This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
Although nurserymen and private gardeners grow these fruits in pots or tubs, the practice has not yet been adopted by market growers to any extent. There is no reason, however, why it should not be, especially where there is already plenty of glass, and where the grower is sometimes at his wits' end to know how to utilize it to the best advantage. Even cool houses, or houses with very little hot-water piping, might be utilized for growing a crop of Peaches and Nectarines. Young trees two or three years old, trained pyramid fashion, as shown in the sketch (fig. 371), or as half-standards (fig. 372), may be obtained from the nurseryman to save time, or maidens may be bought more cheaply and grown on.
Fig. 371. - Pyramid Peach.
Fig. 372. - Half-standard Peach.
They should be potted up in October or early November, using a compost of rich turfy loam, and about half the quantity of well - rotted manure, with some bone meal and crushed mortar rubble. The pots should be well drained, and the sizes may vary from 10 to 12 in. The soil should be rammed firmly round the roots, the plants afterwards being plunged in a border or in a bed of ashes so that the rims of the pots are covered by 2 or 3 in. This will guard against frost. The plants may be brought under glass early in January, and might well follow Chrysanthemums. The cultural treatment would be practically the same as for Peach trees planted in borders permanently, attention being given to syringing, ventilating, and heating. Watering will require more attention, as the plants are in pots, and there will be no trouble in tying in shoots.
A FRENCH PEACH FARM Showing how the plants are grown on walls.
Photo. Chas. L. Clarke.
PEACHES GROWN IN POTS UNDER GLASS.
Useless ones are pinched out, and the fruits are disbudded in due course. In this way a plant in a 10-in. or 12-in. pot may carry from two to three dozen fruits, for which good prices may be obtained. The advantage of growing Peaches, Nectarines (and, it may also be said, Cherries, Plums, and Apricots) under glass in pots is that, after the fruit is picked, the plants can be plunged in the open border to ripen their wood, and the house may be used for other crops, like Cucumbers or Tomatoes, until the following autumn.