Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peach (Prunus persica) planting material and seeds

Peach (Prunus persica)  commonly known as Chunun is a temperate fruit rich in proteins, sugar, minerals and vitamins.  Introduction of the cultivated peaches into India probably took place in the latter half of the 19th century.  Today, it is being grown in the midhill zone of the Himalayas extending from Kashmir to Khasi hills 1,000—2.000 m above mean sea-level.  It is also being grown to a limited scale in the hills of south India and in the north-eastern region of the country

Besides, low chilling peaches are grown in submountainous region and Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and the Western Uttar Pradesh.  .

Climate and soil : Peaches requires humid climate with cold winter and dry summer.  It is moderately winter hardy and sensitive to low temperature injury.  Swelling buds are injured at – 6.5`C.  Sites which are free from early spring frost are more suitable as peaches bloom early in the season.  The blooming period can be delayed by the application of Gibberellic acid (200 ppm) before leaf fall or by application of Ethephon, to avoid the risk of spring frost.  Deep valleys are not ideal sites because cold air settles in these areas, and frost and freeze injuries are very common.  The land with gentle slope is ideal.  However, on steep slopes peach should be planted preferably in the mid portion.

Deep sandy loam soil rich in organic matter is best for its successful cultivation.  Peaches are highly susceptible to water logging and prefer perfect drainage.  Fertile and heavy soils are hazardous as it makes heavy growth and hence results in winter injury.  The pH of the soil should be between 5.8 and 6.8.  Acidic and saline soils are unfit for peach cultivation. 

Propagation and rootstock : Peach is commercially propagated through grafting or budding.  Peach seedlings are generally used as rootstock, though plum, apricot and almond seedlings can also be used.  Some nurseries also use Behmi (P. mira) as rootstock for peach. Since wild species produce more vigorous and hardy seedlings than the cultivated varieties, wild peach seedlings are preferred in the hills.

Before sowing, the seeds are stratified at 4 C for 10-12 weeks in the moist sand.  The stratification of peach seeds can also be done under natural conditions and cold storage at 4 C or below.  Pre-sowing treatment with thiourea (0.5%) or GA (200 PPM) 0r BA (100 PPM) reduces the stratification period,  enhances seed germination and improves the seedlings growth.  The stratified seeds are then sown in well prepared beds about 5 cm deep and 15 cm apart at a row to row spacing of 20 cm.  Seed beds are mulched with 6-10 cm thick dry grass and light irrigation is given after sowing to avoid desiccation of seeds.  Seeds start germinating in March.  The seedlings become beddable in June, if they are grown in fertile soil with full care, they become graft able in the following winter.
Peaches are propagated commercially by tongue or cleft grafting and T-budding or ring budding.   In hills, tongue grafting during January- February and T-budding during May-June are performed.  However, in plains grafting is performed during November- January and budding during April-June and September.

Cultivation Planting : The planting is carried out in winter season.  Before planting, the site of orchard should be properly cleared of bushes and weeds.  The area should be ploughed or dug and arrangement of drainage be made in advance of planting. In hilly areas, contour planting system should be adopted if the slope is steep, otherwise terraces should be made.  In plains, square system of planting is common.  Pits of 1m x1m x 1m size at a distance of 4.5 m in hills are dug during September –October.  The pits should be refilled with fertile top soil mixed with 40kg well-rotten farmyard manure And 10 liters solution of Chlorpyriphos (1m1/liter) to each pit to avoid any damage from insects

In high density plantation, the distance can be reduced to 3m x3m.  In Tatura trellis and Meadow system, peach is planted at a distance of 5m x 1m (2,000 plants/ha) and 2 m x1 m (5,000 plants/ha) respectively.
Peach (Prunus persica) seeds, Plants now available at:

Chenab Industries
Ist Street, Shaheed-e-Azemat Road, Nambalbal, Pampore PPR JK 192121
POB: 667 GPO Srinagar SGR JK 190001
Ph: 01933-223705
Mob: 09858986794

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