Thursday, February 23, 2017

Early Spring Endangers Peach Crop

   The beautiful weather we've enjoyed for the last week has been nice for pruning our raspberry planting each day, but this early spring is endangering the peach crop.  Our two plumcot trees have started blooming already, on Feb. 23, and peach flower buds have swollen already.  Thankfully, colder weather is predicted for the next few days, which should slow down peach flower bud development.  We still have over 6 weeks to go before the average date of the last spring frost.
Our two plumcot trees have started blooming already, and the open blossoms will likely be killed by a frost early Sat. morning.  Peach flower buds, on trees in background, have swollen.
   A 26 F frost is predicted for early Sat. morning, Feb. 25, which will kill all open blossoms on our two plumcot trees.  More  plumcot flower buds will open over the next couple weeks, but since bloom started this early, it's likely that we'll lose the plumcot crop again this year.  This is why we only have two plumcot trees, since they bloom so early that, in this area where spring frosts are common, we can only expect to have a plumcot crop about 5 years out of every 10 years.
   Thankfully, pear flower buds have not yet swollen.  We are praying that we will have a peach crop and a pear crop this year. 
   We still have many apples and pecans for sale.  Scroll down 3 posts for prices.  Just phone 620-597-2450 a day in advance, and leave a message on the answering machine saying your name and the day and approximate time you're coming to get them.
Ornamental flowering quince bushes are blooming already also, with the peach orchard in the background.  This is the view from the house, where the phone rings.
   The phone rings in the house, and I check for messages when I come in from working in the orchards or sorting apples in the sales building.  If you wait to call until on your way here, I probably won't get your message before you come.  When the weather's nice it's especially important to call a day ahead, as I can't always see the driveway from some parts of the fruit plantings, and when I'm working on a tractor I can't hear vehicles come in if you just drop by.