Early versus late peaches

I have two peach trees, one ripens in mid June, the other late but not sure when. If I can doge frost my early peach will produce good fruit. I don’t spray them, just pull off any fruit that looks damaged. The late peach lost every single peach to brown rot long before they were close to ripe. Is that a common issue with late peaches, it seams the longer they are on the tree the more can happen to them.

It depends on the climate, sometimes later peaches do better and sometimes they do worse. Peaches ripening in September tend to do a bit better for me due to the cooler weather with less rot. So, O’Henry for example is usually doing pretty well. Overall I would say it has more to do with variety than season, I have easy rotting early peaches and never-rotting late ones, vice-versa, and everything in-between.

I’m new to peaches, but my guess is that the longer the peach hangs on the tree the better the chance something will destroy the fruit. May be insects or perhaps disease or even some type of animal. I have seen this happen with apples. The early apples seem to have fewer problems than the late apples like goldrush which hang on the tree a long time. It seems like the longer the fruit hangs on the tree, the better the chance something bad will happen to it.

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I believe that, in the northeast, early peaches are more likely to provide fruit without summer brown rot protection- it is certainly true at most sites I’ve worked over the years. However, like most things in growing fruit, it is not an entirely predictable formulation, even within my region.

I have one site I sometimes spray as a favor where there is a Harrow Diamond (very early peach) that rots without a spray following my standard, usually last week of May, spray that includes fungicide (Indar and Captan). If I spray it a couple weeks before it ripens, say the first week of July, it is, of course, fine.

I’ve never needed to apply an additional spray to HD at any other site to get pristine peaches. Usually Red Haven is the first one that might rot without an additional fungicide app. if I’m not trying to get commercial grade pristine fruit.

Some sites will ripen many varieties without additional fungicide (applications after May) and would be and sometimes are fine without fungicide at that time. Lots of variables here- as usual. In general the longer the peach stays on the tree the more pressure it will likely be exposed to. That, to me, is a given.

For much of the season the peach is small and hard and its mainly the moths that can go after it. So I don’t think hanging longer necessarily makes things worse - rot only really picks up as the fruit sweetens toward the end of maturity. To me the biggest factor is how rot-prone the last couple of weeks of growth are weather-wise. Later apples are almost all good here, there is not much heat around when they are ripening. Usually my apricots ripen early enough that there was not enough heat/wet and rot, but this year it was horrible due to the wet weather at that point. Midseason peaches are usually the most difficult due to greater chances of rot weather. Later peaches are usually coming out better than midseason ones.

The one dimension I would agree gets worse as the year goes along is moth damage - they can attack fruits over a long period. If I controlled them well early I don’t see much difference, but if they are out of control the later peaches suffer more.

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Any thing that punctures the skin will create more opportunity for rot including stink bugs- it is just a simple matter of odds in this context. Also warm wet conditions will get scab started on green peaches which also can lead to brown rot. Same deal with long uninterrupted periods of wet weather which can simply cause rotten spots that grow-even on gree peaches.

I’m sorry Scott, but on this rare occasion I have to disagree with you- so far.

However, a lot of my actual experience with this tendency pertains to early season varieties that tend to ripen before really hot and humid weather tends to kick in. But that in itself is a huge difference for someone trying to grow any kind of peach without synthetic fungicides in humid areas.

I still have to say that late Aug peaches seem more prone to rot than late July. We would need some actual research to clear this up but I look forward to the observations of others on this.

Alan, even for stinkbugs my later peaches do better. Some of the midseason peaches get stinkbugs badly, but none of the late ones. Stinkbugs have definite taste preferences, for me Carolina Gold, Foster, and Carman are the three varieties I really need to watch. They are all mid-season.

I have no really early peaches, I expect they would do better based on how my apricots usually fare. Since I tend to grow older varieties I have a much later peach harvest than most people. It could be what you are calling late I call mid-season. One late peach does really badly, Indian Free. It is highly prone to rot. But the record worst rotters I have had were Silver Logan and Saturn, both midseason.

Saucer peaches don’t count, they are all pretty early and all rotters- because of their shape and/or juiciness I think.

At ant rate, neither of us have adequate data to really settle this. My experience with the peaches I grow in my region points one way and yours another. The worst rotter I grow is Lady Nancy. which ripens in the first week of Sept here. When I first read your statement contradicting me I thought you were flat out wrong- now I don’t think either one of us knows the answer. We are guessing with only limited information.

However, I have no doubt that it requires fewer sprays for me to get pristine early peaches than mid or late ones.