• Peach is a temperate fruit tree but it is possible to grow in the sub-tropical climate of Punjab due to availability of suitable low chilling cultivars and their production technology. In Punjab about 300 chilling hours are available and the cultivars whose chilling requirement is less than 300 hours can be grown successfully. Peach cultivation is distributed throughout the state.
  • Peaches are highly valued as a table fruit for their attractive colour and palatability. Peaches can be processed as canned and dried products, frozen preserves, jam, nectar, juice, beverage and marmalade. Peaches are also good source of low calorific diet.
  • Climate and Soil

    • Sub-tropical climate of Punjab is ideally suited for the cultivation of low chilling peaches during winter months as it is enough to break the dormancy of low chilling cultivars. After fruit setting from March to June, the climate is warm to hot (35o-42oC). This is favourable for the development and maturity of fruits provided adequate water supply is available.
    • Loamy sand or sandy loam, well drained, fertile soil with lime content less than 10% is suitable for peach cultivation. Heavy wet soils are unfit for peach growing. Soil with an electrical conductivity below 0.5 m mhos/cm, calcium carbonate less than 5%, lime less than 10%, absence of hard pan upto a depth of 120 cm and pH between 6-8 is good for peach.
  • Recommended Cultivars

    • Yellow Fleshed
      • Earli Grande (1997) : Tree is semi-vigorous, high yielding and fruit mature in the first week of May (4 days earlier than Shan-i-Punjab). Fruit is large (90 g) and firm fleshed, free stone at full ripe stage and of good keeping quality. Its TSS is 10.5% and acidity is 0.7%.
      • Florda Prince (1997) : Tree is vigorous and the fruits mature in the fourth week of April. Fruit size medium (65-70 g); yellow with red blush at maturity, flesh firm and free stone at full ripe stage. Average yield 100 kg per tree; TSS 12% and acidity 0.5%.
    • Partap (1990) :
      • Tree is medium in vigour and the fruits mature in the third week of April. Fruit size medium (65-70g), almost round, yellow with red over colour: Flesh is firm and free stone at full ripe stage. Average yield 70 kg per tree; TSS 12% and acidity 0.7% .
    • Shan-i-Punjab (1979):
      • Tree is vigorous and the fruits mature in the first week of May. Fruit is large, turns yellow with red blush at maturity. Average yield 70 kg per tree, flesh firm and free stone at full ripe stage. It is good for canning. Its TSS is 12% and acidity is 0.74%.
  • White Fleshed

    • Prabhat (2003) :
      • Tree is semi-vigorous and the fruit matures in the 3rd week of April. Fruits are medium round with an attractive red blush, flesh white, juicy, sweet and free stone when fully ripe. Average yield is 64 kg per tree. Its TSS 12% and acidity 0.37%.
    • Sharbati (1967):
      • Tree is very vigorous and the fruit matures in the end of June to first week of July. Fruit medium in size (70 g), clingstone and turns greenish yellow at maturity with pink patches. Yield per tree is 100-120 kg, TSS 13% and acidity 0.33%.
  • Nectarine

    • Punjab Nectarine (2008):
      • Tree is vigorous and spreading, fruits mature in second week of May. Fruit large, fuzzless, weighing 90 g, round, attractive with 90-100% red blush over yellow ground colour at maturity, flesh yellow, firm, melting and free stone at full ripe stage. Average yield is about 40 kg/plant, TSS 11.5% and acidity 0.8%.
    • Rootstock
      • Flordaguard (2010):
        • This rootstock is resistant to root knot nematodes. The trees are vigorous spreading, self fertile and precocious having red leaves. Flowers produced in abundance, deep pink and showy. Fruits pubescent with dull red colour, yellow fleshed and free stone. Fruits ripen from end of June to first week of July.
    • Propagation
      • The peach is commonly propagated by budding or grafting on peach rootstock Flordaguard and Sharbati.
    • Root Stock Raising:
      • Procure ripe fruits of Sharbati/Flordaguard in June-July. Extract stones from pulp, wash and dry these under shade for 4-5 days. Treat the stones with Ziram or Thiram or Captan @300g per quintal of stones. Pack the stones in dry gunny/plastic bags and store these under cool dry place till these are used for stratification from November-January.
      • Stratification is a low temperature treatment in which stones are placed in alternate layers of moist sand at or below 7.20C for 100-120 days till the seed dormancy is broken and germination starts. Kernels/seeds can be used instead of stones for raising the seedlings. Wooden boxes or well drained trenches in open space can be used for stratification. When seed germination starts in upper layer it is considered that dormancy of seed is broken. Stones or seeds are removed carefully from each layer of sand without damage to radicle or plumule of germinating seeds. Separate the germinating stones from cracked stones and uncracked stones and sow these separately in well prepared nursery plots. These are sown 30 cm apart in rows at a distance of 15 cm. Normally sowing of seeds is done in the first fortnight of February.
    • Budding/Grafting :
      • About 40% seedlings from the nursery plots become fit for T-budding in first week of May. The successful budded plants become ready for transplanting in December-January. The rest of the unbudded seedlings or the unsuccessful budded seedlings are used for grafting in December-January.
      • In the middle of February the scions produce new growth. Usually a scion may produce 3-4 shoots which may be allowed to grow upto April. In May, one of the vigorous shoots is retained and all others are removed. This practice produces vigorous nursery plants. Polythene tape around the graft union should be removed before it causes girdling. Staking of young grafts is necessary to prevent breakage.
    • Stenting Technique :
      • Peach plant can be propagated by stenting technique (simultainously grafting & rooting) in the first week of January by dipping the basal portion of cutting of Sharbati (rootstock) in 2000 ppm IBA solution for 2 minutes. This practice cut short the period of propagation by one year.
  • Crown Gall Disease

    • The crown gall disease is caused by a bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens and has been noticed in peach nurseries and orchards. The disease can be easily identified by the formation of tumours of varying sizes especially at the crown portion and sometimes on roots and on the stem at the position of the graft union of the plant.
    • For raising disease free plants in the orchards following points may be kept in view.
      •  Procure disease free plant material from a reliable source.
      •  Avoid injury to roots and crown portion of the plant at the time of uprooting from the nursery, replanting and performing other cultural practices in the orchard.
      •  Keep the plants free from insects, nematodes and rodent injuries.
      •  Discourage the exchange of plant material without knowing its sanitary conditions.
      • Uproot and destroy the diseased plants from nursery or orchard whenever noticed.
      • While planting, the diseased roots of the plant are pruned and remaining root system is dipped for one minute in 5% solution of bleaching powder and then planted in the orchard.
  • Fruit Thinning

    • Peach is a heavy fruit bearer. If all the fruits are allowed to mature on the trees, they remain small sized and of inferior quality with low marketable yield. Over bearing weaken the trees and causes short life of tree. To overcome these problems, fruits should be thinned annually. In Partap, best time of fruit thinning is during second and third week of March while in Shan-i- Punjab it is third to fourth week of March. Girdling plus thinning done at full bloom or girdling alone done four weeks after full bloom advances fruit maturity by 7-12 days and improves fruit quality in Shan-i-Punjab. Fruit to fruit distance on the shoots should be 10-15 cm. Before starting fruit thinning, shake fruit bearing branches slightly. The weak stemmed fruits are likely to drop naturally. Then start thinning of fruits from base to top of branches. The operation must be completed before pit hardening of fruits. Proper pruning of trees also helps in thinning of fruits.
    • Manures and Fertilizers
      • Fruiting is an exhaustive process for the tree. This removes large amount of nutrients from the soil. To prevent the adverse effects of nutrient deficiency in the plant these are applied annually according to the tree age

Age (Years)

Farm yard manure (kg/tree)

Dose per tree (g)


Super phosphate

Muriate of Potash











5 & above





      • Apply FYM, superphosphate and muriate of potash in December. Split urea in two doses. Apply half of urea in January after pruning and the remaining second half after fruit set in March.
    • Iron deficiency:
      • Peach trees planted on light textured and high pH soils often exhibit iron deficiency symptoms during summer and rainy season. Interveinal chlorosis (yellowing in between veins) of developing new leaves on the terminal part of shoots are the clear symptoms of deficiency. In severe case, the new leaves may unfold without any green colour (Ivory colour) and later veins may turn green. Typical symptoms appear by the second fortnight of March and with the passage of time these progress and accentuate. Iron deficiency can be corrected by spraying peach trees with 0.3 per cent ferrous sulphate solution (3g ferrous sulphate in one litre of water) on spring flush in April, on summer flush in June and late summer flush in August-September. 
    • Irrigation
      • In peach, fruit development period starts after fruit set in March and continues during April to June till maturity depending upon the variety. This is the critical period of irrigation for the trees. Trees should not suffer from any moisture stress particularly 25-30 days before maturity of fruit, because the maximum weight gain is during these days.
      • The irrigation frequency depends upon the type of soil and the source of irrigation. It should be given during the first 3-4 weeks after fruit set at weekly intervals. Thereafter, from the second week of April to the start of harvesting, the trees may be irrigated at 3-4 days interval.
    • Weed Control
      • Weeds are common in peach orchards during spring and the rainy season. Weeds should be checked by manual ploughing. Application of paddy straw mulch (10 cm layer) @ 4.5 ton per acre during first week of March effectively soppress the weeds. Mulching should be done after application of second split doses of inorganic fertilizers.
  • Maturity and Harvesting

    • Peach fruits should be harvested at the right stage of maturity depending upon their market destination. For distant market, the fruit should be picked at firm mature stage i.e. when the ground colour of fruit begins to change from green to yellow in yellow fleshed varieties and fruits yield to pressure very slightly in between cupped hands. For the local market, however, the fruit may be picked when nearly ripe.
    • In white fleshed varieties colour of the fruit changes from green to straw (dry grass) with pink blush on the sides. Fruits harvested at this stage take 3-4 days to ripe.
    • All the fruits do not ripen at the same time on the tree. Earlier set fruits mature first and later set fruits mature later. Generally 3-4 pickings are done to complete the harvesting. During picking collect the fruits in baskets/plastic cartons after putting some dry grass or paper strips in it as a cushion to prevent injury or bruises to fruits. Drop bottom picking bags are now available or can be made to order for picking peaches. Transfer the fruits to some shady place with good aeration to make them cool down. Field heat of the fruits can be effectively removed by giving them 10-15 minutes quick dip in cold water followed by surface drying of the fruits in shed. This process slows down the ripening process of fruits and is helpful in extending the shelf life.
  • Post-harvest Handling

    • Before packaging, remove the injured, damaged and undersized fruits from the lot and grade the fruits according to
      size and stage of maturity. Different grades of fruits are packed separately for better marketing. The commercially accepted fruit grades in peach and packaging size are given following

Fruit Grade

Fruit size (cm)

Inner size of box (cm)

No. of layers

No. of fruits per layer


5.5-6.3 and above










Below 4.6




    • Generally 2 and 4 kg corrugated fibre board boxes (CFB) are used for packaging of fruits. These are better than wooden boxes. Shelf life of the peach fruits is very short after harvesting. This can be increased by storing the fruit in commercial cold stores where temperature varies between 0o-3.3oC with relative humidity 85-90%. Fruits at this low temperature can be stored for 25 days without affecting their palatability.
    • Physiologically mature Shan-i-Punjab peach fruits dipped in calcium chloride (2%) for five minutes can be stored for 30 days at 0-1oC temperature and 90-95% relative humidity after packing in corrugated fiber board boxes.
    • Pack the peach fruits in paper moulded trays and wrap with heat shrinkable or cling film. It improves the shelf life and maintains the quality for 9 days in super market (18-20 0C) and 4 days in ordinary market (28-30 0C) conditions