How to Grow Nectarines Tree

Nectarine tree is like any other stone fruit trees, growing the tree from seed takes 3 to 4 years to produce fruit. The best way to grow this tree is to purchase the young tree from your local nursery to plant in your home garden. Continue reading to learn how to grow Nectarine tree in your garden

Choose a Nectarine tree that can easily grow in your climate. Actually nectarine trees plant grow best in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9, and they can easily thrive in climates with hot summers. In order to grow it successfully, most nectarine tree plant varieties also require a cold dormancy period with winter temperatures below forty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Each type of the plant tree requires a different chill hour requirement or time spent below a certain temperature. Before you choose a nectarine tree plant variety, you have to look up the number of chilling hours typical of your climate.

Make sure you plant in late winter or early spring. You can plant a container-grown nectarine tree in early spring so that it can have the entire growing season to adjust to the environment before winter. Plant the bare-root nectarine trees (dormant nectarine trees stored without soil on their roots) in late winter.

Make sure you choose a planting site in a full-sun location. Nectarines trees are like most fruit trees, they thrive in a sunny environment that is really protected from strong winds.

You need to find a well-drained sandy soil. A nectarine tree plant ideal growing medium is a well-drained sandy soil that has a pH between six and seven. If your soil has poor drainage you can plant the nectarine tree in a raised garden bed or a container that is filled with a sandy, fertile soil or potting mix.

Plant the nectarine tree in the ground. You need to dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and as twice as wide as the nectarine tree’s root ball. Also create a small soil mound at the bottom of the planting hole, and then spread the nectarine tree’s roots out over the soil mound. The top of the root crown need to be at the ground level, while the graft union (the bump on the lower trunk between the scion and rootstock) should rest 2 to 3 inches above the ground level. Fill the hole halfway with soil and gently mix it around the plant root system.

Water the soil and then fill in the planting hole. You need to soak the soil with water and then wait until it drains. The next thing to do is to check whether the depth of the nectarine tree’s trunk has changed and then adjust if necessary. Fill the rest of the hole with soil.

You have to construct a soil basin. Pile a 3 to 6 inch high ring of soil around the root zone. This soil basin will help to hold in water so that moisture can gradually soak into the soil.

You need to spread organic mulch around the root zone. Mulch actually helps to lock in moisture and enrich the soil.

Prune side branches and trim the top of the nectarine plant tree. Cut the nectarine tree so it’s only thirty inches tall. This ensures that your young nectarine plant tree forms new fruiting wood, leading to an increase in fruit production once the nectarine tree matures.

You need to use a tree stake for support. Just hammer the tree stake into the ground next to the hole, at least 2 feet deep. Then attach the tree to the stake with a tree tie, fastening it about halfway up the young tree’s trunk.

How to Care for Nectarine Plant Tree

You can follow these nectarine tree care tips to ensure a vigorous harvest for years to come.

Grow multiple nectarine plant trees to improve pollination. Actually nectarine trees are self-fertile, which means that they don’t require cross-pollination from additional trees to bear fruit. On the other hand, growing more than one nectarine plant tree drastically increases the percentage of pollinated flowers that produce fruit when compared to an isolated nectarine tree.

Give the new nectarine trees 2 gallons of water per week. This is equal to one inch of rainfall. Mature nectarine trees can go 2 weeks with this same amount of water. Make sure you keep the soil evenly moist, but not sopping wet.  

You can fertilize in early spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Make sure you choose a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and low in nitrogen.

You can prune the nectarine trees annually to increase the fruit production. Nectarine plant trees bear fruit on second-year wood, which means proper pruning this year will affect your crop yield next year. You can prune the nectarine trees annually during the winter dormant season. When pruning make sure you cut off about two-thirds of the previous year’s new growth, focusing specifically on weak and crowded branches. At the end of the nectarine trees’ second year of life, you can easily cut off the main tree trunk right above the topmost lateral branch in order to create an open center in the nectarine tree. An open center shape is ideal in order to maximize the nectarine plant tree’s exposure to sunlight.

You need to thin out the smaller nectarines. This should be about a month after your nectarine tree blooms, remove the smaller nectarines, leaving the larger ones spaced 6 to 8 inches apart. Actually fruit thinning lets the remaining fruit receive additional nutrients and also reduces the chance of limb breakage due to the increasing weight of growing fruits.

Pest and disease control. Maladies like peach leaf curl and brown rot can be really destructive to your crop yield, but they can be control with proper fungicides. You can easily deter harmful pests like aphids and red spider mites using an insecticidal soap, and you can also take care of Peachtree borers using an appropriate insecticide spray. Rather than wait for these pests and diseases to strike your nectarine trees you can easily apply fungicides and pesticides proactively.

Harvesting Nectarines

Actually the best part of growing fruit is the satisfaction of tasting the results of your hard work. To ensure your homegrown nectarines have a very sweet, full flavor, it is imperative to know the proper harvesting process.

When to harvest nectarines: The harvest time actually varies by nectarine variety, however nectarine fruits typically ripen in late June through August. The color of the fruit is one of the best indicators by which to tell if your nectarines are ripe; when their outer skin is completely free of any green coloring it simply means they are ready to pick. For the most definitive test you can pick one and taste it before harvesting the rest of the fruit.

How to harvest nectarines: You can pull the nectarine fruit off its stem using a gentle twisting motion.

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