Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Essential Tools and Equipment for Growing Peaches

Gardening tools

Gardening tools

Nurturing your new peach tree means having the right tools to do the job! These are some basic tools to consider—if you don’t already have some of these items, please check our Resources section at the end of this Collection for some recommended suppliers for getting the right tools and equipment. Many of these items can be helpful to you for all of your gardening needs—not just for peaches:

Peach-specific tools and equipment:

Irrigation Equipment: Peach trees required regular watering. Depending on how many trees you have, and where they are, you might want to consider an irrigation system for keeping your trees slowly and deeply watered.

A standard sprinkler system is not the best solution, but it’s better than stressing out your plants with too little water.

A drip irrigation system is more expensive than a standard sprinkler system, but it’s more efficient—getting the water right where it needs to be. But if cost is an issue, just be certain you have a system in place to make sure your plants get the water they need.

Limb Spreader: Pruning is essential when growing peach trees, but sometimes your tree may need a little extra help to improve its structural form. Limb spreaders are wedged between pliable branches and the trunk in order to open up the tree’s canopy, allowing for more light and air circulation.

Paper Bag: If you need to ripen your peaches quickly, then putting them in a simple brown paper bag will do the trick.  A paper bag will contain the ethylene gas the fruit gives off, hastening the ripening process.  If you want to speed things up even more, just add a banana for extra ethylene production.

Peach Pitter: This handy gadget is designed to split and pit freestone peaches.  The Y-shaped blade cuts into the flesh until the blade wedges against the pit, then rotate the blade and bottom half of the peach in opposite directions to separate.

Peach Wedger: This tool is especially helpful when you need to process a lot of fruit for canning and preserving.  It looks and operates just like an apple wedger, but with a larger center hole to accommodate the pit.

Telescopic Fruit Picker: Many varieties of peach trees grow 12-15 feet tall and some, like Hale Haven, will reach up to 25 feet at maturity.  A telescopic fruit picker is a useful tool that lets you harvest safely, without using a ladder.  Many pickers have a simple cutter or claw at the top and a collection bag to keep fruit from bruising.

Containers and Pots

If you want to start plants indoors before the outdoor growing season commences, you can try several environmentally friendly and free ways to begin with materials you probably already have:

  • Newspaper or brown-paper pots
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet-paper rolls (yes, these work great!)
  • Random containers, kitchen pans, or baking sheets (you might need holes drilled into the bottom for drainage)—if you have aging or rusting kitchen pans that you’re looking to replace, they make for great “starter pots” for getting your garden launched inside
  • Starter trays and peat pots

Garden Gloves

Using a pair of garden gloves—and wearing long sleeves—when you’re tending to your plants is a good way to avoid skin irritation and to protect your fingers, hands, and arms. Get a comfortable pair of gloves that fit well, so you still have full dexterity in your garden.

Garden Trowel

A useful garden tool, the garden trowel is handy when filling your containers and when mixing compost and worm castings. Avoid cheap versions that can have flimsy handles that are prone to break. Even inferior metal trowels can bend in hard clay or rocky soil. Invest in a higher quality trowel, and you’ll have it for years!

Irrigation Equipment

Many plants thrive when watered slowly and deeply. While tedious and even sometimes difficult to do with a watering can, you might want to consider an irrigation method for keeping your plants slowly and deeply watered.

A standard sprinkler system is not the best solution—while easy to set up, the wide-ranging water coverage of a sprinkler can lead to wet plant leaves that promote diseases and can encourage weeds.

A drip-watering irrigation system that operates on a timer is one of the best irrigation solutions for watering plants. This type of system better controls how much water you use, minimizes water lost to evaporation, and more exactly directs water to where you want to soak your soil. While more expensive than a simple watering can, an investment in an irrigation system can pay off—specially to ensure proper watering when you’re at work or on vacation!

Pruners or Snippers

Wear your garden gloves while pruning, and be sure to get a set of pruners or snippers that are comfortable in your hand when cutting. Don’t skimp on this—you need something that cuts well and will endure through many seasons.

Rain Barrel

Some areas of the country experience drought conditions in the spring and summer, and some municipalities may impose watering bans; that means hand watering only. If you collect rainwater, you can put it to good use when it comes time to tend your plants. Some communities offer rain barrels at a special discount to encourage water conservation.

Spade

Every gardener—no matter what plants you’re tending—needs a spade, or even several of different sizes. Use your spade to move around compost, dig soil for your initial plant hole, and to keep your garden soil tidy.

Spray Pump or Bottle

To control the emergence or spread of plant diseases and pests, get a dedicated spray bottle for your potion to do the job. This is one thing you can go basic on—no need for anything fancy, as a simple plastic spray bottle is fine.

Watering Can

Watering cans allow you to better control exactly where the water is directed in your garden. Plant leaves and fruit don’t need water, the roots in the soil do. Get yourself a good-sized watering can, and have some fun finding a watering can with an interesting design that fits your personality. Also, you want one that has a comfortable grip.

Wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow makes it easy for you to move soil and mulch from plant to plant; and it works as an excellent mixing bowl when you’re combining the perfect soil blend. If you feel like a wheelbarrow is just a little over the top for your gardening needs, a 5-gallon bucket may suffice. Just make sure you have a good trowel to mix with.

Do you have any essential gardening tools you use that aren’t listed here? Please tell us which items you absolutely need for your gardening.

Do you have any essential gardening tools you use that aren’t listed here? Please tell us which items you absolutely need for your peach farming.

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