2018 peach report


Tardive the derivative of Tardif, only means late.


Thanks for the peach report. I’m curious if you do any chemical weeding of your peach trees. I know most peach varieties are pretty sensitive to herbicides but all this hand weeding is about to put me in an early grave.

Any advice is appreciated.




As Mrs. G mentions, mulch is very effective for small plantings. For larger plantings, herbicides are necessary in most instances.

I use a combination of both. I try to smother as many weeds as possible with wood chips. But I can’t get enough wood chips to do the job, plus some weeds aren’t smothered by the chips.

This year I used a pre-emergent (Sinbar) before weeds emerged. Once the pre-emergent lost its effectiveness, I went back and killed them with glyphosate mixed with Alion (as a pre-emergent again). This did a pretty good job for the season for mature trees.

For young trees be very very careful with glyphosate. Any herbicide which hits the bark can easily kill the tree, as well as the slightest bit of overspray.


Or drift, or even vapor on a hot day with some that have been approved. There was one on the market that was used a lot by landscapers around here before it was known how bad it was in terms of vapor injuring trees. It scorched some pears I was managing. I think it was withdrawn from the market, so this may have been an abnormal occurrence. I am very ignorant about herbicides.

Once I recommended glyphosphate on an estate with a couple hundred fruit trees and a limited budget. The trees were quite young with lots of suckers and I forgot to tell them to remove the suckers and be very careful with application- they weren’t. I was amazed that not even the peach trees suffered the consequences of my lack of adequate guidance.

Plastic tree shelters (short plastic cylinders, can apparently protect young peach trees. .


That’s interesting. I suppose the tolerance of young peach trees to glyphosate depends alot on the application, and equipment.

We’ve had some accidents with a power assisted wand, so we don’t get very close at all to young peach trees with that equipment anymore. When we do, we always keep a 5 gal bucket of fresh water to immediately rinse any young trees which we accidentally over sprayed.

My son once killed about 40 peach seedlings with a pump up sprayer of glyphosate. Honestly I don’t remember the rate we were mixing it. He was a young teen at the time. I’m sure we were mixing ammonium sulfate with it, which improves plant uptake.

We’ve killed some young trees since, but it’s pretty rare now.

I’ve found mature peach trees tolerant of glyphosate. Even if some of the low foliage gets hit with glyphosate, it doesn’t seem to affect the tree. But I don’t spray glyphosate after July 15th here.


No later than June here. I have been to a few seminars where commercial peach and apple growers were experiencing problems from too much glyphosate. I don’t believe I have killed or damaged any of my fruit tree from using this material, but I have cut way back on its use and now use more glufosinate. Unfortunately, glufosinate is about 5 times more expensive.

Its normal to paint the trunks with white latex paint in my area which may help help protect the trees from the herbicide.

I use Sinbar and Alion for pre-emergent control also. They work great most of the time, but we had a huge amount of rain this year and when the pre-emergent control ran out the weeds grew like crazy.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that Blueberries don’t seem to be as sensitive to Roundup as fruit trees. I believe some of the damage to fruit trees from Roundup in a commercial orchard setting is a result of spraying suckers or low hanging branches using a boom mounted to a tractror. I never use a boom, only a backback sprayer with a lot of care and attention. It takes a lot of work to spray a band of herbicide down the rows of an acre or two of peaches and apples.


My Contender peaches are ripe. While the crop and fruit size is good, the quality this year is not. We have has several inches of rain the past 10 days with flooded roads and fields. My Contenders are very watery and not much flavor this year.

Glad the peaches I picked last month (Reliance and Redhaven) were much better.
They at least ripened during a dry spell.

This horrendous rain lately is making it hard for me to dry my onions. The tomatoes are struggling. I just hope the winter squash will be ok and not rot real fast this Fall. Sometimes when we are this wet, nothing stores long term.


I had my first old fashioned Elberta today. My husband and I used to eat them fresh on Croissants. It was a tiny bit green on one side and had a crack due to its fall from its too high canopy, but it was great. There are about 40 on the tree and I will not share them with squirrels!


I’m still debating between planting the old Elberta or Fay Elberta. Have you tried both?


Only the orig. Elberta. The tree is a monster and if the squirrels leave them alone they are fantastic!


My PF24C have dropped a few fruit everyday. These early dropped ones almost all had brown rot. Some more, some less. I sprayed Indar 3 times before the monsoon in late July to almost the end of August.

By last week, I felt another Indar was needed and sprayed it for the fourth time. Still, a lot of rot. Why not? when it was wet for so many weeks this summer. I probably will pick most of them this weekend. They haven’ tasted that good, rather bland, watery and some acidic. My hope that the past 7 dry days could help improve the taste has not worked out.

Autumn Star has another week to ripen. Heard that a Hurricane is coming up via the Carolinas. Probably, it will arrive here in time of AS ripen. Lucky me.


We’ve had a terrible time with fruit dropping here. I don’t recall ever seeing anything quite like it. Fruit is rock hard and drops. We’ve had a lot of rain here lately and cloudy weather. Right now I’m very concerned about the quality.


Yup, several that dropped were rock hard, nowhere near ripen. Lately, the dropped ones had some rot on them but they were not ripe, either. Peaches that are half rot, half unripe, nothing better (sarcasically speaking, of course)!!!


Speaking of Elberta, I ate one at a site the other day that was sweeter than most of the peaches I’m harvesting from my own trees of “better” varieties. And this is a site that usually doesn’t produce as good a peaches as I do- the soil is a clay loam that holds too much water. Maybe I just hit a lucky peach, just as my PF28 produced one amazingly good peach and the rest I’ve eaten have been only OK and haven’t cracked 13 brix. On much better peach years at my site I was very unimpressed with my own Elberta and cut it down.

Right now the best peach I’m harvesting is O’Henry- it’s freckled with bacterial spot but has a wonderful meaty texture, and orange running to red flesh with enough sugar to be a great peach. Unfortunately, the crop is light, which probably explains the higher brix. In the future I think I will aim to produce half as many peaches per tree and thin them to a foot- at least on some branches.


I get the same thing when shopping at the store operated by/located in front of my area’s #1 fruit orchard. Stonefruit doesn’t get identified by variety and the employees only know things like “white” or “yellow” and “freestone”. I have to find the owners to ask about the variety. I’ve noticed the same thing at other farm stands that I’ve visited in Connecticut. Very few consumers care. I only started asking about the variety of the stonefruit this year.


From a different perspective, I’m not that thrilled when customers ask about the variety. I used to like to talk about it with customers, but not anymore.

The reason is that if the customer gets a batch of unusually sweet peaches (generally because we’ve had a dry spell when they are buying that batch) they attribute the flavor to the variety (not the weather). Then they mark it in their memory, or go home and write it down.

Then the next year, they keep calling for that variety, or worse, want me to call them when we are harvesting that variety. It’s really hard when you are picking 5 or 6 varieties at the same time and picking 500+ lbs. per day, to keep all the varieties identifiable and separate. It’s really bad when the customer wants you to call them, when we have 100 customers, on a good day.

I dread making promises that I will call a customer when their variety comes in, but I always seem to tell them I’ll call. Half the time they can’t make it out that day anyway, or they want you to hold the peaches for them, which more of a hassle because it’s just one more thing to remember (Try holding back peaches for 10 different customers and try to remember who gets what. Of course some customers won’t pick up the peaches you hold back for them, which makes it even more fun :roll_eyes:)

I know folks on this forum are interested in the variety so they can figure out what to plant, which is completely different than what I am talking about. Please excuse me. I’m just tired from the season and my back hurts.


Many orchards in my area post on their web page and/or their facebook page about once a week which varieties they are picking at the moment. Easier than calling people. Also, at this day and age regular FB posts likely increase the number of customers.


When you are a farmer there just isn’t time to always be as generous as one would like. During growing and harvest season we are always over extended and something has to give.

A facebook page is a great idea, but also another chore. It may not always be as good a business decision as it sounds. You will have to deal with questions brought in through that, so it does represent another complication.

I’m 66 years old and the biggest problem in my life is that it becomes increasingly complicated as my brain becomes simpler. The devil is in the details in more than one way.


My problem is I’ve got too many varieties, which makes it difficult to keep varieties separate. I’ve been slowly culling down the number of varieties.

Facebook is a good tool for me, but as Alan mentioned, it’s another thing to keep track of and lots of questions to answer (especially Facebook PMs). This year our Facebook followers doubled, so I wasn’t able to even announce on Facebook that we had peaches as much as I wanted to. I was worried we would sell out of peaches for the day too early and folks would make the drive and we’d be sold out, which of course wouldn’t make a happy customer.

Facebook is an incredible tool in this regard. I think I could have sold twice the amount of peaches if I had them this year, just because the Facebook followers doubled. You have all your old customers from last year, so any new customers can only be taken care of by expanding production, which takes years to do, unless you’re willing to resell produce (which I’m not).