Peaches will be here earlier this year

Published 1:18 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chilton County’s trademark appears to be on track to make an earlier appearance than usual this year.

Pending a late freeze between now and harvest time, experts believe that the peach harvest will be a week earlier than last year.

“It looks like things are going to come early,” said Chilton County Extension Superintendent Jim Pitts. “Strawberries are looking to come about 10 days early, and that affects peaches too.”

The only downside to an early harvest is that it is more susceptible to falling victim to a late freeze. Pitts said that if temperatures get down to 28 degrees, things could get bad for the peaches.

“It’s not unfeasible to have one more freeze,” he said. “Once peaches get to a certain stage, it doesn’t matter; the temperatures will get them.”

Despite the risk of a late freeze, Pitts believes the best way to handle a crop is to keep tending to it, freeze or no freeze, and keep a positive attitude.

“You just have to [keep going]. You can’t wait,” he said. “You’ve got to maintain the crops.”