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Peaches not so peachy

I HAVE a mature peach tree that produces heaps of fruit but the stones split open and the fruit gets earwigs and other insects inside. Is this normal with some peaches and is it correctable?

 

THE most likely cause is lack of sufficient moisture in the soil when the fruit is maturing. This time of year, while there's plenty of water in the soil, it's a great time to apply mulch, which will help conserve soil moisture later in summer.

Ideally, apply the mulch over the whole root system of the tree, at least 10cm deep and going out at least as far as the branches spread if practicable. You can use compost, granulated bark, wood chips or anything organic as mulch.

In summer, as the fruit is swelling, you may also have to water once or twice a week if there's no rain. Allow the water to soak slowly down through the mulch into the top 30-40cm of soil, particularly in the area close to and beyond the ends of the branches where most of the feeding roots will be.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 158, 2004, Page 26

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener


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