Will peaches grow in Kentucky?

Gardens & Landscapes September 03, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Kentucky's climate has both good and bad characteristics for growing peaches. One of its good points is the intense sunshine, which builds carbohydrates and helps produce high-quality fruit. The rainfall is sufficient for good growth and fruit sizing during most seasons. On the other hand, winters are unpredictable. Fluctuating temperatures often cause fruit buds to start growth too early. Consequently, hardiness is lost during the warm periods after the completion of the rest period at the end of December or early January. If a severe cold wave then occurs, the fruit buds may be killed. This same condition often occurs in the spring about bloom time. Some localities very seldom have crop failures owing to freezing of the fruit buds, while others may seldom have crops because of winter or spring fruit bud killing. Generally, peach crops are produced most consistently in most of the western end of the state, along the Ohio river in northern Kentucky, and along the Tennessee border in southern Kentucky. Site selection is very important when planting fruit.  *The site should be considerably higher than surrounding areas with good slopes and lower areas for air drainage. *Peaches will do well on a wide variety of soils if the soils are well-drained (both surface and subsoil) and deep (3 feet or more). Peaches will not tolerate "wet feet". *Select peach varieties recommended for Kentucky.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.