Most people aren't thinking about peach trees in January. We certainly are! We actually love this time in the orchard. It's still, quiet, and cold, but there's so much more going on than what meets the eye!
Peach trees are actually a lot like people. They need enough rest to be their very best. While they are resting during the Winter, they are storing up the energy they are going to need to bloom and produce the most delicious peaches during the Summer. Peach trees require about 800 "chill hours" during the Winter months, or hours that are under 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The more rest they are able to get in the Winter, the sweeter and juicer the peaches will be.
All Winter, we track chill hours to see how we're pacing to reach 800 by the end of Winter. Right now in January 2023, we are right where we need to be for an amazing Summer crop.
Just as important as chill hours are in the Winter, it is also equally important that the cold weather ENDS at the right time. Once the peach trees wake up from their Winter rest and start blooming, we do not want the temperature to fall. But that is sleep we can lose when the time comes in a couple of months. For now, we enjoy the rest and dream of what it will bring us come Summer!