The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

A slow spring and critical temperatures

New raspberry and blackberry leaves

Last year my three exclamation point spring post came on March 26 --- the plant world had awakened, with peaches and dandelions in bloom and blackberry and pear leaves unfurling.  This year, we're at least a week behind...which is a good thing.
New gojiberry leaves
A few of our fruit trees --- the oldest peach, for sure, but also maybe the younger peach, nectarine, and cherry --- are old enough to set fruit, but only if a hard spring freeze doesn't nip their flowers.  Each stage in the bud-opening process has its critical temperature, below which the bud will be too damaged to set fruit.  For peaches, these temperatures are (for 10% and 90% kill, respectively):

  • Swollen bud stage - 18 F; 1 F
  • Bud shows green (like in the photo below on the right) - 21 F; 5 F
  • First pink on bud - 25 F; 15 F
  • First bloom - 26 F; 21 F
  • Full bloom - 27 F; 24 F
Pear leaf bud and peach flower bud

In the spring, we gardeners tend to get antsy and want everything to happen now, but a chilly winter slows things down and may mean more food in the long run.  Here's a table of critical temperatures for most of the common fruits.  Don't forget to keep your eye on the weather forecast once your fruit trees begin to bloom!

Want to have more time to tend your fruit trees?  Check out our microbusiness ebook about starting a small business that pays all of your bills in just a few hours per week.


Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.






profile counter myspace



Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.