Q: A friend brought us peaches from a tree in his yard and these are the sweetest, juiciest peaches I've ever had. I saved some pits, but now don't have any idea how to plant them. I would appreciate any help in telling me how or even if I can plant them. We have peach trees, but they were bought as trees, as was his. I have no idea what kind of peaches they are and neither does he. The tree is about 5 years old.
Thank you for any help.
You can certainly plant the pit from your neighbor's peach tree, but understand that the resulting tree (and fruit) is unlikely to look or taste like your neighbor's. This is because the peach pit (seed) from the peach you ate was the result of the pollination of one peach flower by the pollination of another peach flower-possibly from another peach tree. This results in offspring that will always differ from both parents. Still, it's worth trying just to see what happens. You'll need to stratify the pit (mimic cold conditions) artificially or by Mother Nature. To do this naturally, plant the pit (about 4 inches deep) this fall and cover with an inch of straw or pine needles. Water thoroughly. You can cover the planting with a small screen to prevent garden critters from digging it up. Remove the screen when the seed starts to sprout. For artificial stratification, place the pit in an air-tight bag filled with moist peat moss, a potting medium or paper towels and place in your refrigerator's crisper for at least 3 months. Plant it outdoors in the spring.
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Save peach pits to plant.
If the pit has dried out, soak it overnight in water. Plant in 2 to 3inches of potting medium. Some pits will germinate after 2 or 3 weeks, some after 2 or 3 or more months. Some may not germinate at all, so try different varieties.
Peach pits sometimes germinate better after a cold treatment: Put the pit in a zip lock bag with enough potting medium to cover. The soil should be just barely moist. Put the zip lock bag in a refrigerator. It may take 2 to 3 months to see growth. Transplant to a pot once the root is a 1/2 inch or more in length. This procedure is called stratification. Plant in the spring, after danger of frost. You will not receive fruit for the first 3-5 years. (09/10/2005)
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