Garden television is chock full of information on how to care for mature fruit trees that are expensive to buy and can be intensive in their care. A peach tree is a relatively easy fruit tree to maintain once it gets to maturity. It is also fairly easy to grow the tree from a seed, and it is fun to watch as it blossoms under the care that you give to the oval pit.
It's important to know that most peach trees are grafted. This means you may not get the same results with tree vigor and fruit quality from your seed-grown tree, which is a non-grafted plant.
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How to Sprout a Peach Seed
The first thing you will need when deciding to sprout a peach seed is patience. It can take quite a few years for the tiny pod to produce fruits, which may vary greatly from the fruit you extracted the seed from. It's a good idea to try a few pits rather than put all of your hopes on just one. Not all pits are equal, and the more chances you have, the better your odds of producing a seedling with healthy, strong growth after all of your hard work to get it to sprout.
A pit can be planted directly in soil in the fall and may pop up a pair of leaves in early spring. However, that can be risky. To sprout a peach seed indoors, immerse it in warm water for a few hours so that the hard casing of the outer seed is soaked through. Transfer it to a plastic bag or container that holds a few inches of soil. Place it in the refrigerator where it won't get jostled around much and is far away from other fruit.
Check on it weekly for any sign of growth. However, it can take three to six weeks for the first telltale signs of germination to occur. If it's been more than three months without any change, the seed may not have been able to germinate. Don't blame yourself. This is a tricky process. The same refrigerator procedure can be done with most any stone fruits. Stones from plums, cherries and nectarines can also be sprouted using this same method. Once it has sprouted, sow it 3 to 4 inches deep in a container if you plan to monitor it or outside in the garden if the weather is below 85 degrees.
Benefits of Peaches
Stone fruits, which include cherries, plums and nectarines as well as peaches, have anti-inflammatory properties and bioactive and phenolic compounds. These can help to keep bad cholesterol – the LDLs – down and therefore promote good cardiovascular health. Stone fruits have anthocyanins, quercetins, catechins and cholorgenic acids that work together to fight obesity-related issues. They are a great source of vitamin C; they are an antioxidant; and they are high in fiber.
Ways to Use Peaches
If you are looking to incorporate a crop of peaches into your diet, there are many ways to prepare the stone fruit to serve for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Known for their sweetness and health benefits, peaches can also be used for savory dishes, hot sauces and marinades.
The Bloodroot Mountain hot sauce company in Vermont uses peaches in a spicy sauce that pairs the stone fruit with chili peppers, lime juice and vinegar among other ingredients. Grilling peaches intensifies the flavor. After a few minutes on a hot grill, serve the peaches over ice cream to kick up a plain bowl of vanilla, or serve them alongside grilled tomatoes and a slab of fresh mozzarella or dollop of ricotta for a savory twist.