The ‘Double Jewel’ fruiting/flowering peach is about done flowering and well into its fruiting stage. Other branches are loaded with little developing fruits, and just these few branches remain in their full floral splendor.
Meanwhile, down the hedge…
The early-blooming peaches are getting big. Those in the foreground are ‘Midpride,’ one of the finest low-chill peaches. Just behind them are the fruits of the ‘Earlitreat’ peach–the first trunk that is visible. ‘Earlitreat’ lives up to its name. Some years the first peach has been ripe on 30 April, though with our late chill and rains this year, everything is a bit delayed. You can almost watch these peaches expand. They go from bloom to relatively large peaches in an amazingly short time. It is not even one of the first to bloom here, but always the first to ripen. Quality varies. Some years it is quite rich and other years quite bland. I expect bland this year, because it has been unusually cool in March and April. But I won’t complain about fresh peaches bursting with juice in May!
Beyond the ‘Earlitreat’ in the photo is the runt of an ‘August Pride,’ then the ‘Arctic Star’ (a spectacularly sweet and juicy bald peach, i.e. nectarine), and then at the end of the hedge, the ‘Double Jewel’ again (note the blooms).
This hedgerow is on Ladera Frutal’s middle elevations, where the chilling is moderate (400 hours or less). All of these varieties need under 400 and some (like ‘Midpride’) probably under 200.