Q: I have a five-year old ‘Harvester’ peach tree. It’s developing fruit the size of marbles in large numbers. Should I be spraying this tree with something to make sure I get a full harvest?
A: You have already missed an important spray date but I think you can still have some nice fruit this year. Brown rot disease infects blooms but manifests itself just as the fruit ripens. Begin using a “Home Orchard Spray” product, which combines an insecticide and a fungicide, every few weeks on your trees.
You need to do more than just spray your tree. You should also remove most of the existing fruit so the peaches that are left will develop to a good size. Leave five inches between adjacent single fruit. Put the ones you pluck off into a bucket and throw them far away don’t let them drop to the ground under your tree.
Beyond fruit thinning and pest control, your peach needs to be fed. Fertilize now with one cup of 10 10 10 per foot of tree height and repeat in mid June.