Pollinating and protecting peach blossom

I have written before about the process of hand pollinating peaches. Peaches flower early in the year, at a time when few pollinating insects are about, and as ours are grown under cover it is even less likely that insects will find them. To secure a crop, these need to be pollinated by hand – a simple enough task with a soft paintbrush, albeit rather tedious.

We have never felt it necessary to provide any additional protection from cold weather, but this year has been, I think, unusually cold and the cold spells quite prolonged. As we had fitted trellising in the ‘peach house’ to support the vine that runs above the peaches, there was something to which we could readily clip some old sheets to hang down in front of the trees. Whether this was necessary or not we will never know, but for the sake of a few minutes work it seemed like a sensible precaution and gave us some peace of mind while listening to unfavourable weather forecasts.

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