Sam Houston Peach in 1/2 wine barrel


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Yes, I have no idea what I am doing. Nevertheless, I live in Cedar Creek, TX and I have a Sam Houston Peach tree - currently 42" tall and growing rather nicely in a well-drained half wine barrel, in local clay mixed with 25% commercial compost. I think it drains a little too quickly?

Just as a general rule, in typical Texas weather (I know, I know...), how often might one water such a critter?

The reason I ask is because I had noticed that the leaves on the growing tips of the tree were looking a bit yellow - so I gave it a good soak and then the latest rain storm came through and it is definitely looking greener and perkier.

I am always afraid of over-watering and killing a plant so I am trying to develop some idea of how often to water.
 
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Yellow tips on peaches can mean a lack of nitrogen. A lack of water usually shows as browning of the leaf tips. Growing in a container in clayish soils is difficult. The only way to actually know when the plant needs water is in the early AM hours just after the sun rises. If it is a little wilted it needs water. On a plant the size of a peach tree you cannot judge when to water by sticking your finger into the soil because the feeder roots are much deeper than finger length and this is especially true in clay. It can be dry the first couple of inches and really wet 8 inches down.
If you just had the same type of thunder storms I just had the storm and rainwater probably provided needed nitrogen. I would fertilize. And there is no timetable as when to water. But when you do water completely saturate. In a typical Texas summer in a half whishy barrel with clay soils I would guess about every 10-12 days maybe more. If this is a real wooden barrel if you could drill a hole into the side halfway down large enough for your finger you can get a better idea. Then stop up the hole with a wine cork or something similar.
 
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Thanks Chuck!

Any recommendations on what to fertilize with?
My trees are in the ground but you can't go wrong with Medina Gro and Green. Your close to Bastrop and Austin so it will be readily available. For a fast but short nitrogen fix use about 6-8 tablespoons of bloodmeal suspended in a gallon of water and pour it all around the base of the tree. Any real nursery will have both.
 
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Thank you - I will look for it... after the next... regular weather anomaly...

I am pretty sure that it is draining very well - there is about a good 2"+ of gravel in the bottom with probably (20) 1/2" holes drilled through the bottom and maybe used a bit more of the commercial compost when I mixed the soil like closer to 40%.

I have a built-in fear of over-watering but between the peach tree and blueberry bushes (in containers too) and the last rain and how much better everything looks, I might need to up the watering routine when it isn't raining like The Flood here...
 
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Thank you - I will look for it... after the next... regular weather anomaly...

I am pretty sure that it is draining very well - there is about a good 2"+ of gravel in the bottom with probably (20) 1/2" holes drilled through the bottom and maybe used a bit more of the commercial compost when I mixed the soil like closer to 40%.

I have a built-in fear of over-watering but between the peach tree and blueberry bushes (in containers too) and the last rain and how much better everything looks, I might need to up the watering routine when it isn't raining like The Flood here...
That is why it is so important to know the soil moisture half way down in a large container, thus the hole in the side. In a clay soil it can be crusty and cracked on top and still be moist in the center where the roots are. I know the soils there. When I was a kid my folks had a fairly large truck farm in that same Heavy Blackland Clay soils you have.
 
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