Thursday, July 19, 2007

Peach harvest starts

Well, it has been no more than a week since cherry harvest ended -- with Balaton, Regina, and Sweetheart -- than peach harvest has begun. Today, we picked PF-1, pictured on the left, which is the first ripening peach from Paul Friday's Flamin'Fury peaches. PF-1 looks good for an early peach. There were a few split pits, but color was good and the fruit are attractive if not a bit small. I would say maturity is a little uneven so you have to pick carefully. (You can keep track of my 2007 peach harvest date here.) I want to compare this to Earlystar (formerly FA-101) which I may 1st-pick tomorrow or Monday at the latest. You should remember that as peaches ripen, they become far more susceptible to brown rot, particularly with this warm, humid, rainy weather we are having. At least two or three fungicide sprays need to be applied in the two to three weeks prior to harvest. Brown rot fungicide workhorses include Captan, Indar, Orbit, and Elite. The latter three are all SI fungicides, and it would not hurt to rotate with Captan. Pristine is also a very new option and would be good to rotate with either Captan or the SI's too. All-in-all it looks like an excellent peach harvest coming up in Massachusetts. Stay tuned.

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