Peach disaster and how to prevent it?

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)August 1, 2008

I had a major disater with my peach harvesting this year and I'd like to figure out how to prevent it for next year.

My problem is likely related to how and when I get to the orchard. You see, I don't live where my trees are and I can only get out to them on the weekends. I went out there last friday and picked a couple of peaches that were ripe and they were very good. I left the rest of them because they didn't seem quite ready.

I went out again last Wednesday (5 days later) and there were about at least 5 peaches on the ground being eaten by bees and another 10 or so on the tree also being eaten by bees. So out of a potential 20 peach harvest, I got 2! ;-(

How should I prevent this next year? Pick them all when they first ones are ready? Keep spraying to keep the bugs off? Figure out a way to check them every day or two?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated,



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Bummer! Peaches will ripen indoors if they are almost ripe on the tree (and it sounds like they were just about ripe when you got to them the first time). I personally don't spray the fruit to keep the wasps, bees, hornets off, since I don't want to ingest the pesticide. This year, I covered my plum tree with bird netting and it kept the birds off completely, and discouraged the wasps. The wasps went more for the ones on the ground and the few that I was unable to cover with the bird netting. Certainly, if you can check the tree more often, you are more likely to get them before the winged marauders move in.

I know some folks bag their fruit. Sounds like waaaaay too much work to me, but if peaches are a baggable fruit, and you only have 20 on your tree, then that quantity would be doable.

Better luck next year!

Virginia in Virginia

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 10:34PM
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The fuzzy skin of the peach is pretty good protection from bees. What happens is the birds peck the skin and the bees then are attracted. I also think you could have picked them all when you were there and they would ripened OK. Al

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:45AM
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I have the same problem Bart1. I live in NOVA also, but have my orchard in WVA, which I can only get to on the weekends. To be specific, I have 46 peach trees that are in their 3rd year and are beginning to bear. The Hale Havens, red Havens and Belle of Georgias beared well, but the weekend I projected they would be ready they were not. The following weekend I went back to find nearly all the peaches had been "eaten". Now Im planning on waiting for my 32 Contenders to begin to ripen the first week of September, as usual. In my area, the weather patterns change enough that the bugs arent too awfully bad anymore and I get a good bit of peaches. We'll see what this year brings...

After going to a couple orchards in Fauqier County Virginia,Im thinking this is a numbers game, because I see the same thing there. There will always be bees and ants that will get their fair share and I will eventually get "my fair share". Probably another year or so.

Fortunately for me, I have no problems with squirrels in my part of WVA. They are hunted very hard. To be quite honest, Ive never seen a squirrel on my property...Im keeping my fingers crossed.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:14AM
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