Got peaches

MrClintFebruary 14, 2014

'Desert Gold' peach setting fruit.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

A word of caution: Don't count your fruits before they ripen.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:44AM
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MrClint

jean001a, if I counted fruits I would be heartbroken every year. I probably remove 5x more fruit by thinning than I allow to mature.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 1:57AM
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alan haigh

Where Mr. Clint lives he can almost count on a harvest every year. CA now has home and office sites placed over much of the best fruit growing land in the country.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:47AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Yeah but the drought this year is so bad many CA farmers are hurting bigtime. On the bright side our farmers see a huge niche to fill and will be hoping to do so.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:04AM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

My Eva's pride peach is always the first to set fruit. This year is no different. Nearly 100% of the fruit will stay on the tree if not thinned. The fruit will squish together and eventually the tree will self destruct with major limbs breaking off.

Here are a few branches after thinning. I will probably have to thin once or twice more as the fruit gets bigger later in the year.

This post was edited by econ0003 on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 14:25

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:34PM
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MrClint

econ0003, that's an early fruit set for a peach that normally harvests in June. Is 'Eva's Pride' a May peach for you?

I've learned to thin with abandon. The fruit is much better and the stress on the tree is much less. I do end up making multiple thinning passes right up until harvest. Under-ripe peaches are pretty good on the grill.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 2:50PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Well yeah econ says the tree will self destruct if not thinned!
I wanted to grow that one, but it is too early for here. A great eating peach I here!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:06PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Wow. Amazing how early you guys get fruit out there and so green. I'm cheating up here and my peach buds are just swelling in the kitchen.

Extended range (late Feb/early March) has the heat death ridge showing up over most of California, so there should be plenty of warmth to get everything ahead of schedule. That ridge, allows a nice trough to sit over the Ohio Valley/midwest so there will plenty of chill yet to come for those east of the Mississippi.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:07PM
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MrClint

franktank232, early and late are relative terms here. An early May peach contends with citrus, loquats and berries that are plentiful at that time. Having great fruit year round is less of a challenge than limiting the choices available from June to August. That June to August window requires discipline to keep from going way overboard.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:11PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

On Monday, UFBeauty.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:45PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Mr. Clint, would love to know how you grill those unripe peaches.

This is our first year in this house with some pretty old fruit trees. The apricot is huge, even though we pruned it, and it's loaded with apricots. Same for the peach, but it's smaller because it did self destruct last year.

My mission this year is to thin the fruit. Thinning began yesterday.

I'd like to know how to grill the not quite ripe fruit. I'd then have an advantage over those greedy birds!

Suzi

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:34AM
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MrClint

desertdance, I just place the not-yet-ripe fruit right on the grill. If they are ripe enough to split in half, so much the better. Let them get some nice grill marks and then turn them over. They will soften up and add some tartness on the side of your main dish. I grill outside year round especially on weekends, so I'm always experimenting.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:41AM
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alan haigh

Come on, Mr. Clint, don't rub it in. I grill year round too, but right now the top of my Webber is buried under a couple feet of heavy snow. Probably have to dig it out next weekend so I can do a chicken.

One nice thing about grilling in the winter here, I pull all the hot coals I need from my wood burning stove. Half of the fire I have going all winter is fueled by apple wood I bring back from work. Makes a great charcoal.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:04PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Mrclint, my Eva's pride usually starts to ripen towards the end of May. The fruit is usually gone by early June.

Suzi, have you tried bird scare tape in your fruit trees? The birds won't go near any tree in my yard that has it.

I am still trying to figure out how to keep raccoons and rats out of my trees. Trapping and poisoning has worked to some degree.

This post was edited by econ0003 on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 14:37

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:23PM
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MrClint

harvestman, my Dad loved the cold, snow and such. Me, not so much. I think it's important to like where you live, and enjoy whatever the region has to offer. There are positives and negatives in every locale. That said, I love to grill, even in the pouring rain. :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 3:05PM
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alan haigh

Agreed- my problem is I love some of what I have and some of what I gave up. I was at my happiest state rocken in the waves of the Pacific. Cold doesn't bother me too much but I miss that ocean with all my heart. And the live oak, chapparal hills.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:27PM
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MrClint

Ah harvestman, there are so many nice little places to eat along PCH now, and in all price ranges. Malibu seafood has seating going up the hill where you can chomp on super fresh seafood and watch dolphins and pelicans at work & play.

The drive through your old Topanga canyon is still a nice diversion. And the drive along Mulholland overlooking the Valley is a nice way to travel as well. The air is so much cleaner now than when we went to Parkman Jr High all those years ago. :)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:13PM
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alan haigh

I still have a place to stay in Topanga, and if I come during summer I could harvest fruit from trees I planted in the late 1960's- purchased bare root from Treeland in the valley- just north of Woodland Hills or on the border.

A Santa Rosa plum still survives, dwarfed under a partial canopy of eucalyptus, and an Elephant Heart, similarly challenged. There is also an apricot that already stood when we moved there in 1963 and a brown turkey fig I planted for my fathers 80th birthday. Also a couple of persimmons in too much shade to ever bear.

Coons and squirrels don't always get all the fruit, especially not the figs, but the apricots get stripped every other year. I can't believe I've been fighting squirrels for over 50 years. In this drought you'd need chicken wire cages.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 5:54AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

econ0003 Thanks for the bird scare tape suggestion. I just got 75' of Bird-X tape on Ebay for $25.00 incl tax with free shipping. I'll try it on all my fruit trees this year!

I'll probably need more, but the peaches, plum and apricots will ripen first, then the Anna Apple, then the figs and the vineyard.

This thinning is making me crazy! Bees are gone from the loaded peach, but they are still buzzing around the apricot and plum. Every day I go out twice, and am amazed at what I've missed!!

Suzi

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:59PM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Peach flowers everywhere starting several weeks ago and I have yet to spot a pollinator. As for keeping birds off the peaches, besides keeping the trees small and netting with tulle, build them a small pond suitable for both birds and beneficials getting a drink.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 3:35PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

desertdance, you can get a 500' roll for $7.99 on groworganic.com. It may be around $20 after tax and shipping. Still pretty cheap for 500'.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:01PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Fascist_Nation,
The Peach flowers should get pollinated by the wind.Gently shaking the pollen loose may also help. Brady

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:41AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

econ0003! I wish I knew about that place. I have it bookmarked for the future. We do have a vineyard that won't be allowed to fruit this year since we just moved it to this property, but in the future many more feet of the stuff will be needed.

Thanks for the tip!
Suzi

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:22AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

And today......

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:21PM
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MrClint

'Desert Gold' peach is done blooming, has starting to leaf out completely and needs to be thinned some more. 'Arctic Star' nectarine is right behind it.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 11:54PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Nice bloom and tree training Bamboo. Do you have to spray your peaches much in FL?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:26AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Olpea,

So far I have not had to spray the peaches for anything.....I know that may change but so far so good. The bad part is they never really went dormant.....they started to then started blooming. I asked Fruitnut about it and he advised to wait to prune till after our frost free date which is March 1. Although we seem to be done now with that chance as the next ten days are 70's and 80's and lowest temp I see is 42.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:03PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

You don't need all those fancy 70F temps and palm trees to get early flowering...

Took one of my trees outside to get watered in the heatwave (43F) ...tons of sunshine. I think this actually might be a Tomcot, but not positive (can't find the tag from when i budded it)... Actually had 90F in one of my low tunnels this afternoon.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:01PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

That is great seeing that with the back drop of snow:)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:46PM
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alan haigh

Olpea, you don't think some of BR's branches are too close to horizontal? Looks to me like he will need to crutch them like crazy to save those scaffolds from the weight of this years crop.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:54PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Hman,

Actually Bamboo's trees are pretty much how mine look at that size. Maybe one or two of his scaffolds is a little more horizontal than what I go for, but overall that's how I train my trees.

I've been to quite a few peach orchards around here, and for the most part that's how they train trees.

I know you prefer a more upright angle. I've said before, I think New Yorkers are more hard charging folk, while we in the Midwest are more laid back, as is reflected in our tree shape.

I guess I sort of prune out any problems every year anyway. If the foliage gets too low, I prune it off. As it gets too high, I prune that off too, so in the end I keep the wood I can reach, and doesn't drag the ground. Sometimes I'll get a little dragging on lower branches under heavy fruit load, but it doesn't happen too often, and when it does, it only sacrifices the few fruit, which touch the ground.

Bamboo's scaffolds are maybe a tad thinner for how long they are, so he'll need to thin heavily. That's one thing I do a little different than a lot of people - I think. I thin to every 12".

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:22PM
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alan haigh

Actually, because I have so much trunk before first scaffolds, I tend to grow them excessively horizontally myself, and pay the price with either having to tie branches up or crutch them in their early years. It is the price you pay if you want fruit you can reach without a ladder and can still set up baffles to keep critters off.

One of the reasons I begin with a central leader is so I have something to tie lower branches to the first couple years of cropping.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:24AM
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MrClint

'Desert Gold' sizing up and coloring up. Lots of foliage:

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

Those leaves are goooorgeous doll. ;)

This post was edited by Puggylover75 on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 13:31

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:22PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Maybe it is because we are on the coast and it is not so hot, but we have fruit trees that grew on their own, never got thinned, never were watered, sprayed etc...And yet they are covered in fruit. Of course the quality suffers but still. Peaches are hardy here (Plums too)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 1:36PM
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MrClint

Desert Gold starting to trickle in. Not yet at peak ripeness, but pretty darn good just the same:

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:00AM
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mrsg47(7)

Mr. Clint, your peaches look wonderful! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:44PM
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alan haigh

I love that small pit. Guess CA will be shipping some out in next couple weeks- or are you far ahead of commercial growers?

Dam they look good.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:30PM
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MrClint

Thanks, MrsG47. Desert Gold is an excellent early peach here. They are incredibly juicy. I may grill some up tonight, and/or float thin slices in champagne.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 6:38PM
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MrClint

harvestman, it's not a free stone so I just sliced outside the seed a bit. The L.E.Cooke recommendation sheet calls out Desert Gold for harvest in April, and frankly this is the earliest I can remember it being ready. It's mostly a May peach here. We are running way ahead this year.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:30PM
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melikeeatplants

Last year I got Desert Gold first week of June in NorCal. I figure will be two weeks earlier this year. I've been waiting a LONG time for some dead ripe peaches off the tree.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:09PM
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MrClint

melikeeatplants, we had an early bloom and then a slightly larger bloom that followed for almost everything. As a result, the early blossoms set fruit, some are ripening now and some still need a bit more time. It's been wacky. I'm OK with an extended harvest. Right now blueberries, peaches, loquats and lemons are keeping me loaded with fruit.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:15PM
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