The warm sunny weather is perfect for the peach blossom. The flowers are beautiful, and most importantly, very attractive to the bees and other pollinating insects and native bees. Rain at this time not only keeps the pollinators away, it encourages diseases such as brown rot (botrytis cinerea) which can destroy the flowers. The same disease can hide in the growing fruit and then rot the fruit from the insides when picked ripe. Any one who has got a peach which looks fine on the outside but all mushy and brown on the inside, now you know the culprit.
There are chemical and organic approved sprays to keep this at bay. The organic one is called Bordeaux mixture which contains copper. While copper is one of the 42 essential known nutrients for plant growth it is also a heavy metal in excess amounts. I do not use it any more as the copper levels in our soil were increasing with its use.
This year we will be spraying the flowers with draw milk and whey. The biology in the milk and whey will flood the flowers leaving few opportunities for the brown rot to take hold. We hope this will be effective in controlling the disease.
We have no more than fifteen trees of any variety. There are twelve varieties of peach which ripen from June to August. In this way we have fresh fruit every week for the summer boxes.