Finishing up peach harvesting. Well not really, but I can see the end of the row. I picked a few China Pearls today and the Sweet Sue should get ripe in another week. Intrepid and Challenger were the best tasting peaches so far this year beating out even the Norman and Windblow. China Pearl might taste better once it comes on board. When I first planted the peaches I tried to plant them in order of when they ripened. I couldn’t find a date for Carolina Belle so it is way out of order. The information on Intrepid and Challenger was readily available, but somehow I managed to switch them around.
Within a couple of years, I am going to have to make a decision about replanting the peach orchard. My wife says we are not planting any more peach trees but I think she will change her mind about that.
Evaluating it by dollars over the lifetime of the orchard, the Contenders and China Pearl have been the best peaches. These are the least likely to have problems with late frost. Even the Intrepid and Challenger haven’t been as reliable. I attribute most of this years' crop other than the Contenders to the burn barrels I had going in the orchard. The radiant heat is what keeps blooms alive. I have considered planted only Contender and China Pearl in my next orchard. This would trade the production problem caused by late frost with a marketing problem with everything getting ripe at once. With the internet it may be possible to solve the marketing problem easier than the production problem.