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Should I use the fridge to give seedling peaches chill hours?

2 months ago

I bought some peaches locally at road stand and one pit came cracked open with twin kernels exposed. I germinated both without stratification and have two peach trees in about a pint of soil growing under T5s for the past 6 or so weeks. They're both just over a foot tall growing decently. From what I understand lots of fruit trees grow quickly the first year or two, but peaches need at least 3 years to bear fruit. I'm in zone 5, so I wouldn't be planting out the seedlings into the ground with the rest of my fruit trees until mid-late April at the earliest most likely.

I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile simulating winter/putting the trees in dormancy in the fridge? If I put it in the fridge for 1 month ensuring no mold/drying out, will that trick the plant into thinking its in its second year and thus speed up fruit production? Would doing so impact the vigor? (For instance if peach trees grow more quickly the first year). I am planning on either simulating dormancy or re-potting into 1 Gal containers in about 2-3 weeks, or maybe 1 month before planting so it gets transplanted while dormant... would love any opinions-

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