Peach crop should be fine

Published 3:24 pm Thursday, March 8, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Despite a cold snap this week, the blooming Chilton County peach crop is expected to be largely unaffected.

“Whenever we have a cold front it is always a concern, but the temperature will not get cold enough to be a major concern this time,” Edgar Vinson, Alabama Cooperative Extension Systems fruit specialist, said.

However, strawberries and blueberries are more of a concern.

Chill hours have been met for the peach trees, and many are in full bloom. Temperatures below 28 to 29 degrees can kill these flowers.

“We have an abundance of flowers this year,” Vinson said. “A big turnaround from last year.”

Vinson said some blooms may be killed off by recent low temperatures, but this would be more “natural and needed thinning of the flowers.”

Trees in low lying areas could be more affected and see some damage.

Since strawberries and blueberries have already developed, they are more vulnerable to the cold weather. Vinson said thick row covers are fairly effective in raising the temperature for the plants a few degrees and keeping it out of the danger zone.

Even if some of the early crop is killed by low temperatures, Vinson said the plants will continue to flower and produce fruit later in the season.