In the cold North, even in the trying climate of Minnesota, the peach is grown by laying down for winter protection. In north Iowa many have secured good crops by dividing the roots in planting so as to spread at right angles to the direction the trees are to be laid down. By digging down on the side the tree is to be bent over, the stem is crowded over when young, and when it gets larger the previous crowding and bending and breaking of the roots favors the continuance of the operation.
Fig. 63. - Peach trained for laying down.
But a better plan is shown in Fig. 63. The trees are encouraged to make an upright growth the first year. A strong one-year-old tree should be about six feet high when planted, and by pinching the lower limbs it may be made to grow two feet more in height when ready for laying down in the fall. Late in autumn trim off all the side limbs and dig away the earth on the side it is to be turned over. By pressing at the crown and gently crowding the tree downward, the cane can be laid flat on the ground and pinned fast. Then cover with straw, with dirt enough on top to hold it in place. The next spring the cane is left prostrate, but the point is turned upward and tied o a stake. The next fall the top attached to the stake is cut loose and turned to the right or left. The spring of the prostrate stem will permit a child to bend the top to the ground at this stage of growth. Later, as the stem attains greater size, it will need more strength, but if always turned in the same direction the top can be turned over after the tree has produced several crops. The prostrate stem and the crown must be covered as well as the tops. Before covering the top, cut back fully one-half of the new growth and take out also the weak inner shoots and the unripe twigs. For this plan of growing, select such varieties as Bokhara No. 3 or No. 10, that will ripen up the wood well in autumn. Farther south, where the wood is relatively unharmed in winter, but where the fruit-buds or blossoms are liable to be killed by frosts, spraying with milk of lime towards spring has proven an advantage, as the white color is less affected by heat-rays and the blossoming period is slightly retarded. But in north Silesia the writer observed a far better plan for retarding the blossoming period. In frosty localities amateur growers adopted the cordon system of training (146. Pruning for Cordon-training) of the cherry, plum, apricot, and peach, and after pruning in the fall the tops were covered with gunny sacking whitened with lime. The light-colored cloth prevented the swelling of the fruit-buds during warm spells in winter and very much retarded the opening of the flowers in spring.