By Ken Esten Cooke —
Where Fredericksburg’s annual, and valuable, peach crop is concerned, Monday and Tuesday’s freezes were “the best thing we could have hoped for.”
That was the opinion of Jim Kamas, fruit specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Kamas said annual chill hours, needed for trees to reach full dormancy, were at 920 hours on Feb. 3, far beyond the minimum required. But when warmer weather approached, things began advancing and a handful of peach blossom blooms appeared.
“For the majority, it’s not a concern, and if we lose those blooms, it’s actually a good thinning action,” he said. “It would be ideal if it would stay this way for another two weeks.”
But the forecast could keep temps low to hold back early blooms. Kamas said his seven-day forecast only shows us hitting 50 degrees once on Saturday.
Pushing back the bloom date could help, even for early peach varieties.