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Peaches belong to the large family of prunus, as well as apricots, cherries, plums; the botanical name is prunus persica, although the plant is native to China and central Asia, probably because the Persians were the ones who brought its cultivation to Europe. These are medium-small sized trees, also suitable for small gardens; grafted plants produce fruit in good quantity over 3-5 years. The prunus persica is a plant with deciduous leaves, in early spring, before producing the leaves, it produces small star-shaped pink flowers, very decorative; when the flowers begin to wither, the plant produces long oval, lance-shaped, narrow and elongated leaves, with a fairly rough leaf page and a serrated edge, bright green. Peach is a self-pollinating plant, so even if we have only one prunus persica in the garden we can hope for a good fruiting. Very often it happens that even small plants tend to produce a large number of fruits, to allow the plant to bring a good quantity to maturity and to obtain good sized fruits it is advisable to remove a certain number, so as to leave only a few.
The fruits are round in shape, with a smooth skin or covered with a thin down, depending on the variety; there are many varieties of peach, with crushed fruit, with white or yellow fruits, with fruits of various flavors. We can also obtain a peach tree starting from the seed, but since we are dealing with hybrids and cultivars it is difficult to predict which peaches we will obtain from a tree grown in this way, very often the peaches obtained from seed produce fruits with a bitter taste, or with not juicy pulp. All fruit peaches are therefore grafted plants, in this way we can describe to the nurseryman what kind of fruit we want to obtain and we will be able to suggest the best variety for our needs.
It is a fruit tree cultivated for centuries all over the world, where it has adapted to areas with a temperate climate. It prefers well bright and sunny locations, with a good very well drained soil; It is a completely rustic plant, since in winter it is in vegetative rest and can therefore withstand even very harsh temperatures.
At the end of winter it is advisable to fertilize the soil around the peach tree, with a slow release fertilizer or with mature manure; further fertilizations can be carried out during the ripening of the fruits, to improve their size and taste.
Fundamental for the peach is the availability of water, they are plants that do not bear drought, and it is therefore necessary to water them during the hottest months, especially when the fruits begin to swell; a poor watering during fruit ripening leads to an excessively hard and compact product.
Peaches ripen from July to September, depending on the variety, it is therefore important to prepare to water them during the hottest and sultry weeks of the year.
Among the fruit plants, peach trees are those that need more cultivation care since they are attacked by many fungal and animal parasites.
Surely the parasite that worries the most in the orchard is the bubble of the peach tree, a fungus that occurs in spring, when on hot and dry days there are fresh nights and periods of heavy rainfall.
The peach tree is also attacked by some types of virosis and bacteriosis, aphids, cochineals, red spider mites.
Generally, serious damage is avoided with treatments based on sulfur or copper as early as the end of winter, to prevent the development of fungal diseases. As for animal parasites, we expect the plant to be attacked to treat it.
Remember that it is advisable to avoid treating plants during flowering, to avoid removing or knocking down the many useful insects that frequent the flowers; the fruits are generally edible after at least 15 days after the last treatment, so we avoid treatments when our peaches are almost ripe.
Peach - Prunus persica: Herbal medicine peaches
As with other fruits, peaches contain vitamins and minerals that are readily available to the body, for this reason, and because of their sweet and aromatic taste, they are consumed all over the world, raw or in the form of compotes, jams, in fruit salads .
Peaches and apricots are also used in cosmetics and herbal medicine, where the shells of their stones are shredded and used to prepare highly effective exfoliating products.