University of Maryland Extension

Care (fertilizing, fruit thinning, harvesting, spray schedule) - Stone Fruit


  • Incorporate 8 oz. of 10-10-10 fertilizer per plant into your soil prior to planting. Do not place fertilizer in the planting hole;
  • In subsequent years, broadcast 0.5 lbs. of 10-10-10 per tree under the tree in early spring. Increase the amount applied by an additional 0.5 lbs. per year up to a maximum of 5.0 lbs. per tree regardless of age;
  • Never fertilize after July 15. Late fertilization encourages soft growth which may be winter-killed and interferes with the trees over-all ability to harden-off for the dormant period; and
  • Maintain pH at 6.0 to 6.5.


Stone fruits are more shallow-rooted than pome fruits and so are less drought-hardy. Peaches
are most sensitive to drought at final swell when the fruit is rapidly increasing in size. Water
the tree deeply at this time.

Fruit Thinning

- A practice that improves fruit production and overall management of tree fruits.


Allow stone fruits to ripen on the tree. Their sugar content will not increase after they are
picked. Harvest fruits while still firm, however, to minimize fruit disease, especially brown rot.

Spray Schedule 

- Pest control and spray schedule.

General Disease and Insect Pest Control Recommendations

Home Fruit Preventative Spray Schedule and Management of Common Problems

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