Whether you’re growing the trees in containers in the greenhouse or planted in the garden, it’s very important to allow air to circulate around the trees. This care will help to decrease the likelihood of them succumbing to diseases.
Keeping windows and doors open in a greenhouse is important to cool down the temperature. Fruit trees do not need excessive heat to grow and fruit well.
Watering and feeding
Also, water the trees regularly during the growing season.
To ensure they get enough nutrition add a small amount of a balanced liquid feed designed for fruit tree to the watering can each time you water. When the trees are in flower and fruit developing, change the feed to a high potassium one.
Avoid peach leaf curl
Peach leaf curl is a serious fungal disease that badly affects peaches and nectarines. The time to look out for it is around mid-January when the new leaves start to appear.
The leaves on trees with this disease will curl up and develop large reddish blisters before falling prematurely. The flowers are distorted when they appear and often drop without forming fruit.
The fungus can weaken the tree so much that it will literally starve to death within two or three years if untreated. The good news is that there are ways to avoid peach leaf curl.
One way is to grow the tree in containers in a greenhouse or conservatory. The other is to choose a variety that has a high degree of resistance to the fungus such as Peach ‘Peregrine’.
Whether or not your tree has shown signs of peach leaf curl always rake up fallen leaves from around the tree, especially during the winter months.
Give the trees regular watering. When doing this, water the base of the tree rather than on the leaves as this will help reduce stress on the tree. A full watering can of water given twice a week, especially during the summer months will also help.
If your tree has peach leaf curl, thin the fruit to enable the tree to store enough energy to make it through the winter.
The other way to avoid peach leaf curl is to cover your tree from late January until mid-May to stop new leaves becoming wet. Do this by attaching clear plastic to a simple wood frame to protect the tree from the fungal spores. It’s important to ensure the plastic doesn’t touch the leaves and so tacking plastic to a wooden frame should do the trick.
The plastic covered frame will also protect the tree blossom from damaging spring frosts.