Want a flavorful snack that’s even sweeter than a peach, without that annoying fuzz? Then a nectarine is for you. Nectarines are techniqually peaches and have the same bright yellow color with orange blushes in the skin, firm texture, and sweet flavor. However, nectarines are often considered to be sweeter than peaches and people are more willing to bite into them because they don’t have that annoying peach fuzz. To grow your own nectarines follow these simple steps listed below.
When scouting out a location to plant your nectarine trees keep in mind that nectarine trees perform best in full sun. Nectarines can tolerate shade, but will need at least six hours of sunlight a day. Avoid planting your trees in a low area of your yard where standing water collects or that’s prone to flooding. If planted in a container and kept indoors place your trees by a large sunny window.
Once you have the perfect planting location picked dig a hole that’s three times wider than the root ball, and just as deep. Take a shovel or pitch fork and loosen the soil on the sides of your hole. Next remove any debris like rocks or grass. Break up any dirt clumps with your shovel or remove them. Place your tree in the hole and make sure that the root collar is level with the surrounding soil. Back fill your hole and gently tamp down the soil. When this planting process is complete give your tree a slow deep watering by holding a hose to its base and counting to 20.
Nectarine trees have moderate watering needs. Keep their soil moist but not over saturated. They should have about an inch of water every few weeks. Pay attention to the rainfall in your area, chances are you’ll only need to water your trees during periods of prolonged drought or extreme heat. Feel the soil at the base of your tree, if it feels like it’s starting to dry out give your tree a slow deep watering.
Fertilize your nectarine trees in the early spring with a well balanced fertilizer like formula 10-10-10. After you harvest your nectarines fertilize your trees again.
Most nectarine varieties are self-pollinating. They don’t require a mate in order to produce fruit. However, with two to three trees you can expect a much higher fruit yield.
To prevent weeds from growing under your trees and possibly stealing nutrients from them spread a layer of mulch around the base. The layer should be about 3 inches thick, and make sure it doesn’t touch the trunk of tree. It will prevent weeds from growing and help the soil retain moisture.
If you have weeds it’s best to remove them by getting a firm grip on them and pulling them upwards out of the ground in a twisting motion.
Prune your trees in the late winter or early spring. Remove any damaged or dead branches. Make your cuts at 45 degree angles facing upwards with a sharp and sterile pair of pruners or loppers. This will promote new growth. Thin the center of your tree to allow more air circulation and sunlight to flow through the center of the tree. Sunlight and fresh air prevent molds, mildews, and fungi from growing.