How to Grow Nectarine Fruit Trees
Nectarines are a lot like peaches. They have a taste similar to peaches.
And, they are grown like peaches. Sweet and juicy, nectarines differ from
peaches as they have a smooth skin.
If you haven't yet grown a nectarine tree, what are you waiting for!??
Propagation of Nectarine Trees:
Nectarine trees are grown from seed, the "pit". A Nectarine tree takes
three or four years to go from the seedling stage to a fruit-producing tree.
Most people don't want to wait that long. They turn to garden nurseries to
purchase young trees that can be transplanted to your garden. Trees at your
local nursery are a couple of years old. This small Nectarine tree will still
need to grow another year or two to get the first crop of Nectarines.
You can also graft branches from a Nectarine tree onto other fruit trees.
Planting Nectarine Trees:
Select a location in your yard that receives full sun. Dig a deep hole. Add
plenty of decomposed compost, if available. Mix thoroughly with regular garden
soil. If the tree you have bought is inside of a peat pot, leave it in the
container. It is helpful (but not required) to slit the container to allow
roots to more easily exit the container. While making the slits, be careful
not to cut the roots, as you can do more harm than good. If your tree is
in a burlap bag, remove the bag. Gently spread the roots in the hole you
Bury the plant up to where it was in the container. Soak the soil thoroughly.
Add more soil if needed.
How to Grow Nectarine Trees:
Once your new Nectarine tree is planted, it should grow quickly. We recommend
staking the tree in its first year of life. Strong winds can bend the young
sapling, causing the trunk to grow at an angle. Really strong winds, might
even cause the tree to sway and damage roots.
Tip: Fruit tree fertilizer spikes are a great way to boost the growth
of your new Nectarine tree. The spike slowly releases a fertilizer specifically
formulated for fruit trees.
The size and number of Nectarines is dependent upon a number of things.
As a rule of thumb, more Nectarines on a tree, results in smaller individual
fruit. Sometimes, mother nature pollinates a profusion of blooms. Sometimes
frost nips a portion of the blooms. However, in a good year, it is possible
that so many Nectarines are on the tree, that the size of the fruit is small.
Growers can compensate for this, by removing a few of the baby Nectarines
very early in the season. Should you do this? Probably not in your first
few years of growing, as you do not have the experience to judge if there
are too many Nectarines on the tree. But, we do recommend removing any Nectarines
that are damaged by insects, leaving good Nectarines to grow even bigger.
Each spring, before buds open, apply a dormant oil fruit tree spray. This
will kill a variety of insects.
Nectarine trees are susceptible to both insect infestations and disease.
We highly recommend a regular program of spraying for both insects and plant
disease. If you use insect and/or disease sprays, we recommend you follow
the directions on the label carefully. And by all means, wear protective
clothing and a mask when spraying.
Sometimes, birds will peck at the ripening fruit. Pest netting is an effective
control measure while the tree is still small.
Some animals, notably opossum, like Nectarines. See
Animal control suggestions
Harvest fruit before it turns completely ripe. Once it is picked, it will
soften and ripen quickly. The fruit will still be hard, making it easier
to handle and store. Store fruit in a cool, dry place, out of sunlight.
Pruning Nectarine Trees:
Like other plants, pruning established trees is healthy for them. It
results in a bigger crop. Prune Nectarine trees annually in the early
late winter or early spring, before the new year's growth begins.
First, remove dead or unhealthy branches and limbs. Prune in areas where
growth is very bushy. This will increase sunlight and air penetration,
to help the overall health and growth of the tree. You can also
prune branches to maintain a shapely looking tree.
More Gardening Information:
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