Selective thinning to extend harvest?

So I have been thinning my peaches and nects . This year some of my peaches set fruit like grapes.

Some of the peaches are the size of large olives but some are the size of peas. Obviously it seems that either those flowers were polinized later or just that these are slow growers.

The immediate inclination is to eliminate these but I was wondering if leaving these slowpokes on the tree (but still maintaining 6 inch spacing) will extend the harvest period by letting them keep growing after the larger ones are harvested.


You can try that but I doubt you’ll get the extended harvest you want. Those little ones are likely to fall off later. Try leaving a few and see what happens. I leave the biggest. But when a few little stay on I’ve not seen later maturing fruit. Well I take that back. Have seen some small late fruits that lack a viable seed. They are usually subpar quality but a few eatable. Split pits mature early with poor quality. Blank seeds mature late with poor quality.

That’s why there is an endless list of peaches that mature at various dates.

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I will leave a handful spaced as if they were well sized . I will probably have to sacrifice a few of the larger ones to leave these in place.


Am I the only one who thins as he (or she) bags?


I don’t bag. I get up to the orchard on weekends and bagging is just too labor intensive.

I wind up doing at least three weekly pruning passes through the orchard at this time of the year each from a different direction.

I constantly surprise myself as to how much I overlooked in the previous pass.

I try low level spray.


I’ve often wondered about this with apples when I’m thinning all but kings. The kings are obviously the first to flower, but they also have thicker stems which probably allow better nutrition, but they are bound to be the first to ripen, so favoring a few side kicks might extend the apple harvest- but apples keep better than peaches, obviously, the the payback of extended harvest is slight.

I agree with FN that markedly smaller peaches are likely not pollinated and will drop off. Anyway, the best way to extend the peach season is to have at least 6 varieties that create their own sequence of ripening. Not like you don’t have enough room.



BTW… How is your leg doing?


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Seems to be healing very quickly. I’m not really hobbling now and the only problem is when I bump the wound- which is just a line of stitches with no swelling at all. Have to find out when the stitches are supposed to be removed.

Thanks for asking.