Peaches for Zone9A/B

blueboy1977(TX9A/B)September 18, 2012

Got my heart set on growing a couple of peach trees next spring. I only have room for 2 and will grow them in 1/2 55 gallon drums. Im in South Houston Tx close to the bay. The varieties Im interested in are Tropic Sweet, Tropic Beauty and Tropic Snow. Any advice on potting mix for peaches and these varieties or others would be appreciated.

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Blueboy,

Why the pots?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:47AM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Bam, I dont have room in my back yard to make a couple 8ft raised beds. Im limited on where I can plant in my back yard due to drainage. I have to plant against my back fence because it slopes away from my house to the street. Once you move 10ft into my yard from the back fence it slopes the other direction towards my house and the ground stays wet for a long time after rains. The soil is almost all clay and drainage really sucks! Not only that, but Ive got the back fence pretty much taken up with citrus and palm trees now. Also I want to see how well they do here before I go and spend the money and time on 2 huge raised beds to plant them in. Its more of an experiment at this point. If they do well here, which I believe they will, then I can go to plan B.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:10AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Gotcha.....I will happily trade you some sand for some clay:)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:18AM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Sounds like a good deal to me!!! I hate my soil here.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:27AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

I have a friend here locally that sits on a ridge of sand that is infested with some sort of nematode that makes growing almost anything virtually impossible. If you think I grow a lot of different fruiting plants you should see his list lol. He has now resorted to growing everything in those 30 gallon (half barrel pots). His peach trees grow great in them. He sinks the barrels 3/4 of the way in the ground. Not sure what soil mix he uses though.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:36AM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

I would like to be able to sink my big pots in the ground too but I cant even do that. Ive got a meyer lemon that I dug a big ole hole in the clay for and filled the hole with everything execpt the soil I dug from the hole. Ive been told it will die by several people now cause I created a tub for the roots to sit in when it rains. Its been doing good for 2 years now and we have had several heavy down poors but not one big enough to drown it yet. I know its bound to happen sooner or later though. Im hoping fruitnut will chime in on his soil mix he uses for his peach trees.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:32PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

For potted stone fruit I use a mix with very good drainage. Similar to blueberry mix but with higher pH. After 4-5 years mine need repotting or a new tree. But my pots haven't been bigger than 15 gallon.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 12:55PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Fruitnut, do you think a bigger pot would equal longer time between repot or plant life???

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 1:05PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Fruitnut, are your trees dwarf? From what Ive read they will naturally be small due to being in pots regardless if they are a dwarf variety?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 3:19PM
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melikeeatplants

What if you cut the bottoms out of the drums? The tree could then root into the ground if it wanted and would not be standing in water if there was significant rain.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:16AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I've found that rootstock doesn't make much difference in tree size. They are all dwarfed by the small soil volume. However rootstock may make a difference in how soon the plant becomes root bound, but I'm not sure. What I am sure about is a 30 gallon pot is a brutal task to repot. You'd do better buying a new tree and starting over.

My longest lasting fruits in a pot have been a grape and a blueberry both about 8 years. Most stone fruit in a 15 gal are good for 4-5 years. Then they need a repot or new tree.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:57PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Thanks for the tips. Dont know exactly what Im going to do yet. All I know is I have 3 55 gallon drums that I need to do something with. Maybe Im better off putting Blues in them? I know they can live a long time in there. I do have several 15 gallon pots as well and 4 years would give me plenty of peaches and time to see how they do in my area. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 1:51PM
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