Worthless peaches

Last year my and most of my customer’s stonefruit crops were frozen out so I was really looking forward to the heavy set of fruit there is this year. Early apricots were a bit thin on the brix but good as were the Flavor May peaches, my first of the season. However, what is ripening now is worthless. Beautiful fruit that tastes like vegetables. There is so little sugar that they are not pleasurable to eat. Bushels of fruit I have no use for. Harrow Diamond, Spring Snow, Desiree, PFBig- all worthless.

About 10 days ago we had a tropical storm come through, in itself dumping 4" of rain and obscuring the sun for a couple of days. But it isn’t like a constant wet and grey summer so I’m surprised the fruit is this terrible. Perhaps the warmth of the nights and high humidity is contributing.

Early varieties tend to be brix challenged in this humid region where we average 3-4" of rain every month of the year, but this is the worst crop of early peaches I’ve ever had. I’d rather have no fruit than beautiful fruit with no flavor.

I wish I could direct some of the precip to the west coast. We’ve been in a wet cycle for 4 straight seasons. I live and manage many orchards in the southern NY area.

IE mulberries are great, but most recent ripening blueberries have been damaged by high heat and rain.


@alan - it is hard for me to imagine a peach that really taste bad… but my experience with peaches is if something can go wrong with them, it will go wrong with them.

Our crop last year was done in by late frost on 4/15… and this year we had LOTS of rain too in June and so far in July… BR started showing up near the end of my early tree ripening fruit, and by the time my later tree started ripening fruit, the BR took 99% of them.

I am going to buy me a wood chipper leaf shredder soon, so I can start making my own mulch…

I think my late ripening peach tree, is destined to be chipped.

I have no doubt that I can plant something else there and get way more nice fruit than it has produced… and a lot less disappointment.


@alan ,
Agree. We are not too far from each other. We have rain almost every day for at least 10 days and it will continue for several more days.

July this year will likely beat the 100 year record of the amount of rain we had.

My little SpringSnow that dropped 14 days ago was sweeter than the fully ripened ones now. These ripened Spring Snow are full of water and taste very bland with brix around 10. My husband refused to eat them!!

Sorry to hear that, Alan. Like Mamuang said, maybe it’s not surprising with the weather we’ve had. I guess it does make me feel a bit better about the squirrels stealing all of my peaches…

Funny how different things are depending where you are at. We got 2.5 inches of rain yesterday alone but even so we are still in a drought in Michigan. Getting closer to normal now we are only 1.5 inches below average rainfall. Yesterday helped a lot. This is the best year I have had for production and high brix. The raspberries are extremely sweet. Stone fruit is doing well. Only cherries ripe at this point. I only have one peach tree at the moment. It’s doing well, loaded. It’s Indian Free so won’t be ripe till late September. Pest pressure is extremely low too. The best performing stone fruit for me is hands down pluots which have produced better than any other plum year after year after year. Best tomato and pepper crop ever. The peppers are exceptional. Some ripening before tomatoes. That never happened before. I pickled five jars of banana pepper rings two days ago. I usually don’t process peppers until we’ll into august. Crunchy and very flavorful. Best banana rings ever.


I have to echo Drew’s comments. This has been the
best year ever for me for fruit production and quality
of fruit. We just had 3 inches of rain yesterday and
are still in a drought with accompanying heat wave.
I have so much fruit, of every variety, that I can’t give
it away fast enough. I’ve NEVER had fruit rot on the
ground for lack of not being able to pick it all.
Last year was the exact opposite. It was the worst year
I’ve ever had, except for pears. Feast or famine.
Just goes to show everything is site specific.


My season is spread out as far as I can make it so this is just preliminary. Main crop doesn’t come until August and even if that fails, Sept should provide me with all I need of stonefruit should all else fail. And then there are the Victoria and Indian blood peaches in early Oct.

Frozen fruit is as important to me as off the tree and I need to harvest enough to get me through winter and spring.

We could definitely use some precipitation here :slight_smile: This year, I finally managed to thin the fruit at the right amount (10-12 inches) while following other crop management practices - low (actually zero) watering, open canopy, etc. However, I do see rot in about 20% of the crop. Bit puzzled given that I spent days cleaning up all the fruits and leaves and debris in the winter and we had the driest weather (even for CA) in a long time.

Is this brown rot?

Even with some fruits which are not affected as much, I see soft spots, as though the fruit had uneven ripening. Is this a common symptom?

On the flip side, whatever fruit is left tasted great. Brix 15-17 compared to 13-15 last year. However, I perceive more balanced flavor (sugar:acid) than high sugar. Last year’s fruit felt like they were low acid. My wife prefers the last year version though.


Could be Anthracnose. Brown rot looks like this:


Looks like bruising to me or over ripeness, not brown rot


@danzeb thanks. Anthracnose seems to be spot on.

@rayrose thats what I thought as well but it’s quite prevalent and I didn’t see this level of bruising before.

My weather station data shows 7.57 inches of rain in the last 30 days, and 6.12 inches for July alone. I have two rows in the orchard I can’t even mow they’re so wet. I wanted to prep additional rows to plant out this fall, but it’s just too wet.

we are about -1.5in. here also. not quite drought but on the edge. some big showers have saved us. looks like a bumper crop on many things here also. havent seen this much fruit set as i have this summer. alot of it is young but even my mature stuff is ripening big crops. growth has been very good also. only thing ive need to water so far has been stuff in pots. very little disease and bug pressure. cane borer has been the exception but they show up every year. sad to have fruit so much fruit that is useless. probably still be better than the garbage they sell in the stores here.

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Maybe dehydrating will concentrate whatever flavor is being diluted.

Might be worth trying to salvage these for something other than mulch



We’ve had 6.5 inches the last 30 days (going back to June 17), I harvested my first peach yesterday, Avalon Pride, 13 brix. Not great, but not horrible. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my first crop of Beauty plums. Some cracking, but not on all of them. Lots of 13 and 14 brix, plus a few 15 brix. Not great, a bit watered down and too juicy, but still good for early plums in Ohio. It’s a keeper for me. I’m surprised there aren’t more comparisons of Beauty to Superior in catalogs. Almost the same but in my less sunny climate, the longer season Superior is better than the short season Beauty. Still a nice surprise for me. I remain a little worried about it’s very low chill requirement, however. That’s why I never paid attention to it in the past, glad I got it via mislabeled scion!

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I have no idea what is going on this year. I had most peach trees loaded (only a few years old so loaded is still less than half a bushel per tree), my early peaches ripened and were good (some pest problems). But then June hit, and all my peaches and plums just started to drop their leaves. lost most of the the peaches, and just barely saved the trees. My Chum tree right next to these had no issues though, still looks nice and healthy with sprite and delight ripe now.
I am hoping this is just some kind of fluke and the trees can properly recover for production next year.

I only grow those early peaches to give away. Flavor May is useful for my own use, but after that I lean on nectarines. The problem is that my Carene nectarine tree died and a scaffold branch on another tree in my personal orchard that I started with what was supposed to be Carene turned out to be Flavor May Peach- on a Flavor May tree. A typical unfortunate coincidence that also occured on a couple of the trees I sold and now care for. If I had them in my orchard I’d likely be eating Carene now- its brix stands up to rain.

I tasted an early ripening Glenglo this morning and it was edible. Things are very gradually drying out even though we continue to get regular thunderstorms, but usually after day sun and usually not torrential.

We deal with so much early season rain here that I got rid of any peach varieties which ripen before Harrow Diamond. That doesn’t guarantee peaches which ripen after HD won’t be affected negatively by rain. It’s just that peaches before HD, more often that not, are blanded out by too much rain. Sometimes even Redhaven will get blanded by rain. I’ve never seen peaches after Redhaven blanded by rain. Generally by mid July things dry out and really heat up here. Interestingly, I’ve not seen Spring Snow (which ripens in with HD) get blanded. But I only planted it ten years ago, and several of those years it’s been blank because of its finicky production. The last two years it’s been blank.

I’ve found the biggest affect by rain is roughly one to three weeks before peaches harvest. Heavy rains before 3 weeks prior to harvest don’t affect flavor much if it will dry out and heat up the final three weeks. Peaches which receive a lot of rain a week before harvest won’t have the flavor/sugar washed out, but they will crack and rot, if they are not picked firm ripe.

I can’t be sure, but I suspect the cloudy weather (along with all the excess water) contributes to the blandness. Though it is a bit hard to tell, as clouds and rain generally run together here.


We have had so much rain since the end of June. Sometimes, it was pouring rain like last evening. Since the beginning of July, we may have had fewer than 5 sunny days!!

These Spring Snow were from a potted tree. Maybe, being in a pot, it could affect the quality of the fruit more than ones from the in-ground tree.

All peaches from the potted tree had their bottom ends split like this.


That’s a lot of rain!