper and sulfur in the autumn period, when the leaves have already fallen, to be repeated at the end of winter.
Breeding A melted
For the formation of a spindle, you will have to plant a sucker that will be cut at a height of about 50 cm from the ground. During the spring, numerous branches will be emitted which must be thinned with green pruning, preserving the more robust ones arranged in a balanced way to form the crown. In the second year the lateral branches must be cut, paying attention that the cut is made just above an external bud, so as to favor the opening of the crown.
To form a palmette it is necessary to cut the sucker at about 70 cm from the ground, then it will be careful, during the vegetation, to preserve a vertical branch for the arrow and two side branches for the branches, practicing thinning pruning, eliminating the weak branches and those untidy inside the foliage. Later, in the following year the arrow will appear and another two robust branches will be preserved to create the second floor. It is recommended to create, for the first years of growth, a support structure to fix the lateral branches of the plant.
To form the pot it is necessary to plant a sucker for one year and cut it at 40-50 cm from the ground. At the beginning of the second year at least 30 vigorous branches will be shortened to 30-40 cm, keeping them away from the center, which in turn will give other branches of which only the external ones will be preserved. Also shorten these branches again so as to further strengthen the plant, after which the growth will be left free by practicing only some thinning pruning eliminating the disordered branches.
Pesco - Prunus Persica: Peach cultivation
The cultivation of this plant to collect its fruits takes place only in the open ground, a factor that guarantees the production of sweet and well developed fruits. The planting of young specimens is done in the autumn or early winter. In the first phase of growth it will be advisable to intervene with training prunings that allow the establishment of the shape of the plant and, in some cases, it will be necessary to arrange a vertical support to help maintain the plant's progress. Based on the rootstock chosen for the production of a plant of this type, it will be necessary to choose the best substrate. Vigorous growth is achieved by planting the plant in a soil rich in organic matter, with low acidity and a good degree of drainage. The peach tree can grow well even in sandy soils, provided you increase the number of waterings.
These plants need sunny exposure, where they can be reached by direct sunlight for a few hours a day. It is a type of plant that is very resistant to winter frost, while late frosts can compromise flowering. It needs a good degree of humidity and an environment that is not particularly exposed to strong winds.
The fruits are harvested in the period from May to September; the fruits do not have a great capacity to keep intact once they are picked and should be consumed in a short time.