Full text: Peach culture in California

Very few new plantings have been made during the last two or 
three years in any of the counties in southern California. In fact, a 
considerable acreage of mature trees has been pulled out. This is 
due in part to the fact that the available water supply can be used 
more profitably for other crops such as oranges, and in part to rather 
low average yields of peaches. In these southern counties, except in 
foothill sections, the winters are frequently too warm to break the rest. 
Blooming, and the beginning of growth following such winters are 
greatly delayed, and only small crops are set. 
The growing of a limited acreage of freestone peaches for the 
fresh fruit market of Los Angeles and other nearby cities may be 
profitable in sections where there is not a great tendency for delayed 
foliation to be troublesome. The J. H. Hale has been planted to some 
sxtent for this purpose. 
A factor to be considered in choosing a site is that of initial or 
developmental costs. The land may produce good peaches but if the 
costs are excessive the returns may never pay a fair rate of interest on 
the money invested. In choosing a location for a peach orchard 
the more important factors to be considered are: (1) climate; (2) 
water supply; and (3) soil. 
Climate Most Favorable to Peaches-—Most of the best California 
peach orchards are grown below an elevation of 1500 feet. The larger 
peach districts in the state are found in the Sacramento and San Joa- 
quin valleys at an elevation up to 300 feet. The peach tree and fruit 
withstand satisfactorily rather high summer temperatures. There are 
a few orchards in the foothill districts, but the elevation of the profit- 
able ones rarely exceeds 2000 feet. 
In California the only loss from freezing in peach orchards is near 
blooming time or later. In a few sections the winters are frequently 
too warm to break the rest. In the spring after such a winter, bloom- 
ing, and the beginning of growth may be greatly delayed, and the 
crop set may be very small. Coast sections having heavy fogs and 
cool damp atmosphere are not well suited to peach growing. Such 
climatic conditions favor the development of brown rot, and other 
fungus diseases ; tend to lessen the color of the fruit: and possibly tend 
to increase the acidity. 
Water Supply—The mean annual rainfall in leading California 
peach districts varies from about 10 to 30 inches per year. For profit- 
able production, however, it is recommended that peaches be planted

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