Peaches & Apricots


It is relatively rare in Kansas to have both a peach and apricot crop that isn’t badly hurt by late frosts. This seems to be one of those “good” years in much of Kansas. Therefore, we want to take advantage of our good fortune. Following are certain things that should be done as the fruit matures to insure a good harvest.

Control insects and diseases: Though we are too late to control peach leaf curl (see related article), we do need to control scab and brown rot. The insects we need to be concerned with are plum curculio, oriental fruit moth, plant bugs and stink bugs. Use Captan or Immunox to control the diseases and malathion to control the insects. Spray every 10 to 14 days. Pay attention to the waiting period between the last spray and harvest. See our publication, “Fruit Pest Control for Home Gardens” at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/hort2/c592.pdf for more detail including organic controls.

Thin peaches: You may want to thin your peaches to 1 every 4 inches to maximize fruit size and to decrease the load on the branches. Peaches are borne in clusters, so calculate how many a branch can support by dividing the length of the branch in inches by 4. As long as there is an average of 4 inches of branch length per peach, it doesn’t matter whether the peaches are in clusters or not.

Prop up branches if needed: Prop up branches if the fruit load is so heavy that the tree may break apart. Use boards with a “V” cut in one end to support the branch.

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