Phillips Orchards & Cider Mill

  (Saint Johns, Michigan)
Life on the Farm
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Peaches - Thinning and Crossing our Fingers

Thursday I'm calling the peach thinning for the year about 90% complete.  I've thinned all the peaches twice already, but as they continue to grow, you always notice some that should have been thinned, so we'll have a little touch up thinning to do over the next month or so.  The fruit set was much lighter this year compared to last season.  I believe this was due to several freeze events during and shortly after bloom that reduced the fruit set.  When I did the first pass of thinning on the 3 year old peach trees, I thought we would have a nice crop on them, however now it's looking quite a bit lighter.  Hopefully as they continue to grow, the crop will look better.  The older trees have a better crop.  This is probably because they are higher off the ground, and therefore withstood the cold nights better.

Now I need to figure out how to keep the deer out of the young peach trees. Last year, they ate almost every peach off our young trees, just a day or so before I was ready to pick them.  I'm resigned to the fact that a real deer fence will be the ultimate solution, but I'll have to come up with something in the next month or so to give us a fighting chance this season.

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