Our Growing Season in Julian for the Orchards
Orchard Management or seasonal cycles for our fruit trees follow these general steps and timeline:
Pruning -- We begin pruning each year in the orchards when the trees are dormant, late January to mid-February.
Fertilizing / Soil Amendments – After we’ve completed orchard pruning it’s time to apply fertilizer and soil amendments. Typically, peaches are the first to bloom, usually mid- to late- February or early March, depending on the weather.
The weather has a huge influence on farming production! In 2015, we lost the majority of our peach blossoms because of snow in March, resulting in a 100% peach crop loss. Preventative measures are always taken, but one thing that can not be controlled in farming is the weather!
Blooms -- Apples & pears typically begin blooming after the peaches and depending on the rootstock and varietal, do well in Julian. Bloom dates are documented and the weather is monitored carefully, as the fruit trees go into fruit set.
During the blossom stage, bees will pollinate. Without good bee pollination, you will not get fruit. Each year during this time, Rob keeps a close eye on the bee populations in the orchards.
Fruit Set - After fruit set, we place coddling moth traps and continue with the regular preventative spray program.
Fruit Drop – Fruit thinning is the necessary removal of young fruit to permit the remaining fruits to grow rapidly and encourage the growth of larger apples and pears at harvest. Peaches are thinned first. Then, in the first week of June, we begin thinning and dropping apples and pears.
Harvest – Peaches are harvested early- to mid-August, depending on the weather, and other observations. Harvesting of apples and pears may begin late September or early October.