Historic note

Group Title: Circular - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Stations ; 299
Title: Peaches and nectarines in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072511/00001
 Material Information
Title: Peaches and nectarines in Florida
Series Title: Circular Agricultural Experiment Stations, University of Florida.
Physical Description: 20 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Sharpe, R. H
Publisher: Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1966
Subject: Peach -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Nectarine -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 20).
Statement of Responsibility: R.H. Sharpe.
Funding: Circular (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Stations.) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072511
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 18372639

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

MAY 1966





SR. H. Sharpe

Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville




R. H. Sharpe
Horticulturist, Agricultural Experiment Stations

Commercial acreage of peaches
in Florida is now estimated at well
over 4,000 acres, divided almost
equally between a northern and a
central area. The northern area
extends from Madison County west
and is based on 650 hour varieties
while the central area (ranging in
a triangle between Brooksville, De-
Land and Putnam County), is
based on recently developed 300
hour varieties. A tree census re-
port in February 1965, from 45
growers of The Florida Peach
Growers Association Inc., listed
123,716 trees set in 1964 and 1965,
and 90,000 trees set in previous
years, indicating the rapid recent
growth of the industry. It is esti-
mated that there will be 20,000
acres in peaches by 1975. (2)
Planting of peaches for home
use is also a sizeable factor. The
peach requires more specialized
care than many home owners give.
It is hoped this Circular will help
homeowners as well as outline pro-
duction practices for commercial

Proper site selection and choice
of variety rank as two of the most
important factors in successful
peach growing. Good air and water
drainage are essential for produc-
tion and growth of trees. In select-

ing a site, low areas (pockets) and
sections characterized by late
spring frosts should be avoided.
The effect of cold on cropping has
been studied in Alachua County
for the past seven seasons. Five
out of seven crops on a cold site
were lost; but, on a warm site a
few miles away, there was only
one partial crop loss due to spring
Even in central Florida, critical
temperatures for fruit kill can oc-
cur throughout February and
March in cold locations; thus, late
blooming due to delayed dor-

Fig. 1-Generalized pattern of date after
which the risk of a temperature as low as
28 degrees is 30 percent. (After Buston
and Gerber) -

mancy break is not as good in-
surance as choice of good sites.
Peach flower buds that have just
begun to swell will stand tempera-
tures as low as 20F. Open blos-
soms show injury at about 260F.
Following petal fall the young
fruit are generally killed by mini-
mums of 28" F. The generalized
map (Fig. 1) shows last dates
when 28 F. occurs in 30 percent
of the years. Use of good sites and
recommended varieties should re-
duce risks of spring frost injury
to 10 to 20 percent of the years
in central Florida.
Peaches can be grown on a wide
variety of soils, provided there is
good internal drainage in the up-
per four to six feet. "Hardpan"
soils should be avoided unless an
excellent system of subsoil drain-
age tiles is provided. Well drained
soils, such as Lakeland, have prov-
ed to be well adapted to peach
production in Florida. Water dam-
age has occurred on normally well-
drained soils of heavy texture dur-
ing exceptionally wet summers in
north Florida.

Normal spacing in the orchard
is 20 by 20 feet (108 trees per
acre). All common varieties are
self-fruitful so trees of each va-
riety should be planted in solid
blocks for easier spraying and
harvesting. With the advent of
"in-and-out" po w e r hoes there
have been some 10 x 20 (or 15 x
20) plantings made, with the ex-
pectation that a larger number of
trees per acre will result in in-

creased yields per acre in the early
life of the orchard. There has been
no experience on how to handle
these trees in later life and prun-
ing or thinning practices need to
be developed.

June-budded trees 21/ to 4 feet
high are a good size to set. Smaller
sizes though acceptable, are likely
to have rather limited root systems
and may start poorly in light soils.
Larger sizes are more difficult to
handle and more expensive, how-
ever, they grow off better in sandy
soils and yield more during the
first four seasons. (3)
Peach varieties for home or com-
mercial planting should be budded
on root-stocks resistant to both
root-knot nematode species, Meboi-
dogyne incognita and M. javanica.
Okinawa and Nemaguard peach
stocks have satisfactory resistance
and are the only stocks recom-
mended for central Florida. Other
stocks such as S-37 and Rancho
Resistant, are sometimes used but
are susceptible to M. javanica;
Elberta, Tennessee "N a t u r a 1 s",
Lovell and other commonly used
seedling root stocks are susceptible
to both types. It has been observed
that Maygold variety overgrows
S-37 and this combination is un-
satisfactory. No overgrowth prob-
lems have been noted on any of the
recommended Florida varieties
with Okinawa or Nemaguard
stocks. Winter damage has occur-
red to trees budded on Okinawa
and Nemaguard at Quincy under
extremely high nitrogen conditions

while at Madison, under normal
fertilization practices, trees budded
on Okinawa have been outstanding
after 4 growing seasons' growth.
More long-range studies are need-
ed to make definite recommenda-
tions for north Florida but in cen-
tral Florida there is hardly any
choice but to use resistant stocks.
If common peach stocks are used
in north Florida, fumigate bands
6 to 8 feet wide in fall before
planting with EDB, DD, or Telone
as recommended by manufacturers
of these materials.
Propagation of peaches is gen-
erally by T-Budding in June.
Stratified seeds should be planted
in late January or early February.
Remove Okinawa seeds from the
pits in autumn and store in damp
peat or perlite at 35 to 45"F. for
40 to 60 days before planting.
Similar handling of Nemaguard
has given good results. If the
seeds are not removed from the
pits, the pits must be stratified
and kept on cold storage for up to
100 days; however, even this treat-
ment has not always been satis-
factory. If plantings are allowed
to become dry before sprouting oc-
curs, seeds may again become dor-
mant. Nursery site approval is re-
quired by the Division of Plant
Industry for burrowing nematode
control. For this and other rea-
sons, nursery propagation should
be left to the specialist.

Peach trees are generally set
bare-rooted in the dormant season
in December or as soon thereafter

as possible so that new root
growth can develop before spring
growth begins. Plant slightly deep-
er than the trees were grown in
the nursery. Peach trees need not
be watered at planting if soil is
moist and packed well around the
roots. Trees that are planted early
in the winter and kept free of weed
competition will require a mini-
mum of watering the first season.
Usually only one or two basin type
irrigations in April and May will
be required, except in unusually
dry years or on the coarser sands.
Keep the area three to four feet
out from newly-set trees free of
weeds the first season. Plant mid-
dle strips with oats or rye, or leave
uncultivated until mid-April for
protection from bo w i n g sand.
Cover can be left in the middles
throughout the first summer if de-
sired. In November, disc under all
cover in the orchard.
Cultivate bearing orchards tho-
roughly by early January, then
leave the soil as firm and clean as
possible during and after bloom in
order to reduce frost hazard. Re-
sume cultivation after danger of
frost is past and keep orchard
clean until just before fruit har-
vest. After harvest, native cover
crops or hairy indigo may be
grown. Avoid plant covers which
tend to build up stink bug popula-
tions (see insect notes).

Weed control with chemicals is
being developed to supplement me-
chanical control. The premerge
type materials, Casaron and Sima-

zine, have been recently registered
for use on peaches. Growers mak-
ing tests should carefully follow
label instructions and obtain latest
recommendations as to use of any
chemical control materials.

Newly set and yearling trees are
often damaged by girdling of the
trunks by rabbits. Wire screening
can be used to protect a few trees,
while Arasan 42-S, (a Thiram
compound) has been used as a re-
pellent with considerable success
on larger plantings. The material
is either brushed or sprayed on
the trunks after setting or in early

Prior to setting trees, apply lim-
ing materials as needed to bring
soil within a range of pH 6.0 to 6.5
Use of some dolomitic lime is
recommended, especially if the
magnesium level in the soil is low.
Because of soil type variations,
there is a distinct difference in the
fertilizer recommendations for
peaches growing on the loamy soils
predominately west of the Suwan-
nee River, and those growing on
the sandy soils of peninsular Flo-
rida. It is suggested that mixed
fertilizers for the western area in-
clude 8-8-8 or similar materials.
Fertilizers for the peninsular area
should approximate a 12-4-8 for-
mulation. All fertilizers should
contain one or two percent zinc
oxide (ZnO) equivalent when used
on young trees. On older trees,
zinc may be applied as part of the

regular spray program by includ-
ing two pounds of neutral zinc per
100 gallons of water in one or two
cover sprays each year, or it may
continue to be supplied in the regu-
lar fertilizer program (also see
notes under rust disease.)
Because quickly available nitro-
gen applied sufficiently ahead of
bloom to be taken up by the tree
is believed to improve set of fruit,
and because delayed availability of
nitrogen may delay fruit maturity
and reduce color it is recommended
that only mineral sources of nitro-
gen be used in peach fertilizers.
With the exception of zinc, the
requirements for other minor ele-
ments on peaches in Florida have
not been determined. It is known
that peaches are very sensitive to
copper, hence copper must not be
used in peach sprays and it is rec-
ommended that fertilizers contain-
ing copper be avoided.
Apply fertilizer in the first (or
planting) year in a circular area
6 to 24 inches from the trunk as
1/8 pound per tree in February
1/4 pound in late May
1/ pound in July
On the loamy soils of West Flo-
rida the schedule may be altered
to provide 1/ pound in February
and 1/ pound in June. In wet sea-
sons when nitrogen is leached
rapidly and trees show slow
growth, apply 1/4 pound of calcium
nitrate or equivalent amount of
ammonium nitrate per tree in Au-
In the second year, apply fer-
tilizer to cover the area one foot

from the trunk to one foot beyond
the branch spread. Apply 1 to 11/2
pounds per tree in January and the
same quantity in late May. In the
third year, start broadcast appli-
cations of mixed fertilizer in quan-
tities sufficient to supply 30 to 40
pounds actual nitrogen per acre
in January and again in late May
or after crop is harvested. Apply
20 to 30 pounds of actual nitrogen
per acre if needed in early August
during wet seasons.
At the beginning of the fourth
year, peach orchards in Florida are
usually mature. Differences in va-
riety and grove practices may dic-
tate some changes in fertilization
practices. Until such specialized
practices are worked out, it is sug-
gested that the recommended fer-
tilizers be applied in sufficient
quantities to supply 40 to 50
pounds of nitrogen per acre twice
each year. Make the first appli-
cation two to three weeks ahead
of bloom, and the second applica-
tion in late May or after the crop
is harvested in the case of later
ripening varieties.
Applications of 20 to 30 pounds
of additional nitrogen in Mid-
August may help control leaf drop
from rust and subsequent prema-
ture bloom.

Experimental data on the effect
of supplemental irrigation has not
been obtained under Florida condi-
tions, but irrigation of bearing
trees has materially improved fruit
development in other eastern
states. The varieties of commercial

interest in Florida ripen in late
April and May when rainfall is
usually light. Trees probably need
at least four inches of water per
month, from soil storage, rainfall,
or from irrigation, for maximum
fruit growth. Applications should
be made before moisture stress be-
comes excessive. Some studies sug-
gest the major response to irriga-
tion is obtained when applications
are made three weeks prior to and
during final swell of fruit.

Pruning is necessary to form a
well shaped, strong tree, and to
control fruit bearing. Peach trees
are pruned to form an open center.
In one method of pruning or train-
ing, trees should be cut back at
planting time to a single stem 24
inches in height. If laterals have

Fig. 2-Select three vigorous wide-angled
shoots for the framework branches and cut
back other shoots.

formed on the nursery tree, cut
lower ones off flush with the stem,
but allow one-to-two inch stubs to
remain on the upper ones. This is
necessary to insure leaving buds
for new shoot development. After
the tree sprouts well in the spring,
select three evenly spaced, vigor-
ous, wide-angled shoots to be the
major scaffolding (see Fig. 2). Re-
move or cut back other shoots and
remove all low-growing suckers,
including those from the rootstock.
In the first winter, cut back
the main scaffold branches approx-
imately one-third to a 1 a t e r a
branch growing on the outside of
the main branches. Develop three
primary branches and prune for
evenly spaced secondary branches.
Watersprouts and limbs that are
too low to the ground should be
removed. Trees should be kept
growing low; this enables more of
the fruit to be harvested from the
ground in later years. Continue
this training procedure for the
second and third winters.
During March or April each sea-
son, rub off sucker growth from
main branches within two feet of
the head or center of the tree.
After the third winter, pruning
consists of removing overcrowded
branches, removing watersprouts,
heading back terminal growth to
prevent the tree from growing to
excess heights, and keeping the
center of the tree open to allow
sunlight to reach all parts of the
tree. Fruiting laterals need to be
thinned and renewed depending on
vigor and variety habits, in order
to reduce excess fruit load.

The Agricultural Extension Ser-
vice holds frequent demonstrations
which offer growers an opportun-
ity to study pruning methods.
Pruning is an operation that grow-
ers and research workers both
need to study. Next to thinning, it
is one of the major pre-harvest
costs of production. Studies re-
ported from other areas show 18
to 23 hours labor per acre for
pruning and 21 to 35 hours for
thinning. There have been a few
studies of mechanical top-hedging,
followed by some thinning cuts
which suggest pruning time could
be cut in half. Topping in summer
after harvest to promote better
hanger development and height
control should be studied.

Peach trees often set more fruit
than can be matured to marketable
size, even though attempts are
made to avoid excess cropping by
careful pruning. The fruit should
be thinned before pit hardening,
leaving one fruit approximately
every six inches along the branch-
es, depending on the variety and
market conditions. Thinning re-
duces total poundage, hence profit
depends on the price as related to
size. Determine the extent of thin-
ning on the basis of market de-
mands and response of the variety
to thinning. A study with 'Flor-
dawon' variety (8) showed that
thinning fruit to a five inch spac-
ing at pit-hardening was too close
or too late to obtain mostly 17/8"
diameter fruit on heavy cropping
trees in their fourth season. These

trees yielded 46 to 97 pounds per
For maximum effect on improv-
ing size and early ripening, thin-
ning should be done as early as
possible. Some growers make a
first thinning during bloom when
conditions favor heavy fruit set.
At present, no information is
available on the use of chemical
sprays for thinning peach fruits
under Florida conditions.

Peaches are harvested when
nearly mature, but still firm en-
ough to ship well. Change in
ground color is used to judge pick-
ing stage. Peaches for local mar-
kets can be picked more mature
than those to be shipped long dis-
tances. A rapid increase in quality
and size occurs during ripening
and very careful judgement is
necessary to obtain maximum ma-
turity yet avoid losses due to over-
Pick and handle very carefully
to prevent bruising. Peaches do
not mature uniformly on the tree,
and, therefore, it is necessary to
pick over the orchard three to
four times at 2-day intervals in
order to obtain those fruits that
have reached just the right stage
for marketing.
The varieties now available for
central Florida have less surface
color and are less firm-fleshed than
varieties like 'Maygold' and others
grown further north. In order to
obtain sufficient color and size of
fruit from the central Florida va-

rieties, there may be a tendency
to let them become too ripe for
conventional methods of peach
handling and marketing. Special
packaging methods may be essen-
tial especially when the acreage
and volume require out-of-state
It is not yet possible to forecast
the marketing problems of the
Florida peach industry, but some
precautions may be su g geste d.
First, the grower needs to recog-
nize that there is probably no place
for the small to medium size or-
chard by itself in the marketing
picture. Peaches must be carefully
graded, cooled, brushed and packed
for long distance shipment. This
requires a sizeable investment in
a packing shed, which isn't likely
to prove economically feasible with
much less than 100 acres. Growers
having up to five acres of a variety
may be able to sell on roadside or
local markets without extensive
packing but would generally find
trouble with ten or more acres. In
established areas, it is considered
poor practice to transport fruit
more than a few miles to a packing
house, so growers need to plan
their market outlets carefully be-
fore planting. Another important
consideration in harvesting and
marketing is to plan variety plant-
ings to insure use of harvest labor
and packing facilities evenly over
as long a period as possible. Addi-
tional new varieties will be needed
to give a ripening succession from
mid-April through May, and the
future of the industry will be pri-
marily dependent on such develop-

ment. Fortunately, the supply and
variety of fresh fruits is limited
in April and May and market com-
petition does not become heavy un-
til June, when volume production
of southern peaches and other
fruits start moving to market.
Present production of peaches
for fresh use in the eastern United
States averages over 5,000,000
bushels per month during the sum-
mer season. Such a rate of con-
sumption would require perhaps
60,000 acres of bearing and non-
bearing peaches in Florida for late
April and May marketing, if aver-
age production figures of other
southern states are used. Also us-
ing an estimated 10-year life for
peach trees in the southern states,
it would require 6,000 acres of new
planting annually. A single variety
or varieties ripening together
probably should not constitute
more than 15 to 20 percent of the
total acreage, assuming a harvest
period of 7 to 10 days for a va-
riety. Up to 500 acres of a variety
in Florida can probably be mar-
keted close to home, but with new
plantings of 1,000 or more acres
per year mostly of two or three
varieties wider market distri-
bution will be necessary.

An ideal commercial peach
should produce firm fruit two
inches or over in diameter, with
yellow flesh, capable of a week's
marketing life and with 70 percent
or more attractive surface blush.
It should also be freestone and of
course for Florida, needs local

adaptation and early enough ripen-
ing to market before other areas.
In such terms, all present varieties
represent some compromise of de-
sirable traits. Those considered
most suitable for commercial use
are discussed briefly below and
others useful for home planting
are listed in Table 2. For further
information on area adaptation,
see chilling requirement of varie-
Flordasun.-Adapted to Central
Florida with about 250-hour chill-
ing requirement. Normally first
ripe April 20 to 25. Yellow-fleshed
with light to medium skin blush.
Clings until soft ripe. Size 17/8 to 2
inches with proper culture and
thinning. Flesh medium firm, rip-
ens evenly at tip and suture, and
should ship better than 'Tejon' or
'Flordawon' but still needs careful
handling. Overripe fruit has ob-
jectionable flavor to some people.
Full bloom dates in central Florida
are February 6 to 11, with much
less risk of spring frost damage
than for 'Flordawon' which blooms
11 to 20 days earlier. Released in
1964 by Florida Agricultural Ex-
periment Station (6).
Early Amber.-Adapted to Cen-
tral Florida, requiring about 350
hours chilling. First ripe May 1 to
10. Yellow fleshed with blush
covering most of surface, quite
pubescent. Clingstone. C a n be
readily sized to 17/8 and possibly
2 inches under good culture. Fair-
ly firm flesh. Suggested for 'Tejon'
season because of lower chilling
requirement, better shipping qual-
ity. Plant Patent 2458.

Sunred.-This is a nectarine
with chilling requirement of about
300 hours. It is suggested for the
season of shipment after 'Florda-
sun' and 'Early Amber' peaches
in central to north central Florida.
First ripe May 10 to 15. Yellow
fleshed with nearly solid red skin
blush. Firm, excellent flavor, semi-
freestone. Most of fruit should size
over 13/ inches in diameter with
few 2 inches. Culture similar to
that of peach except more care
needed to protect fruit from insect
and disease injury. Released in
1964 by Florida Agricultural Ex-
periment Station. (7)
Earligold.-For north Florida
areas, with lower chilling require-
ment than 'Maygold' but not low
enough to be dependable in cen-
tral Florida. Ripe in early to mid-
May. Yellow fleshed, clingstone,
medium skin blush. Of marginal
firmness for long-distant ship-
ments. Usual size 1:3%" or less.
Plant Patent 1883.
Springtime.-For north Florida.
First ripe early May except in
years of marginal chilling. White
fleshed, clingstone, fairly good skin
blush. Medium firm. Usual size
13/4" or less. Good spray program
needed for brown rot control in
wet seasons. Plant Patent 1268.
June Gold.-For north Florida,
requiring about 650 hours chilling.
First ripe mid to late May. Yellow
fleshed, clingstone, good blush
color. Subject to pit breakage in
which small pieces of pit cling to
flesh. Good appearance, fair shape,
quite firm. Good size for such an
early peach, many over 2" under

good culture. Plant Patent 1884.
Maygold.-Principal variety for
north Florida. First ripe late May.
Yellow fleshed, clingstone, with
good blush color. Quite firm, ships
well. Some 13/," fruit shipped but
most 178" to many over 2" in good
seasons. Usually productive, ex-
cept in years of marginal chilling.
U. S. Department of Agriculture
selection (J. H. Weinberger) re-
leased in 1953.
Suwannee.-For north Florida,
plantings being increased. First
ripe about June 10. Yellow fleshed,
with good blush color. First good
quality, freestone type for the area.
Good size and shape. Considered of
same chilling requirement as 'May-
gold' but appears less productive
under marginal chilling conditions.
Introduced in 1962 by U. S. De-
partment of Agriculture (J. H.
Weinberger and V. E. Prince).

Depending upon the variety, va-
rying amounts of winter chilling
are necessary to provide good dor-
mancy break and heavy fruit set.
Chilling should be accumulated by
the end of January in central Flor-
ida and by February 10, in north
Florida, with flowering and leafing
20 to 30 days later in a normal
season. Extreme south Florida re-
ceives less than 100 hours (below
45"F.) and north Florida over 600
hours (1). It is recommended that
varieties be chosen which would
receive their chilling requirement
in at least 75 percent of the win-

ao *

Fig. 3-Generalized map showing chilling hours below 45 degrees received to February
10 in 75 percent of the winters.

ters. Thus, by consulting the chill-
ing requirement of the variety
(Table 1) and the map (Fig. 3),
a proper choice of varieties can be
Insufficient chilling results in
light to no cropping, irregular
fruit development, and late and
sometimes inadequate leafing, fol-
lowed in severe cases by sun-
scald and damage to the main
framework. Although choice of va-
rieties requiring more chilling than
the average for an area may result
in late bloom and reduced spring
frost hazard, fruit set is unsatis-

factory in seasons with inadequate
winter chilling. Excess chilling for
the variety is also undesirable. Va-
rieties with low chilling require-
ments such as Flordasun, bloom
too early in north Florida and fruit
is generally lost to spring frosts.
It should be recognized that chil-
ling effectiveness is not entirely
measured by hours below 45F.
Temperatures in the range of 45"
to 550 also have considerable bene-
fit with some studies (4) showing
that for such low-chilling varieties
as 'Okinawa' or 'Flordawon', 55F.
is fully as effective as 450F. in

inducing dormancy break. Tem-
peratures above 70' during the
chilling period appear to be detri-
mental. Thus, a winter marked by
considerable cloudy weather usu-

ally is followed by better dormancy
break than one with an equal ac-
cumulation of 45' hours that is
marked by generally dry, sunny

TABLE Variety Characteristics

Normal Flesh Approx.
Ripening Flesh Stone Firm- Principal Chilling
Date* Color Freeness ness Use** Require

Red Ceylon
Sunred Nectarine
White Knight 2
White Knight 1
Early Amber



June Gold

Bonanza (dwarf)

Early June
Late April
Late April
Early May
Late April
Late May
Early May
Early May
Late May to
Early June
Early May
Mid to Late
Early June
Early to
Early May
Mid to
Late May
Late May
Late June



Yellow Cling
Yellow Free

Yellow Semi-free
Yellow Cling

White Cling




H, L, C
H, L, C
H, L
H, L, C
H, L

Medium H, L 450
Medium H, L 500

Medium H, L
Medium H, L, C


H, L, C 650
H, L, C 650

H, L, C
H, L
H, L

*Ripening periods vary considerably with season.
where the varieties are best adapted.

Dates given are considered normal for the areas

**H=Home; L=Local; C=Commercial; R=Rootstock. For commercial use, emphasis is on ripening
with or before 'Maygold' and ahead of principal producing areas in Georgia. Home and local use
varieties are soft-fleshed or too late-ripening for the early market.

(In collaboration with J. E. Brogdon and R. S. Mullin)
The following schedule is suggested for control of the most impor-
tant insects and diseases on commercial bearing peaches in Florida;
(See Section on dooryard trees for home plantings). Experience and
experimental work are needed to develop a more specific schedule,
particularly for central Florida, but the following has been effective
in most situations. Only the borer sprays and, occasionally, scale and
rust control are required for non-bearing trees.

Peach Spray Schedule Suggesed for Commercial Plantings

Name and Time Material per Pests
of Spray 100 Gallons Controlled Remarks
Dormant North Florida Leaf curl If scales are a prob-
After all Liquid lime-sulfur 6 gals. Scale lem: 1 application lime-
leaves are off Where there is a scale in- sulfur or oil for San
and before festation use 12 gals. of Jose scale: 2 applica-
buds begin to liquid lime-sulfur or a tions oil spray 14 days
swell in late 3% oil spray. apart for white peach
winter. Central and South Florida Scale scale. Do not mix lime-
3% oil (31/3 gals of 90% sulfur and oil. Lime
oil) sulfur not needed for
leaf curl in Central and
South Florida.
Blossom Wettable sulfur (80%) Blossom blight For brown rot in heavi-
6 lbs.-or Captan (50%) caused by ly infected orchards in
2 lbs. brown rot. North Florida, apply
Scab sprays at 3-day inter-
vals during flowering.
Generally not needed in
Central Florida.
Petal Fall Wettable sulfur (80%) Brown rot Do not apply parathion
After all 6 lbs. Plum Curculio within 14 days or Guth-
petals are off or Captan (50%) 2 lbs. Catfacing ion within 21 days or
and before plus Parathion (15%)- insects. Dieldrin within 45 days
peach is show- 2 lbs. or Scab of harvest. Spray tree
ing. Guthion (25%) 11V lbs. (see spray thoroughly including
or notes) trunk and larger limbs.
Dieldrin (50%) 1/ lb.
Shuck-Fall or Wettable sulfur (80%) Brown rot See remarks above
First Cover 6 lbs. or Captan (50%) Scab Especially important
2 lbs. plus Plum Curculio for plum curculio and
3/ Shucks off Parathion (15%)-2 lbs. Catfacing' scab.
(about 10-14 or insects
days after Guthion (25%) 1%/ lbs.
petal fall) or
Dieldrin (50%) 1/ lb.
Second Cover Wettable sulfur (80%) Brown rot See remarks above.
6 lbs. or Captan (50%) Scab Especially important
7-10 days 2 lbs. plus Plum Curculio for plum curculio
later Parathion (15%) 2 lbs. and scab.
or Guthion (25%) 1%a lbs.

Name and Time Material per Pests
of Spray 100 Gallons Controlled Remarks
Third Cover Same as Second Cover Plum Curculio See remarks above.
12-14 days Scab
later Scale
Four weeks North Florida only Brown rot Do not apply Guthion
before harvest Wettable sulfur (80%) Plum Curculio closer than 21 days be-
of each variety 6 lbs. or Captan (50%) Catfacing fore harvest.
2 lbs. plus insects
Parathion (15%) 2 lbs.
Guthion (25%) 1'" lbs.
Two weeks Wettable sulfur (80%) Brown rot Do not use Parathion
before harvest 6 lbs. or Captan (50%) Plum Curculio closer than 14 days
of each variety 2 lbs. plus Catfacing before harvest.
Parathion (15%) insects
2 lbs.
Pre-harvest North Florida only
One week Wettable sulfur (80%) Brown rot
before harv- 6 lbs. or Captan (50%)
est of each 2 lbs.
Rust Control Central Florida only To aid in scale control
Wettable sulfur (80%) Rust add parathion, Guthion,
6 Ibs. or Zineb (75%) diazinon or ethion to
2 lbs. one or more of these
Trunk sprays Thiodan (50%) 11/2 lbs. Peach tree Thoroughly wet trunk,
July 1 or Borer and soil at base of tree.
August 15 Dieldrin (50%) 6 lbs.

SCALES: An Ethion-oil combination spray can be used for scales during the dormant period instead
of a 3% oil spray. Prepare by mixing 1 pint of 46% Ethion emulsifiable concentrate in 100
gallons of water. Then add 3 quarts of 80-90% oil emulsion concentrate. See remarks above for
number of applications.
Diazinon-20; Dieldrin-45; Zineb-30; Thiodan-30; Ethion-30; Sulfur-no time limitations; Captan-no
time limitations.
PRECAUTIONS: Read and heed all cautions and warnings on the pesticide label. Parathion and
Guthion are highly toxic insecticides and should be applied only by a trained and properly equipped
operator. Store pesticides out of reach of children, irresponsible people and livestock, and prefer-
able under lock and key,; dispose of empty containers promptly and safely.


Parathion, Guthion and Dieldrin
are not recommended for spraying
dooryard peaches. In place of these
materials use a mixture of Mala-
thion plus Sevin or Methoxychlor
for control of the plum curculio
and stink bugs. To make these
sprays mix 4 tablespoons of 25%
Malathion wettable powder or 2

teaspoons of 57% Malathion liquid
concentrate. Then add 3 table-
spoons of 50% Methoxychlor wet-
table powder or 2 tablespoons of
50% Sevin wettable powder. For
disease control add 5 tablespoons
of wettable sulfur (80%) or 2
tablespoons of 50% Captan wet-
table powder per gallon. Do not

Fig. 4-White peach scale on peach. Fig. 5-Plum curculio is making crescent-
shaped cuts on fruit where eggs are laid.
Fig. 6-Peaches gnarled as a result of egg laying and feeding punctures of the plum


apply Malathion within 7 days, or
Sevin within 1 day, or Methoxy-
chlor within 21 days, of harvest.
The most essential sprays to pro-
duce home fruit are the dormant
(for scales), First Second and
Third Cover. The summer sprays
for rust may be needed if defolia-
tion occurs before October but
usually isolated trees can be kept
in good condition by proper culture
and fertilization. See commercial
peach spray schedule for timing of
Borers can be removed from
trees in October to December by
hand. Look for gum formation at
the soil line. Scrape away the gum
and destroy the white larvae. If
spraying is preferred, follow the
recommendations in the commer-
cial peach spray schedule.

White peach scale control has
been generally unsuccessful with
insecticides used only pre-harvest.
It can cause much tree damage if
allowed to b e c o me established.
Check carefully and spray infested
orchards with 3% oil twice in the
dormant season. In problem orch-
ards, parathion, guthion, diazinon
or ethion at the rate recommended
for scale on the label should be
added to July and August rust
Curculio appears not to be a
problem at present in south
Florida but is the most serious pest
of peaches in central and north
Florida. Reports in Georgia indi-
cate help in control from broadcast

soil application of aldrin, dieldrin
or heptachlor at rates of 2 pounds
active material per acre. This has
not been too effective in initial
trials in Florida. If used it should
be a supplement to the regular
spray schedule. Applications
should be made early in the season
before fruit begins to form.
At Gainesville, major egg-laying
periods on fruit have ranged be-
tween March 8 and April 10. Egg-
laying activity appears to be timed
with the shuck-split (usually 15 to
20 days after full bloom) stage in
wild plums. Sprays applied during
the first and third weeks of March
are generally effective but should
be modified with seasonal differ-
ences. Egg-laying is prolonged
through the month of March if cool
weather persists and an additional
spray (third cover) may be need-
Stink bugs are sucking insects
which cause "catfacing" or "dimp-
ling" of fruits from early season
feeding and gumming later in the
season. They also increase brown
rot damage. Sprays may be needed
prior to first cover on early flower-
ing varieties. Use parathion or
dieldrin at rates used for curculio.
Where cultural conditions permit,
some reduction in populations is
reported by eliminating covers,
such as peas, beans, crotalaria,
beggarweed and citrons. Parathion
should not be used within 14 days,
or dieldrin within 45 days, of har-
vest to avoid residue problems.
Borers have been observed
throughout central and north Flor-

ida. Uncontrolled populations ruin
trees by severe girdling at the soil
line. Lesser borers attack the tree
framework at large pruning cuts,
but have not been as important
as the trunk borer in Florida.
Avoid hoeing dirt away from
trunks after spraying and thus ex-
posing unsprayed surface.

Scab affects peaches in all areas
of the state causing small brown
spots on skin of fruit. Sulfur
sprays in the period four to six
weeks after full bloom are essen-
tial for control. The earliest va-
rieties ripen before spotting is too
Bacterial spot is serious on May-
gold in the Quincy area in some
years, and is not effectively con-
trolled by sprays. It has not yet
become serious in central Florida
areas and resistance or suscepti-
bility of varieties grown in these
areas is not known. Trees with
good fertilization are less suscep-
tible than under-fertilized ones.
Peach leaf curl has been of
minor importance. In central Flo-
rida, unsprayed trees have shown
little or no infection.
Brown rot has not been a very
serious problem on early peaches
in central Florida, so far, probably
due to the characteristically dry
weather in April and May. It can
be quite serious in north Florida
in wet springs, particularly on the
very earliest varieties like 'Spring-
time' or on the late ripening va-
rieties grown for local use.

Rust may prove to be one of the
more serious diseases in central
Florida. Severe defoliation has oc-
curred by mid-summer in some
instances and undoubtedly weakens
the trees. In northwest Florida,
infection usually does not appear
until late summer or fall as it does
in Georgia and South Carolina
where the disease is considered of
minor importance. Sprays of zinc
sulfate-lime, 4-4-100 for control of
zinc deficiency helps to control
Mushroom root rot is a fungus
disease often present in newly
cleared oak land. There is no prac-
tical control, other than planting
on sites relatively free of decaying
oak roots. Peach trees wilt sudden-
ly, usually starting about their
third year in the orchard. Cutting
through the bark at and just below
the ground line discloses white
strands of the fungus where it has
encircled and girdled the trunk of
the tree.
Viruses are numerous in all es-
tablished peach growing regions.
These are introduced in nursery
stock, in infected budwood, or
through wild hosts. Phony virus
(5) is found in wild plum trees in
Florida but causes no observable
damage to plums. When transmit-
ted to the peach by leafhoppers, it
causes tree dwarfing, distorted
fruit, and poor fruit production.
Before planting peaches, remove
or kill all wild plums within one
quarter mile of the orchard where
possible. Spray with 2, 4, 5-T or
Ammate in the spring after leaf-
ing out to kill wild plums.

Fig. 8-Ripe peach showing the effect of attack by leaf-footed bugs several months


Fig. 9-Scab spots on peaches, showing the cracking that often develops when the spots
are numerous.
Fig. 10-Peaches covered with spores of the rot fungus. The infection spreads to the twig
from the blighted blossom still attached to it, and to the fruit from the twig.


Literature Cited
Butson, K. D. and J. F. Gerber, 1964. Temperature Hazards to Peaches in
Florida. Florida State Hort. Soc. 77:395-401
DARE Report, 1965, Univ. of Fla. Inst. of Food and Agr. Sci. p.28
Gammon, Nathan C. and J. S. Shoemaker, 1964. Effect of Nursery Stock Size
on Peach yields. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 77: 384-387
Gurdian, R. J. and R. H. Biggs, 1964. Effect of Low Temperatures on Termi-
nating Bud Dormancy of 'Okinawa', 'Flordawon', 'Flordahome' and 'Nema-
guard' Peaches, Fla. State Hort. Soc. 77, 370-379.
Seymour, C. P., 1964, Testing for Phony Peach Disease, Fla. Dept. Agr. Div.
of Plant Ind. Plant Pathology Circular 25.
Sharpe, R. H. 1964, Flordasun A Peach For Central Florida, Fla. Agr. Exp.
Sta., Circular S-157
Circular S-158 1964, Sunred, A Nectarine for Central Florida. Fla. Agr. Expt.
Shoemaker, J. S. and Nathan Gammon, Jr. 1963. Effects of Fertilizers on
Yield, Size, Color and Tip Disorder of Fruit of Flordawon Peach, Fla. State
Hort. Soc. 76: 384-387.

Four Keys to
Pesticide Safety



(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director





University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs