What's going on with South Georgia Peaches this year??

Jennifer McMillanAug 24, '17

What's going on with peaches this year?  Unfortunately, we have decided not to open our U-Pick Peach, Plum, and Nectarine Orchard this year.  There are several weather related factors that determine our crop each year and this year was the worst to date for our trees.  All of our summer crops need a certain amount of chill hours in the winter. This causes the plant to go into a dormant state that is similar to hibernation...just like we sleep at night to rest our bodies, the trees/plants need to rest in the winter. Warm temperatures in the winter confuse the plant, which can cause early blooms or prevent the plant from getting the rest it needs in a full dormant state.  Two things happened this year.  Our early varieties of plums and blueberries that don't require as many chill hours had already started blooming, so when the late freeze happened they got wiped out b/c the blooms cannot stand weather below 32 degrees. On the other hand, the later varieties didn't have enough cold weather.  Then when the natural time came for warmer weather, the buds didn't break their dormancy and bloom like they normally would.  Because of this, we barely have a peach, nectarine, or plum crop.  It affected the amount of blooms on almost everything that we grow but the tree fruit were hit the hardest.  Where you might pick several gallons on one tree a day we now walk over the entire field and only get a couple gallons off of all of the trees.  Because of this, we will not be opening our peach, plum, and nectarine orchard for U-Pick. We will walk over it every day and sell them in the store as they come in.  Luckily we still have plenty U-Pick Blueberries & Blackberries!

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