Why you thin peaches...

19 April, 2014

This is why:

Unthinned vs. thinned.

I think thinned is the clear winner. What do you think?

As you may recall, earlier in the year I partially thinned the peach tree at my parents house. My dad and I have an ongoing 'robust discussion' as to the merits or otherwise of pruning trees and thinning fruit. My dad is adamantly against pruning (except removing broken or diseased branches) and against thinning fruit. I am adamantly for both.

So to try and talk some sense into him test my hypothesis, my dad graciously allowed me to thin the fruit on part of the tree, to see if it made a difference. This was done quite late in the season in February.

Here is the tree now. 

Its hard to see, but the branches in the front and on the right are where I thinned, and on the left and rear of the tree I left unthinned.

This is what the thinned fruits look like.

And here is what the unthinned fruit looks like.

Without some sort of relative object it is hard to see what difference there is on the above photos. So here is some more detail.

Unthinned fruit:

Thinned fruit:

And no, I did not pick the biggest of the thinned and the smallest of the unthinned to sway the evidence in my favour. These really were representative examples of the relative size of the thinned and unthinned fruit.

Which is not to say that the unthinned fruit was a bad size. A handful size peach is a lovely thing. Its just that the thinned peaches were massive things, and when it comes to fruit (particularly ones for preserving, which these late season clingstone yellow meat-y peaches are) I'd rather have the massive ones than regular size if I have the choice.

So, point proved (not that my dad will admit it. Ah well.) I went and picked a basketful to preserve.

Strangely, these look a bit less fabulously yellow in the light of my kitchen. But they will be golden yellow when bottled all the same.

Having picked my peach stash, I went inside for a cup of tea and a cosy family chat. And I'm glad I picked before tea.

Not a moment too soon. At least I was nice and left some peaches for them.