Peach trees grow fast and, like most fruit trees, need plenty of water. But watering peach trees can be a tricky business. Giving them too much water can kill them, and not giving them enough water results in fewer and smaller peaches.
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Many watering tips for peach trees are simple common sense. Smaller, younger trees need less water, and usually only need to be watered just around the trunk. Mature peach trees have a root radius of about 10 feet, so it's important to water near the trunk and around the perimeter. The watering schedule also depends on the climate. Trees get all the water they need in most places during the spring, fall and winter, but need to be watered two or three times a week during dry periods or in arid regions that receive little rain, like the U.S. Southwest. A typical tree requires the equivalent of 36 inches of rain each year.
Extra Water During Growing Season
The amount of water peach trees need changes with the weather and during the growing season. In a temperate climate, trees need 35 to 40 gallons of water per day in July and August, when the sun and heat cause water to evaporate quickly. During the rest of the year, when the days are shorter, cooler and wetter, they can usually get by on their own or with minimal watering. Trees also need extra water during peak growing season, especially the last 30 days that peach farmers call "the final swell." Trees need 35 to 40 gallons a day during the final swell to reach peak size.
One of the cardinal rules of peach tree irrigation is to avoid over-watering. Too much water leads to root fungus that can kill a tree; never allow a tree to sit in standing water for very long. As a rule, your feet should not get wet walking near your peach tree one hour after watering. Always take weather conditions into consideration. Trees will need more water during dry, windy conditions when water evaporates faster. By the same token, they won't need as much when the weather is humid.